Jeyuk Bokkeum (Spicy Pork Bulgogi)

Just what you need to wake up your taste buds.

Spicy pork bulgogi on a platter, surrounded by condiment bowls

Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

It’s standard to see giant platters of frozen pork belly shingles or beef brisket curlicues at Korean BBQ joints. These thinly sliced, non-marinated meats cook up fast and are wildly popular, but can be hard to source for home cooking unless you live near a specialty butcher or Asian grocery store.

That's why marinated meats like bulgogi are commonly made at home—and they're equally as delicious. You can easily slice the meat and marinate it to pack tons of flavor and veggies into your standard Korean BBQ.

If you’re looking for a next-level recipe for your next Korean BBQ, try jeyuk bokkeum (spicy pork bulgogi)! Also known as dweji bulgogi, jeyuk bokkeum is sliced pork marinated in a spicy sauce. Jeyuk means “pork” and bokkeum means “stir-fry” in Korean. 

The pork only takes 30 minutes to marinate (and if you’re pressed for time, you can skip it altogether), making for an easy weeknight dinner. It can be grilled on a grill pan or stir-fried in a skillet. Either way, it cooks up super fast and is tender, juicy, and with just a bit of a spicy kick.

Even if you aren’t hosting a Korean BBQ, jeyuk bokkeum is great as an easy weeknight meal. Top rice with a heaping portion of the pork—a fried egg for extra credit—and mix it up for a super tasty and hearty meal. 

spicy pork bulgogi

Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

What Cut of Pork To Use

You can also use any cut of pork you have on hand, though I reach for pork shoulder or pork butt with a bit of fat for maximum flavor. It holds up to the strongly-flavored marinade, while the fat helps to keep everything juicy and tender.

Freeze the meat for about 30 minutes to make it easy to slice. But don’t worry too much about getting perfectly thin slices—bite-sized pieces of any shape or size will work just fine!

As an alternative, look for thinly sliced pork labeled “for bulgogi” at your local Asian grocery store, or ask your butcher to slice it for you. If you’re prepping at home,

The Spicy Marinade

The marinade for jeyuk bokkeum is made by processing Asian pear, onions, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and gochujang. It’s the perfect balance of spicy and sweet. The Asian pear helps break down the meat and the gochujang gives it a deeply flavorful spice. I like to use a mix of granulated sugar and honey for a savory sweetness. This sauce is super versatile too: sub the pork for beef ribeye to make a spicy beef bulgogi, or use chicken to make dak galbi!

spicy pork bulgogi in a lettuce wrap

Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

Add Veggies

I add thinly sliced onions to the marinated pork. You could add other veggies, like thinly sliced or chopped cabbage, or greens like broccoli rabe or bok choy, when you cook the pork.

How to Serve Jeyuk Bokkeum

Korean barbecued meats are most often eaten wrapped in lettuce leaves, called ssam or “wraps” in Korean. Look for red leaf or green leaf lettuce—gently pull the leaves so that they don’t tear, wash, and dry them well. I also love to source perilla leaves from my local Asian grocery store (a larger, more vegetal cousin of the shiso leaf) for an extra special ssam.

You can build your ssam any way you’d like: start by placing a small spoonful of rice on a lettuce leaf, top with a few pieces of jeyuk bokkeum, and perhaps some thinly shaved scallions or kimchi. Fold the leaf around the filling and enjoy!

Spicy pork bulgogi on a platter, surrounded by condiment bowls

Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

Jeyuk Bokkeum (Spicy Pork Bulgogi)

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Marinating Time 30 mins
Total Time 52 mins
Servings 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds pork shoulder or pork butt, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 small asian pear, cut into chunks

  • 1/2 yellow onion, cut into chunks

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger

  • 1 green onion, chopped

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 tablespoon rice syrup or honey

  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

  • 1/4 cup gochujang

  • Pinch ground black pepper

  • 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced

To serve

  • Thinly sliced green onions

  • Toasted sesame seeds

  • Lettuce leaves, for wrapping

  • Perilla leaves, for wrapping

  • Cooked rice, for serving

Method

  1. Slice the pork:

    Thinly slice the pork into bite-sized pieces, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Place the pork in a zip-top bag or a glass container and set it aside while you made the marinade.

    sliced pork in a bowl

    Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

  2. Make the marinade:

    In a food processor, combine the pear, onion, garlic, ginger, and green onion, and process to a purée. Add the soy sauce, sugar, honey, sesame oil, gochujang, and black pepper, and pulse until combined. Pour the sauce over the pork and mix to coat. Cover and marinate for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours, in the refrigerator.

    bulgogi sauce in a food processor
    marinated pork in bowl

    Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

  3. Cook the pork:

    When you’re ready to cook the pork, heat a cast iron pan or Korean BBQ grill pan over medium-high heat. Add the pork along with the thinly sliced onion, working in batches so that the meat doesn’t overlap and create steam, and cook, turning often, until the meat is cooked through and slightly charred, about 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a large platter. 

    Top with sesame seeds and green onions. Serve with lettuce and/or perilla leaves to make wraps, or over rice.

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    cooked pork in cast iron skillet

    Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

    Spicy pork bulgogi on a platter

    Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
450 Calories
26g Fat
27g Carbs
27g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 450
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 34%
Saturated Fat 9g 44%
Cholesterol 94mg 31%
Sodium 1258mg 55%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 18g
Protein 27g
Vitamin C 13mg 64%
Calcium 93mg 7%
Iron 2mg 14%
Potassium 544mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.