Deji Bul Gogi, Spicy Grilled Korean Pork

Deji bul gogi, spicy grilled Korean pork, is usually served as a side dish or ban chon. Deji means pig. Bul means fire. Gogi means meat. Literally, deji bul gogi means pig fire meat. Pig… Fire… Meat…

Add kick to your dinner with easy pig fire meat.

Happy eating!

umma's spicy grilled pork (dak gui)


  • 1 Pound pork (I buy tenderloin that’s already trimmed, sliced. It’s about $7 at the Korean market.)
  • 1/2 Cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 Cup brown sugar
  • 1 Asian pear, pureed
  • 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons dark sesame seed oil
  • 1/4 Cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 8 Cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 Tablespoons kochu jahng (Korean hot pepper paste)
  • 2 Tablespoons kochu garu (Korean hot pepper powder)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Bunch scallions, chopped in 2-inch lengths
  • Vegetable oil, for the grill

Condiments and Sides

  • Korean miso paste
  • Kochu jahng (Korean red pepper paste)
  • 3-4 Korean green finger peppers, thinly sliced
  • Scallions, shredded
  • Kimchi, of course
  • 1 Large head red-leaf or green-leaf lettuce, leaves separated

In a large glass bowl with a lid (you can also use a large Ziploc bag), ginger, kochu jahng, kochu garu, and black pepper. Add the slices of pork loin and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate the pork for at least 3 hours. Marinate overnight for best results.

Heat the grill. Lightly brush the grate with vegetable oil. Remove the tenderloin from the bowl or bag and place in the center of grate. Discard the marinade. Cover and grill for 12 to 15 minutes, turning every 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. You want the internal temperature to be 140 degrees F.

Transfer the grilled pork to 1 end of a platter and arrange the lettuce leaves on the other end. Serve the pork with the suggested condiments, rice and other bon chan (Korean side dishes).


Umma’s Refreshing Oi Naeng Guk (Oi Nang Guk) Korean Cucumber Soup

Umma’s Refreshing Oi (pronounced O E) Naeng Guk is perfect for lunch on a hot summer day. It’s light, tangy, and refreshing. Mom used to make a big bowl of this and we used to eat it alone, no rice, no noodles, just oi naeng guk. Best of all, it’s easy to make and the clean up is a breeze.

Serve it with brown rice and other bahn chan such as steamed eggs and spicy bean sprouts for a healthy fare that will energize you all day.

It is traditionally served with rice, but I like soba noodles with it as well.

Happy eating!

Oi Naeng Guk


  • 2 Large cucumbers, matchsticks
  • 1-2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon fish sauce
  • 3 Cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 Scallions, chopped
  • 1 Red chili pepper, seeded, chopped
  • 2 Teaspoons distilled vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon kochu garu (Korean hot pepper powder)
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 Cups purified water

In a large bowl, add cucumbers and all ingredients except water and thoroughly mix. Pour in a little bit of water at a time, stirring after each pour. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

Add 5-8 ice cubes and serve with rice and other bahn chan.

This is Oi Naeng Guk over soba noodles.

Cool as Cucumber Soba Noodles


Doh-tori Muk… Acorn “Tofu” with Sesame, Soy Sauce Dressing

Dotori (acorn in Korean) is a popular Korean ingredient. With no fat, no cholesterol, no sodium, it’s also pretty good for you. It comes in various forms including jelly (like tofu), noodles (like soba noodles) and strips. Most Asian stores sell the variety.

Umma’s Dotorimuk with Sesame, Soy Sauce Dressing is an easy side dish for any Korean meal.

Koreans use soy sauce like Americans use ketchup and mustard. We put it on everything. My mom used to take a small bottle of it with her whenever we went out to eat and drizzled it on whatever she ordered. We’d go out to a steak house and she’d slyly take out her bottle, pour some on her steak or rice pilaf and sneak it back into her purse. Since most restaurants have soy sauce these days, she’s retired the bottle. This soy sauce mixture is versatile. You can pour it on grilled zucchini, tofu, egg plants or any of your favorite vegetables. My mom’s favorites for this condiment are tofu, zucchini and acorn jelly.

This is the recipe for acorn jelly with soy sauce, sesame dressing. Umma’s Dotori (acorn) Muk (jelly) is topped with sesame, soy sauce dressing, cucumbers and nori.

Happy eating!
Dotorimuk... Acorn "Tofu" with Sesame, Soy Sauce Dressing

  • 1 Carton acorn jelly, sliced into squares (found in Asian markets like HMart)
  • 1/2 Cup soy sauce
  • 2 Teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Teaspoon sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons kochu-garu (Korean red pepper powder)
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 Korean green pepper, chopped
  • 2 Stalks scallions, chopped
  • 1 Cucumber, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 Red finger pepper, diagonally sliced
  • 3 Sheets of nori (seaweed), crumbled
  • 4 Red lettuce leaves, cut in large pieces

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, sugar, kochu garu and sesame seeds. Fold in the red peppers and scallions.

In medium-size bowl, place the acorn jelly squares. Top with cucumbers, lettuce and sesame, soy sauce dressing. Toss until combined. Top with nori.

Serve with rice and other bon chan (Korean side dishes).