Miso-Gochujang Pulled Pork
Start to finish: 4 hours (1 hour active) | Servings: 6 to 8
This Asian-inflected take on barbecue pulled pork was inspired by the “Pigalicious” wrap served at Bird & Ewe in Sydney. White miso and gochujang provide deep, savory-sweet notes and lots of complex flavor to oven- braised pork butt. Miso usually is sold in the refrigerator case; gochujang, or Korean red pepper paste, does not require refrigeration until the container is opened. Both are available in well-stocked supermarkets and Asian grocery stores. The pork cooks for about three hours; use this time to prep and cook the miso-seasoned onions that are combined with the meat after shredding.
Don’t forget to skim the fat off the cooking liquid so the pulled pork doesn’t end up greasy. But make sure to allow the liquid to settle before skimming so all the fat has time to rise to the surface.
- 5 pound boneless pork butt, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
- 3⁄4 cup gochujang, divided
- 6 tablespoons white miso, divided
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, stems minced, leaves left whole, reserved separately
- 1⁄4 cup hoisin sauce
- 3 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 3 chunks
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
- 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- Pickled jalapeños, to serve
Heat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the lower-middle position. In a large Dutch oven, combine the pork, 1⁄2 cup of gochujang, 2 tablespoons of miso, the cilantro stems, the hoisin, ginger and 1 cup water; stir to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium-high, then cover and place in the oven. Cook until a skewer inserted into the meat meets no resistance, about 3 hours.
Meanwhile, in a nonstick 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onions and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, then reduce to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Stir in the remaining 4 tablespoons miso and cook, stirring frequently, until the miso begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a large bowl. When cool enough to handle, shred into bite-size pieces, discarding any fat; set aside. Remove and discard the ginger chunks from the cooking liquid. Tilt the pot to pool the liquid to one side and use a wide spoon to skim off and discard as much fat as possible from the surface. Bring to a simmer over medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by about half and a spatula drawn through the sauce leaves a trail, 5 to 7 minutes.
Whisk in the remaining 4 tablespoons gochujang. Stir in the pork and onions. Reduce to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until heated through, 5 to 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in the vinegar, then taste and season with pepper. Serve with cilantro leaves, pickled carrots and pickled jalapeños.
Start to finish: 10 minutes | Makes about 1 cup
The creamy texture and mild, sweet-salty flavor of white miso, also called shiro miso, worked best for this dressing. Walnuts gave it richness and body. If the dressing becomes too thick after being refrigerated, gradually whisk in water to thin it.
Don’t toast the walnuts. They provide texture, but their flavor should be subtle. Toasting them makes them too assertive.
- 1⁄3 cup walnuts
- 1⁄3 cup white miso
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, plus 1⁄4 cup lemon juice (1 to 2 lemons)
- 1⁄4 cup water
- 1-ounce piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1⁄2 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
In a blender, combine all ingredients except the oil. Blend until the walnuts are finely ground and the dressing is smooth, about 1 minute. Add the oil and blend until emulsified, about 30 seconds.
1. Chopped salad prepared with romaine, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, radishes, red onion and mint.
2. Radicchio, Endive and Arugula Salad with Roasted Beets and toasted chopped Walnuts
3. Drizzle on sautéed-steamed greens. Spinach, kale, chard or bok choy.
4. Tossed with or drizzled on top of blanched vegetables; especially green beans, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots.
5. As a sauce for Poached White Fish Fillets or Salmon
6. A dressing for Cabbage Slaws –thinly sliced red, white or Napa cabbage with grated carrots, thin sliced scallions, fine diced jalapeno and herbs such as parsley, cilantro, basil or mint.
7. Dressing for a Shredded Chicken Salad with blanched sugar snap peas, thinly sliced red pepper and celery, and a fresh herb of your choice.
8. Dressing for a Rice Salad with small diced celery, cucumber, chopped, toasted almonds, raisins, thin sliced scallions and chopped parsley or mint.
9. Drizzled on grilled vegetables, especially eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, asparagus and onions.
10. Dressing for a Chickpea Salad with minced garlic, small diced celery, finely chopped parsley and mint. Serve on a bed of salad greens
Roasted Cauliflower with Miso Glaze
Start to finish: 30 minutes | Servings: 4
This recipe—inspired by a dish at Fujisaki, a Japanese restaurant along the Sydney waterfront—coats chunks of cauliflower with dengaku, a thick, miso-based glaze that is sweet and savory. We roast the cauliflower before tossing the richly browned florets with miso blended with vinegar and ginger, then top it with toasted pistachios, scallions and cilantro. The result is fresh, warm and rich.
Don’t forget to heat the baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes while preparing the cauliflower. A heated baking sheet—along with allowing the cauliflower to roast without stirring—ensure flavor-building caramelization.
- 2-pound head cauliflower, trimmed, cored and cut into 1 1⁄2- to 2-inch florets
- 3 tablespoons peanut oil
- Ground white pepper
- 1⁄3 cup red or white miso
- 4 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar 2 teaspoons sake
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
- 1⁄4 cup shelled roasted pistachios, chopped 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Heat the oven to 500°F with a rack in the lowest position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place the baking sheet in the oven.
Place the cauliflower in a large bowl. Add the oil and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper, then toss to coat. When the oven is at temperature, quickly remove the baking sheet and distribute the cauliflower in an even layer; reserve the bowl. Roast until the cauliflower is just tender and browned in spots, 15 to 18 minutes; do not stir.
Meanwhile, in the reserved bowl, whisk together the miso, vinegar, sake, honey, ginger and 2 tablespoons water. As soon as the cauliflower is done, transfer to the bowl with the miso mixture and gently toss. Carefully stir in the pistachios, scallions and cilantro. Transfer to a serving platter.
PHOTO CREDIT: CONNIE MILLER OF CB CREATIVES