Korean BBQ seems to be the one dish that most non-Korean people will recognize. Some will claim to even love it! Who wouldn’t love the deliciously grilled slabs of pork belly and sweet bulgogi beef cooked perfectly by the waiters who surround our tables and flip and cut the meats for us on to our plates?
It’s always fun to meet with friends at these restaurants and spend a long dinner chowing down on the different types of meats while downing a few shots of soju until we eat too much that we lose our feeling in our tummies. Well, maybe to that extreme it’s just me. With our recent move to Boston, this has become harder. Boston (and Cambridge) overall is really lacking in the Korean food scene. There are a few restaurants in the area but even fewer that are worthwhile. (Once, my husband had an almost-frozen strip of pork belly brought to the table to be grilled. He was with a group of non-Koreans and was embarrassed into this introduction of Korean food. Shame on you, restaurant!)
What this does mean is that we bring Korean BBQ home! We have our own stove top burner ( as many Koreans do) and we enjoy our meats at our own leisure. The only major downside is the smell. It smells delicious the first 2 hours but when you’re stuffed, and want to go to bed, the pleasantness of the smell fades and it can mean burning a lot of candles with the window open.
So! On to today’s recipe. What can make delicious Korean pork belly without the massive amount of smoke? Oven roasted pork belly! At times, I like it simple with just salt and pepper seasoning. But there are times in life when you want to bring it up a notch. This recipe is still very simple but the addition of the light sauce caramelizing the outside of the pork belly with a sweet and salty touch really helps to level up the dish. And everything is done in the oven so no smoke issues.