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Korean-Inspired Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Korean-Inspired Pork Belly Burnt Ends

By Traeger Kitchen

Give burnt ends an east Asian twist by cooking tender chunks of smoked pork belly in an aromatic barbecue sauce featuring ginger, garlic, and sesame oil plus two Korean pantry staples: gochujang (fermented hot pepper paste) and gochugaru (red chili pepper flakes). Once those ingredients are procured (check an Asian market if your supermarket doesn’t carry them), the sauce takes less than 30 minutes to make. (That said, you can save some time by substituting a good quality store-bought Korean barbecue sauce instead.) Serve the caramelized and sticky bites on their own as an appetizer, in tacos, on pizza, or in lettuce leaves with warm rice and kimchi for a fun make-your-own-wrap meal.

Prep Time

15 Min

Cook Time

4 Hrs


Signature Pellet Blend


Number of People Serving


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Units of Measurement:
Pork Belly
2 Tablespoon gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes)
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 Teaspoon smoked paprika
1 1/2 Teaspoon granulated garlic
1 1/2 Teaspoon onion powder
4 Pound pork belly, skinless
1 Cup Asian pear juice or apple juice, for spritzing
2 Tablespoon canola oil or other neutral oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
4 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
1/2 Cup gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
1/2 Cup ketchup
1/2 Cup rice vinegar
1/3 Cup soy sauce
3 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
toasted sesame seeds
Thinly sliced scallions


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    Korean-Inspired Pork Belly Burnt Ends - VIDEO

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  • 1

    Preheat the Traeger with the lid closed to 250°F; this will take about 15 minutes.

  • 2

    In a medium bowl, stir the gochugaru, salt, sugar, smoked paprika, granulated garlic, and onion powder. Add the pork, toss to coat well, and let sit for 20 minutes at room temperature.

  • 3

    Arrange the pork belly cubes fat-side-down on a rimmed baking sheet. Place the baking sheet directly on the grill grates, close the lid, and cook, spritzing with the juice every half hour, until the pork is tender with an internal temperature of 190°F, about 3 hours.

    250 ˚F / 121 ˚C

    190 ˚F / 88 ˚C

  • 4

    Meanwhile, make the barbecue sauce: Heat the canola oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and scallion whites, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the scallions are crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the gochujang, ketchup, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar. Whisk until well-combined then bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a low simmer and stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat, stir in the sesame oil and scallion greens, and cool to room temperature. The sauce will thicken further as it cools. Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

  • 5

    Use tongs to transfer the cooked pork belly to a half-size (9 x 13-inch) aluminum pan leaving the fat behind on the baking sheet.

  • 6

    Cover the pork belly cubes with 1 cup of the reserved barbecue sauce (or store-bought sauce) and gently toss until the pork is well-coated. Do not cover with foil.

  • 7

    Place the pan directly on the grill grates. Close the lid and cook, gently stirring every 30 minutes, until the sauce becomes dark and caramelized and clings to the meat, 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours.

    350 ˚F / 177 ˚C


  • 8

    Let the pork belly cool for 15 minutes. Serve topped with toasted sesame seeds and sliced scallions alongside butter lettuce leaves for wrapping, warm rice, and kimchi, if desired. Enjoy!

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