Korean food is wonderful, and in my opinion, under-appreciated. When I lived in Sao Paulo, I loved a restaurant that specialized in Korean barbecue, a gastronomic experience not to be missed.   Unfortunately, our current location is less blessed with good restaurants, and Korean food is nowhere to be found.  The only way to satisfy my cravings is to cook it at home! I’ve made this dish many times since it was first published in Fine Cooking, and it’s become one of our favorites.

(receita em portugues na pagina seguinte)

(adapted from Fine Cooking #78, April 2006)

2 small pork tenderloins (about 1-1/4 lb.)
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 Tbs rice vinegar
2 Tbs. brown sugar
1 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
1/2 Tbs. Asian sesame oil
1/2 Tbs.  Asian chile sauce (like Sriracha)
2 to 4 Tbs canola oil

for salad
1 lb. napa cabbage, thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
1 cup grated carrot
4 scallions (both white and green parts), trimmed and thinly sliced
1 Tbs. canola or peanut oil
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 Tbs. rice vinegar
1 Tbs brown sugar
Kosher salt

Trim the pork of any silverskin and excess fat, and cut on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick medallions. Pound each slice gently with a meat mallet, protecting it with plastic wrap as you pound it.

In a small measuring cup, whisk together the soy sauce, 2 Tbs. of the rice vinegar, 2 Tbs. of the brown sugar, the garlic, ginger, 1/2 Tbs. of the sesame oil, and 2 tsp. of the chile sauce. Toss 1/2 cup of this mixture with the pork medallions in a large bowl; reserve the remaining mixture to use as a sauce, if you want.  Let the pork sit at room temperature for 25 minutes or refrigerate for up to 12 hours.

Meanwhile, in another large bowl, toss the cabbage and the carrot with half of the scallions, 1 Tbs. of the canola oil, 1 tsp. salt, and the remaining 2 Tbs. rice vinegar, 1 Tbs. brown sugar, 1/2 Tbs. sesame oil, and 1 tsp. chile sauce. Let sit for 15 minutes, toss again, and transfer to a large serving platter.

Heat 2 Tbs. of the canola oil in a 12-inch, heavy-based skillet over medium high heat until very hot. Remove the pork from the marinade, shaking off the excess, and transfer the pork to a clean plate. Discard the marinade. Add half of the pork medallions to the skillet, spacing them evenly. Cook them without touching until well browned, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until the pork is just cooked through about 2 more minutes. Set the pork on top of the slaw. Pour out the oil and wipe the pan with paper towels (if the drippings on the bottom of the pan look like they may burn, wash the pan). Return the pan to medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2 Tbs. canola oil, and cook the remaining medallions in the same manner. Top the slaw with the remaining pork, and pour the reserved soy-ginger sauce over the medallions. Serve immediately, sprinkled with the remaining scallions.

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CommentsNapa cabbage is best in this recipe, but I’ve made it with regular green cabbage too.  In that case,  it’s important to slice it thin, otherwise it can be a little too crunchy.   This dish surprised us because it’s tastier than  expected from the ingredients and preparation.  I usually marinate the meat in the morning, and leave it in the fridge the whole day, for a super-easy dinner after work.  Don’t be alarmed by the state of the frying pan when you finish cooking the meat: the high sugar content in the marinade tends to cause it to stick  to the pan, but it rinses off quite easily… no elbow grease needed.  😉

Instead of adding the reserved marinade on top of the meat, I advise you to try a little on your plate – some people might find it too strong.  I often skip the additional sauce, particularly when the meat was marinated for several hours.

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