I recently got a subscription to the online New York Times Cooking magazine. I love scrolling through their recipes for inspiration, great photography and easy to follow recipes.
I bought some gojuchang (Korean spice sauce) the other day at the Asian supermarket, I had already seen it come by in a few recipes, but hadn’t really figured out what I wanted to make with it yet. And then this recipe was brought to my attention. A perfect first dish to try out this spice Korean sauce!
Mapo Ragù - Korean Spicy Minced Pork
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 3 tbsp vegetable or peanut oil
- 2 large onions, peeled and sliced
- Pinch of sea salt, or to taste
- 1 pound ground pork (I used 50/50 beef & pork)
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 2 cm fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 3 tbsp gochujang (Korean chili-bean paste)
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp Szechuan peppercorns (optional) - roughly crushed in a pestle and mortar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 bunch bimi or any hearty cooking greens, roughly chopped
- 2 spring onions, thinly sliced, for garnish
Steam or cook the rice as mentioned on the packaging (I boil it for 8 minutes in salted water, drain and then let steam in the pan for another 8 minutes or until the rest of the food is done).
Heat the oil in heavy based pan set over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add the onions and the pinch of salt.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have released their moisture and are starting to brown, approximately 8 minutes.
Then turn the heat down to low, and continue to cook, stirring every few minutes, until they have turned golden brown and sweet, an additional 20 minutes or so.
While the onions are sautéeing you can start preparing the rest.
In a bowl mix the sauce ingredients: gojuchang, soy sauce, sugar, Szechuan peppercorns (if using) and water, set aside.
Add a tablespoon of oil to a wok and then add the pork and beef mixture.
Cook the meat, breaking it up with a spoon, until it is just cooked, but not yet browning, approximately 10 minutes.
Add the cooked meat to the onions and set aside.
Return wok to stove over medium heat and cook the garlic and ginger in fat remaining from pork (add an extra splash of neutral oil if necessary).
When the garlic and ginger soften, add the sauce mix and stir through.
Return the mince and onions mixture to the wok and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Bring sauce to a simmer, and add the chopped bimi, then stir to combine and cook until they have started to soften, approximately 7-8 minutes.
Serve the ragù with steamed rice and garnish with the sliced scallions.