I feel like Alex and I have been on a Korean kick lately. A few weeks ago we made a Korean chicken dish and we had kalbi over the weekend. And then I found this Pork and Potato Saute in our Korean cookbook, which we served with a Korean Mixed Simple Salad from the same cookbook. And if I get out of work in enough time tomorrow we are going to make a Korean cucumber salad and the apple kimchi from our Momofuku cookbook. See? It's a total Korean kick! If this is the least successful of our Korean recipes, I will be a very happy cook. While I didn't love this dish, it was a really homey, rustic dish - the type of dish that would be really welcome on a really cold winter day. The potatoes soak up a lot of flavor from the braising liquid and make the dish feel very hearty. The pork on the other hand, does not. I wish there had been a little more spice and depth of flavor from the gochujang-marinade. I also wish there had been more soy (or salt). Instead of braising future pork dishes I might make a variation on the Korean Spicy Chicken (Dak Bulgogi) we made earlier this month with pork instead of chicken. I just thought the dak bulgogi had better flavor. Alex agreed that the chicken was better, but he said that he enjoyed the pork and potato leftovers today for lunch. My problem with this dish is the same problem that I have with most braises. I always expect the meat in a braise to be imbued with the flavor of the braising liquid and that is rarely the case. I also expect the meat to be moist, when it is often dry. Leftovers are often better because as the meat sits in the braising liquid in the fridge overnight it soaks up some of the braising liquid and becomes more flavorful. So maybe that is why Alex enjoyed his leftovers today as much as he did...
Recipe after the jump!
Pork and Potato Saute (Jeyuk Sun)
The Korean Kitchen: Classic Recipes from the Land of the Morning Calm
By Copeland Marks
1 lb boneless pork loin
4 scallions, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1-2 tsp gochujang paste
2 tsp rice wine
3 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed
1-inch section fresh ginger, crushed
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp, plus 1 tsp canola oil
2 medium potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
1 cup water
1 egg, beaten
1 semi-hot green chili, seeded, cut into 3-inch long julienne strips
1 small onion, sliced (about 1/3 cup)
1/2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp salt
Cut the pork into strips 3 inches long, 1/2 inch wide and 1/4 inch thick. Mix the slices with scallions, gochujang, rice wine, sugar, pepper, garlic, ginger and soy sauce. Set aside for 15 minutes.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and fry the potatoes over moderate heat just long enough for the potatoes to begin to turn golden, about 3 minutes. Add water and bring to a boil. Add pork and marinade, cover, and cook over moderately low heat until most of the liquid evaporates, about 30 minutes. Check on the pork mixture after 20-25 minutes and if the liquid has not evaporated much, remove the lid for the remaining 5-10 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
Heat 1 tsp oil in a nonstick skillet, add the egg, and prepare a thin omelet, flipping once to ensure that it cooks through. Remove from skillet and set it aside on a cutting board to cool. Cut omelet in half and then cut into strips that are roughly 3-inches long and 1/2-inch wide.
Add chili, onion, sesame seeds, sesame oil and salt to the same skillet. Stir-fry over moderate heat until the vegetables have softened, about 3 minutes.
Put the pork and potato mixture in a serving bowl or dish. Scatter egg strips and vegetables over the pork mixture.
Serve with kimchi and rice.