This dwaeji bulgogi is SO SO good and takes less than 15 minutes to make! It’s so easy- I consider this a super lazy dinner but it tastes amazing and my husband LOVES when I make it.
You NEED to try this! Dwaeji bulgogi is spicy grilled pork. “Bul” means fire and “gogi” means meat. It’s the Korean equivalent of Mexican asada- meaning grilled meat. Beef bulgogi is a more well known Korean dish and is probably the first thing people try when venturing into Korean cuisine, but I personally prefer dwaeji bulgogi! It has much more flavor, plus I always prefer pork anyway, and best of all- it’s SPICY!
If you have a low spice tolerance, don’t worry- you can make it less spicy simply by using a mild gochujang instead of the extra spicy one like I do. If your spice tolerance is even lower than that, just reduce the amount of gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes).
Thinly sliced pork shoulder – I can usually find this at Hmart already sliced. It says right on the package that it’s for bulgogi. If you don’t have that option, you can just slice some pork shoulder thinly yourself. Slightly freeze your pork shoulder so that it is easier to slice. You can also use pork belly!
Marinade- Since the pork is thinly sliced, you do not need to marinate this over night or anything like that- you can grill or pan fry right away. The marinade is a simple mix of gochugaru, gochujang, soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and black pepper. I use extra spicy gochujang for mine, but you can use the mild one if your spice tolerance is low. The brands that I use are pictured above. For the gochugaru, just make sure you get the coarse flakes, not fine.
Garnish- these are not super important, but I do think they serve a greater purpose than just aesthetic. Add some sesame seeds and chopped green onion for added flavor.
How to cook dwaeji bulgogi
Dwaeji bulgogi is traditionally grilled over direct fire and eaten at the table while grilling. If you have a table top grill, I definitely recommend this method. Just grill each side until it develops a nice char, no more than 10 minutes total.
If you don’t have a grill, pan frying is perfectly fine and yields great results. Just add a little oil to a large frying pan and cook the pork until slightly charred.
No matter which method you choose, it should not take a long time to cook. The pork is thin, and it has a good amount of marbling so you don’t have to worry about it being tough.
How to eat dwaeji bulgogi
Ssam– my favorite way to enjoy dwaeji bulgogi is with lettuce wraps. The fresh greens help to cut the fatty meat, and its a healthier option than eating with rice. I like mine with ref leaf lettuce, perilla leaves (깻잎), jalapenos, and ssamjang. I do not have my ssamjang recipe posted here yet, but you can watch my recipe video on it here.
With rice– go with this option for a heartier meal. Sometimes I even eat it with both rice and lettuce wraps.
15 Minute Dwaeji Bulgogi 돼지불고기 (Spicy Pork)
- 1 lb thinly sliced pork shoulder or pork belly
- 1/2 small onion, sliced
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp gochugaru
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 3 tbsp extra spicy gochujang or mild gochujang
- 2-3 tbsp brown sugar adjust sweetness to your liking
- 4 crushed garlic cloves
- 1 tsp crushed ginger optional
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 chopped green onion
For lettuce wraps (ssam)
- red leaf lettuce
- perilla leaves
- If you're going to eat the dwaeji bulgogi as lettuce wraps (highly recommend), wash and prepare all your veggies first. You can find my ssamjang recipe here
- Mix together all of the marinade ingredients
- Add the thinly sliced pork shoulder and sliced onions and mix thoroughly with the marinade. Since the pork shoulder is thin, you do not need to wait. You can start grilling or pan frying it right away.
- On medium high heat, add oil to a large non stick pan. Add the pork and spread evenly. Keep the heat on medium high and turn the pork over after 2-3 minutes.
- Continue cooking the other side, making sure it develops a nice glaze and slight char but do not burn it. Adjust the heat if needed.
- Continuously stir/toss the pork around so that it doesn't burn, cooking until it is shiny and slightly charred all over. Total cooking time should be less than 10 minutes.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and chopped green onions.
- Enjoy with a bowl of rice, or make lettuce wraps. I like mine with red leaf lettuce, perilla leaves, jalapenos slices, and a little ssamjang.