Korean Pulled PorkSteven Raichlen
Korean Pulled Pork
- Equipment: Insulated rubber gloves or meat claws for pulling and shredding the pork
- 1 Boston butt (bone-in pork shoulder roast, preferably skin-on; 5 to 6 pounds)
- 1 cup gochujang
- 1 KB Sauce (see recipe)
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) melted butter
- 12 sesame seed buns, split
- Kimchi (use a good jarred or vacuum-sealed brand)
- Thai sweet chili sauce (one good brand is Mae Ploy)
Step 1: Place the pork shoulder in a deep baking dish. Spread the gochujang over the Boston butt on all sides. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours, the longer, the richer the flavor.
Step 2: Set up a smoker following the manufacturer’s instructions and preheat to 250°F. Add wood as specified by the manufacturer.
Step 3: Smoke the pork shoulder until darkly browned and crusty on the outside and the meat reaches an internal temperature of 195°F, 5 to 6 hours. Another test for doneness is to pull on the ends of any protruding bones—they should come out easily. Replenish the charcoal and wood as needed. There’s no point in rushing the process: If you don’t achieve the desired internal temperature, the pork won’t shred properly.
Step 4: When the pork is cooked, transfer it to a large cutting board or chopping block. Loosely tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 15 minutes.
Step 5: Pull off any skin and scrape any excess fat off of it. Crisp the skin over a hot fire on your grill, starting meat side down, or fry until crisp in hot vegetable oil (375°F).
Step 6: Pull out and discard any bones. Pull the meat into fist-size pieces, discarding any large lumps of fat. (Remember, you need some fat to keep the pork moist.) Using a cleaver or a heavy chef’s knife, coarsely chop the pork—the pieces should be between 1/4- and 1/2-inch in size. Alternatively, pull the pork into shreds using meat claws or two large forks.
Step 7: Transfer the pork to a large mixing bowl and stir enough KB Barbecue Sauce to give the meat a terrific flavor and make it moist (but not soupy). You’ll need about 1 cup.
Step 8: Now’s a good time to butter and grill or toast the buns.
Step 9: To serve, pile the meat on the buns—about 1/4 pound (3/4 cup) per sandwich. Top with kimchi and drizzle with sriracha and Thai sweet chili sauce, if using. Serve any extra KB sauce on the side. Wow!
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