Gochujang Pork Belly - Fennel Pear Salad


For this recipe I wanted to create a simple light dish using ingredients that would marry together in harmony. I have always loved anything that has gochujang as a base, and the salad element in this dish are ingredients that I would usually add to braise/marinade korean style meat dishes. Slowly braised pork belly then pressed with a refreshing salad is definitely the move. With all that said let's cook!

Cook Time 2 hrs 30 mins / Prep Time 30 mins / Press overnight (optional)

To serve 4-5


Pork Belly and Braise:

750g pork belly slab

2 pears

1 granny smith apple

5 garlic cloves

20g ginger

1/2 white onion

3 tbsp corn syrup or honey

2 tbsp gochujang

tbsp light soy

2 tbsp apple vinegar

3 tbsp mirin

water to cover pork


1 fennel bulb

1 granny smith apple

1-2 pears

5-6 radishes

Salad sesame dressing:

2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

3 tbsp sesame oil

1 tsp white sugar

1 tbsp rice vinegar

1-2 tsp light soy

touch of water

Gochujang sauce:

2 garlic cloves

2 tbsp gochujang

1-2 tbsp korean chilli flakes

2 tbsp mirin

2 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp white sugar

1 tbsp light soy

touch of water


Braised Pork Belly:

  1. Let's begin this recipe by braising the pork belly, this can be done the night before then chilled and pressed in the refrigerator. Start by removing any hairs left on the pork skin by lightly blowtorching. Next cut the slab into two equal strips of pork belly then place to one side for now (this will make portioning much easier when cooked and more manageable to cook).

2. Next onto the vegetables and fruit, as this is just a braise roughly chop 1/2 white onion 2 pears, 1 green apple, 20g of ginger and peel 5 garlic cloves. Add all of the roughly chopped ingredients to a large pan with a drizzle of sesame oil and place onto a medium heat. Cook for 4-5 minutes to sweat then add 2 tbsps of the gochujang and incorporate into the braise base. Deglaze the pan with 3 tbsp corn syrup, 2 tbsp apple vinegar, 4 tbsp light soy, 3 tbsp mirin.

3. Now that we have the base of the braise we can now add the sliced belly pork then add enough water to just about cover the pork. Bring the braise up to a boil then turn the heat down to a simmer. Place a lid over the top and slowly braise for 2 hours. This stage can be sped up by using a pressure cooker if you prefer.

4. After 2 hours of braising the pork belly should now be ready and have a nice gelatinous jiggle to it. Remove the pork belly from the braise and allow to cool onto a baking tray. As for the braise its purpose has finished for the recipe, however, pass the braise through a fine sieve and this will make the perfect base for soup or noodle broth. When the pork has cooled place another baking tray over the top leaving the the pork skin side up. Place a few heavy weights or tins on top and store in the fridge to complete chill and press.

Gochujang Sauce:

5. For the gochujang sauce/glaze start by finely mincing 2 garlic cloves then add to a small saucepan with 2 tbsps of sesame oil. Place onto a medium to low heat and saute the garlic for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant. Next add 2 tbsp of gochujang and 1-2 tbsp (depending on heat) to the garlic and cook for a further minute until the gochujang and chilli flakes become fragrant. Deglaze the pan by adding 2 tbsp mirin, 1 tbsp white sugar, 1 tbsp light soy and approx 50mls of water. Allow the sauce to reduce for 10-15 minutes or until the sauce becomes slightly thicker then remove from the heat and allow to cool to one side.

Salad Sesame Dressing:

6. Before we move onto finishing the dish let's make up a simple sesame dressing to carry the fennel salad. Start by adding 2 tbsp of toasted sesame seeds to a pestle and mortar and roughly grind. To finish the dressing add 1 tsp of white sugar, 1 tbsp rice vinegar and 3 tbsps of sesame oil then whisk until the sugar dissolves. Season with 1-2 tsp of light soy and add a touch of water to balance out the dressing.

Finishing the Pork Belly: