My freezer is starting to look pretty barren, but I did find some packaged rice cakes (available at most Asian groceries) and pork. In the fridge I had lettuce from previous salads, gochujang paste (also available at many Asian groceries), and miso paste. And in my pantry I had mirin, sesame oil, and honey. My inspiration was Korean BBQ - perfectly cooked meat that is coated in a rich, spicy-sweet chili paste and tucked nicely into lettuce leaf. So flavorful, but relatively light and healthy. My idea was to take this concept and make it into a spring salad - chile-marinated grilled meat nestled on a bed of greens with crispy rice cake "croutons." This salad was oh-so-good! I'm sad to be leaving DC but glad that I can take this recipe with all my favorite Korean flavors with me to Utah.
Here are the ingredients you need:
- 1 tbsp gochujang paste
- 1 tsp mirin vinegar
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp miso paste
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tbsp of the marinade from above
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Red leaf lettuce, washed, dried, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 lb boneless pork chops, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/4 lb Korean-style rice cakes, sliced
- 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
Place the pork in a small mixing bowl and coat with a tablespoon of the marinade above. Marinate the meat for at least 20 minutes, up to 24 hours. Add the olive oil to a hot non-stick skillet and slowly place the sliced rice cakes into the oil. Fry the rice cakes until they are golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove them with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate, seasoning immediately with a pinch of kosher salt. Sear the pork in the skillet, browning all sides, about 3 -4 minutes total. Remove the pork and set aside on a plate. Toss the lettuce with the salad dressing then add the hot pork, crispy rice cake croutons and garnish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
You can substitute the pork in this recipe with chicken, beef, shrimp, or tofu.