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Korean barbecue: 4 simple recipes for a fresh & fiery Asian feast

South Korea is tipped to be Asia's next star food destination. Bring the bright flavours of this trendy cusine to your table with these recipes for pork ribs, kale and cucumber kimchi and spicy bulgogi chicken and beef

24 June 2018 - 00:00 By Jane Strode
From top left: pork ribs, spicy bulgogi chicken and beef, cucumber and kale kimchi.
From top left: pork ribs, spicy bulgogi chicken and beef, cucumber and kale kimchi.
Image: John Paul Urizar/Bauersyndication.com.au/Magazinefeatures.co.za

PORK RIBS

Serves: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes + marinating

Cooking time: 1½ - 2 hours

Ingredients:

80ml (⅓ cup) gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste, available from Asian grocers)

60ml (¼ cup) mirin

80ml (⅓ cup) sesame oil

125ml (½ cup) honey

6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 knob ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1 small red onion, finely chopped

1 red apple, peeled and grated

5ml (1 tsp) ground black pepper

1.5-2kg pork ribs

Method:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Refrigerate overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 160°C. Line a large oven tray with baking paper.
  3. Place ribs on tray and bake, basting regularly, for 1½ - 2 hours or until ribs are tender and well caramelized. Slice ribs before serving.

KALE AND CUCUMBER KIMCHI

Makes: 2½ cups

Prep time: 20 minutes + resting time

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

4 baby cucumbers, peeled and cut into thin semi-circles

60ml (¼ cup) sea salt

4 large stalks curly kale, stems removed

250ml (1 cup) water

125ml (½ cup) white-wine or rice-wine vinegar

100g (½ cup) white sugar

4 small red chillies, finely sliced

15ml (1 tbsp) grated ginger

15ml (1 tbsp) finely chopped garlic

15ml (1 tbsp) gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)

Method:

  1. Place cucumber and salt in a bowl and leave to stand for 30 minutes.
  2. Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. Blanch the kale leaves for 30 seconds, remove and refresh in cold water. Cut into 2cm pieces.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  4. Rinse cucumber well, add to kale.
  5. When liquid is cool, pour over cucumber and set aside for 30 minutes to allow flavors to absorb. 

Cook's note: Kimchi will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks.

SPICY BULGOGI CHICKEN

Serves: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes + marinating

Cooking time: 6 minutes 

Ingredients:

500g chicken thighs, skin removed, trimmed

15ml (1 tbsp) Korean red pepper powder

10ml (2 tsp) gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste available from Asian stores)

10ml (2 tsp) soy sauce

10ml (2 tsp) honey

2.5ml (½ tsp) sesame oil

5ml (1 tsp) finely chopped garlic

5ml (1 tsp) sesame seeds

30ml (2 tbsp) finely sliced shallot rounds

Method:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a shallow dish and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Cook the chicken on a very hot teppanyaki grill or braai for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until just cooked.
  3. Slice into bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and shallots before serving.

BULGOGI BEEF

Serves: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes + marinating

Cooking time: 4 minutes 

Ingredients:

500g fillet, trimmed and finely sliced along the grain

10ml (2 tsp) soy sauce

10ml (2 tsp) honey

5ml (1 tsp) apple juice

2.5ml (½ tsp) finely chopped garlic

2.5ml (½ tsp) grated ginger

2.5ml (½ tsp) ground black pepper

5ml (1 tsp) sesame seeds

30ml (2 tbsp) finely sliced spring onion

Method:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Refrigerate overnight.
  2. Cook beef on a very hot teppanyaki grill or braai for 30 seconds on each side, or until just cooked.
  3. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and shallots and serve.
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