Grilled Korean Spiced Pork with Water Chestnut Salad
With August steadily advancing into September, and the specter of cold also getting nearer, the days of the grill are numbered. So when a lovely weekend came around, we made the best of a sunny Sunday by opting for a grilled pork meal.
The pork was marinated with a kochujoung paste, which is a hot pepper paste commonly used in Korean cuisine. The usual ingredients for the kochujoung paste are red chili powder, powdered glutinous rice, fermented soybeans and salt.
This dark red paste adds layers of flavour to the meat and gives it enough of a kick to make it interesting.
In place of kochujoung paste, you could use samchang paste, which is another hot pepper sauce of Korean origin.
In addition to the water chestnuts, the salad has cucumbers, red and orange peppers, scallions, and cilantro.
The assortment of vegetables adds colour appeal to the salad.
To align the flavours of the salad with the grilled meat, I used a dressing with mirin, tamari, fish sauce, and lime zest.
This worked very well with the crispy vegetables, giving them a lovely coating of tang and freshness.
For a coolish evening, after a sunny day, this meal was just right; fully balanced in flavours and nutrition. A well chilled fruity white wine was the perfect companion for this meal.
And a major plus, the leftover grilled pork makes great sandwiches for next day’s lunch!
- 6 pieces thin cut pork loin
- 1 tbsp kochujoung paste; can be replaced with samchang paste
- One 8 oz can of water chestnuts
- 1 cucumber
- 4 scallions
- 1 each red and orange sweet pepper
- 10 sprigs of cilantro
- ½ green chili
- ¼ inch ginger
- Zest of 1 lime
- 1 tbsp mirin
- ½ tsp tamari
- ¼ tsp fish sauce
- Salt to taste
- Apply the kochujoung paste and salt on the pork and let sit for 30 minutes.
- Thinly slice all the vegetables for the salad (can be done in a food processor) and set aside.
- Thinly slice the green chili for the dressing.
- Finely mince the ginger.
- Mix all the ingredients for the dressing, in a small bowl and keep aside.
- Cook the pork on an outdoor grill (about 3 minutes per side). You can also use a grill pan indoors, if you prefer.
- Toss all the salad vegetables together.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Dress the salad with the prepared dressing and serve.