Get ready for some mouthwatering, tummy-rumbling food photos. I am absolutely in love with this recipe. It is easy and delicious. Only 3 ingredients! The pork is tender, juicy and almost steak-like. The Korean BBQ sauce is sweet, soy-saucy, and has a tiny bit of spice (but isn’t hot on the tongue). Honestly, Korean BBQ is unlike anything I have ever had before. I’ve been kind of tired of the overly sweet and tangy American style BBQ sauce and am glad there is a new savory alternative we have clung to.
This recipe is super easy because all it takes is some rice (even easier if you have a rice cooker), some cubed meat, Korean BBQ sauce of your choice, and a grill. Also, if you don’t have a grill, you can still totally make this on the stove.
This recipe is not authentic Korean BBQ, it is Korean BBQ style kebabs. If you’re looking for the real thing, I recommend looking for other recipes or to try it at a nearby Korean restaurant. However, this recipe is darn delicious and deserves sharing.
What Sauce to Use?
We got our Korean BBQ sauce from Trader Joe’s because I’ve been wanting to try it but haven’t had the time to go to the Asian market in Denver for something more authentic. Derek is not affected by soy sauce, so he is okay to eat this, but if you are GF or celiac, Trader Joe’s sauce is NOT GLUTEN-FREE, read below my recommendations for a GF alternative.
If you don’t have an Asian market near you or a good Asian aisle in a local grocery store, I highly recommend the Trader Joe’s option. It might not be the most authentic, but if it gets your foot in the door and it starts letting you explore other cultures, who cares? Food is about bringing people together, not marginalizing people for inauthenticity (I’ll get off my soapbox now).
If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s, Asian market, or Asian grocery aisle, I got you covered. I recommend this recipe to make your own Korean BBQ sauce. It is relatively simple and your taste buds will thank you.
If you do have options for an authentic Korean BBQ sauce, I read somewhere (I can’t find it for the life of me) that you should look for a bottle that states it has real Asian pear. Apparently, the better sauce will use real Asian pear making it more tasty and authentic. Try your best to find what you can!
Gluten Free Sauce Options:
For a gluten-free version of this recipe, I recommend this recipe for the sauce. There are also several GF Korean BBQ sauces on Thrive Market and Amazon. You can also use the recipe above and substitute GF ingredients.
Korean BBQ Style Pork Kebabs
Juicy and tender pork meets sweet, savory, and spiced Korean style BBQ sauce.
- 1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into cubes (or chicken, or whatever you like)
- 1/3 + 1/4 cup Korean BBQ Sauce (read notes above about sauce options) – Optional Additions –
- Rice for serving
Directions1. Marinate Pork. After trimming and cutting your pork into cubes, place 1/3 cup of Korean BBQ sauce into a plastic bag with your prepared pork. Zip the bag closed and massage the sauce to coat the pork evenly. Place into a container (in case it leaks) into the fridge and let marinate for 4 hours or overnight (2 hours would be okay, too, if you’re in a rush).
2. Prepare Rice. After the pork has finished marinating, prepare your rice as you normally do.
3. Heat the Grill. Preheat the grill to medium-high.
4. Skewer the Pork. While the rice is cooking and the grill is preheating, begin to skewer your pork. Try not to overload the skewers and give the pork a bit of space between pieces (it will cook more evenly).
5. Cook the Pork. Once you have finished skewering the pork and the grill is heated, start grilling. Place the pork over the hot spot and let sit for 4-5 minutes before flipping. Let sit for another 4-5 minutes. Flip once more. Using a pastry brush, immediately after flipping, brush on the remaining 1/4 cup of sauce on the top side of the pork kebab and let sit for a minute to thicken and caramelize. Use a meat thermometer to make sure the pork has reached 145°F. Once the pork has reached 145°F, pull it off the grill and let rest for three minutes. This will give you super tender and juicy pork but it may be slightly pink like a steak (it is, however, safe to eat according to the FDA). If this freaks you out, cook it longer!
7. Dish up and Enjoy! Enjoy the pork with some rice and kimchi, and make plans to eat this again in the immediate future.
I hope you enjoyed the recipe! If you want more savory recipes, I recommend these:
Thank you so much for all the support, have a wonderful week!