This salad is a reflection of many of our favorite elements of Korean food. The base is a fresh kimchi mix of vegetables topped with succulent seared pork marinated with soy sauce and rice vinegar. Then you mix it all together with a rich and spicy gochujang-based dressing. What is gochujang, you ask? Gochujang is sort of an augmented Korean miso paste. For example, if you happened to be making miso in your closet—like you do—you’d be adding a lot of soy proteins and glutinous rice together to hang out and ferment for a few months. Now, if you happened to dump a lot of Korean red chili powder in with that probiotic culture party, the result would be similar to gochujang. It’s a versatile thing, and we think the stuff is pretty magical.
How do you find it? You can buy tubs of it for cheap at your local Asian market and, if refrigerated, it will last for years. You might even keep it for that long, too. A little goes a long way. The only catch is that I can’t promise that you’ll find a container advertising in English. I’m sure that if you ask, someone will help a wide-eyed home cook who looks hopelessly lost in the soy sauce aisle.
- 1/2 lb. pork chops
- 2 tbs. soy sauce
- 2 tbs. rice vinegar
Korean Power Salad
- 2 cups Napa cabbage leaves, shredded
- 1 bunch of leafy kale, de-stemmed, shredded
- 1 carrot, shredded
- ⅓ asian pear, thinly sliced and segmented
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tbs. sesame seeds
- 2 tsp. gochujang
- 1 tsp water
- 1 tbs. rice vinegar
- 1 tbs. sesame oil
- 1 tbs. soy sauce
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Meat drippings
Mix soy sauce and vinegar in a container, then put pork chops in mixture. Allow meat to marinate for at least an hour (overnight is preferable). Make sure that both sides of the meat get equal marination time. Take meat out an hour before cooking to bring it to room temperature before cooking.
Combine all salad ingredients in a bowl and toss with your hands, making sure all ingredients are evenly distributed. Set salad aside and cook the meat.
In a hot pan, sear the pork until done (140°F) and the exterior caramelizes. Remove from pan and allow to rest on a plate. Make the dressing by mixing gochujang, water, rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, and garlic in a small bowl. When the meat has finished resting, take the meat juices that have accumulated and mix them into the dressing. Pour the dressing into the salad and toss. Slice meat thinly and serve on top of salad.