I have an addiction; it looms over me like a cloud, becoming larger and larger until it bursts into a torrential downpour over my being! Ok a bit overdramatic but the feeling is the same, I am addicted to Korean BBQ.
My brother was the first one to open my eyes to the wonders of Korean BBQ when we were running around the Korean neighborhood in New York City. Our night had a basic plan; go see a movie, grab a bite somewhere in K-Town (as they called it), then Korean Karaoke and the bars to follow. Sounded simple enough, but when we got to dinner I almost called the rest of the evening off.
We walked into this little mom and pop restaurant, buffet, general store, potential herbal doctor business. The smell was intoxicating, the sounds of sizzling meats, yelling conversations of family members packed ten deep on a 4 person table, and sight of bowls and bowls of fresh and delicious looking dishes made my head spin. We took a seat and my brothers Korean friends started firing off orders in Korean to the server who, after feverishly writing, said a few words then disappeared.
|It was a crazy night in K-Town|
We all grabbed a round of OB Korean Beer settled in for a feast. When the waiter arrived I ate like a man possessed. Every flavor was bright, new and unique. The meat, the vegetables, The Kimchee other sides and the sauces made me never want to leave. My brother had to almost pry me from the table so we could make our date with a Korean Karaoke parlor.
So since then I get these cravings for the food, they sit heavy on my mind till I just have to run out and feed the beast. But after eating my way through the entire menu at several different Korean restaurants around town I wanted something new, something a bit un-orthodox.
Here is our new Korean Pulled Pork Sliders topped with a spicy coleslaw dressed with a pickled ginger and cilantro vinaigrette on a sesame seed bun… oh my! We first started by marinating the bone in pork butt in a mixture of soy, rice wine vinegar, sesame seeds and oil, green and white onion, our home made chili flakes, sugar and a dash of shaoxing wine overnight. Then we covered the pan with all the marinade and braised it low and slow for 4 hours till the meat was fall off the bone tender. Another 10 minutes in a 400 degree oven to add a caramelized crust to the outside and this piggy was cooked!
The flavor profile was a full pallet emersion journey hitting every taste bud along the way. And, taking a cue from traditional southern pulled pork, we topped the slider with a slaw made of red and green cabbage, carrot, cilantro, shaved red onion, and red peppers. But to really make this slaw stand out against the unctuous pork we needed a dressing with an acidic bite -- a sweet and acidic pickled ginger vinaigrette with cilantro coated the slaw and perfectly complimented the powerful pork.
But why stop at sliders when this pork is just screaming for tacos! Picture the action station, a steamer full of fresh steamed “taco” buns, a chafing dish stuffed with hot and delicious pulled pork, all surrounded by bowls of pickled carrots, cucumbers and ginger, our fresh pickled ginger slaw, and springs of cilantro. A fun and unique spin to put on the classic taco bar! A Korean “Taco”……Imagine then enjoy!
Stay tuned for more inspired dishes from Lon Lane's Inspired Occasions Research and Development Department!