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Korean-Inspired Spicy Pork Rice Bowl

Korean-Inspired Spicy Pork Rice Bowl

Renée Robinson

Everything I Love About Food is Right Here in This Bowl.

I eat some type of rice bowl regularly. The varieties are practically endless, but for me, they always include some type of protein, something crunchy, and something spicy. I went with a Korean flavored dipping sauce and marinade this time, using gochujang, gochugaru, and doenjang as some of my flavorings. If this is new to you, gochujang is a sweet/savory/spicy red chili paste, which is regularly used in Korean dishes, and can be bought in both mild and hot versions. Gochugaru is a blend of red pepper flakes and doenjang is a fermented soybean paste. Many grocery stores carry these products now, as well as Korean markets. But they can also easily be found online.

I used both gochujang and doenjang for the sweet and spicy dipping sauce, along with some garlic, rice vinegar and honey. Nothing complicated here. I just stirred together the ingredients and put it aside while I got on with the rest of the meal.

Korean-Inspired Spicy Sauce Mix

Ever since getting the meat grinding attachment for my Kitchenaid stand mixer, I’ve been grinding my own pork because it is so much better than what I can buy. I use pork shoulder (Boston Butt) and grind it coarsely. I usually grind 4 or 5 pounds, use what I need and stash the rest in the freezer for future meals. In this case, I combined the pork with gochujang, gochugaru, mirin, soy sauce and a little brown sugar. I put it to the side while I put my rice on to cook and prepped the rest of the ingredients.

After mincing, grating, and slicing the onions, garlic, ginger and scallions, I used my kitchen torch to lightly toast a couple sheets of nori and crumbled them up. Now it was simply a matter of cooking it up in the wok and dinner was served. Kimchi was essential for this and some toasted sesame seeds added a nice little crunch. 

Everything I love about food is all there in that bowl. Deep umami, bright and spicy sauce, funky kimchi, crunchy romaine, smokey nori, and soothing rice. I like to pick and choose each individual bite, balancing out the flavors as I eat. As I said, I eat these regularly. Simply because I love them.

Korean-Inspired Spicy Pork Rice Bowl

Recipe by Renée Robinson



Rice, Gochujang Pork, and a Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce Combine for a Great Rice Bowl

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  • Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons hot gochujang

  • 1 large garlic clove, pressed

  • 2 tablespoons doenjang

  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • Pork and Marinade Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup hot gochujang

  • 2 tablespoons sake (mirin)

  • 1 tablespoon gochugaru

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar

  • 1 1/4 pounds ground pork

  • Remaining Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil

  • 1 large yellow onion, minced

  • 5 large garlic cloves, pressed

  • 3 inches fresh ginger, grated

  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

  • 3 sheets nori, toasted and crumbled

  • 2 cups very thinly sliced romaine lettuce

  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

  • 2 cups Japanese short grain rice, or whatever type you prefer, cooked according to package directions

  • Kimchi


  • Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce Directions
  • Stir all ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Pork and Marinade Directions
  • Mix all ingredients together and add the pork shoulder. Stir to combine and let sit for at least 30 minutes.
  • Remaining Directions
  • Add the oil to a hot wok. Add the minced onion and stir for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute. Add the pork and stir until fully cooked and some of the bits are starting to caramelize. Add half the scallions and stir for about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat.
  • Put some rice in each bowl, add the pork, remaining scallions, and sesame seeds. Serve with kimchi, toasted nori, romaine lettuce, and the Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce.


  • Wok

4 Responses

  1. Yes, this rice bowl is calling my name. I have a couple quick questions, though.
    1. Is “Hot gochujang” a specific type of gochujang, or can I use my gochujang that doesn’t specifically say “hot”?
    2. When cooking the onion, garlic, and ginger, what do I look for in order to tell if they are done? I will be using a skillet instead of a wok so time and temperature will probably be different for me.

    Yet another tasty recipe that I will enjoy making and eating. Plus, I learn a bit more about using doenjang. Win, Win, Win!

    1. Daryl, my particular brand of gochujang comes in mild and hot versions. You are the only one who can judge if the amount I specified will be to your heat tolerance and liking. As to the cooking of the aromatics, they should need no more than a minute or two in your skillet. You’ll really only be able to tell by both sight and smell. They should be very fragrant and lose their raw look. I can’t wait to hear how you like this. I’m nuts for rice bowls and this one was particularly delicious. Hope you enjoy it! Thank you!

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