A lot of people are familiar with the popular spicy pork belly Korean dish, that highlights doenjang's best friend, gochujang (hot pepper paste). Today however, we are going to let doenjang be the main protagonist and primary flavour of our dish!

Doenjang (soybean paste) makes for just as delicious of a marinade base and most importantly, everyone at the table can enjoy it as it's not spicy, but full of flavour!


Did You Know?

Korean fermented soybean paste is more chunky and thick when compared to Japanese miso and almost has a similar texture to peanut butter. It has a much more intense, rustic, slightly sour and salty flavour, while miso is a bit more subtle. The best way to compare the two is to think of them like two types of cheese: miso is more like a mild cheddar or American cheese, while doenjang, is often as pungent as an aged Parmesan or even blue cheese - but don't let that scare you, as it tastes absolutely phenomenal!


When compared to gochujang, doenjang requires a lot more work and time to make and therefore, has a much more complex and distinct, deep umami flavour, which is almost reminiscent of another Korean favourite, fermented kimchi! In fact, doenjang is often used in vegan kimchi recipes as a substitute for fish sauce. It is no wonder then why soybean paste is such a stable condiment in Korean cuisine!


Moving on to our recipe for today, we are going to learn how to make Doenjang Marinated Pork Belly! Other than pork belly (bacon) you can also use the part of the neck, but if you are not a fan of pork, you can use the same marinade for any other type of meat or fish, tofu or even vegetables. 

Recipe by: Crystal Michael


Easy 30 m 4 serving
  • 600g of thinly sliced Pork Belly
  • 1,5 tablespoon of Soybean Paste (Doenjang)
  • 2 tablespoons of Soy Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of Honey
  • 2 sliced green Onions
  • 5 cloves of Minced Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of Minced Ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Black Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of Sesame Oil
  • 2 tablespoons of toasted Sesame Seeds

Serve this with fresh lettuce leaves for wrapping the meat, sticky white rice and a bowl of ssamjang (Korean BBQ dipping sauce - follow our recipe here to learn how to make your own)!


Prep 10 m Cook 20 m
  1. If you haven't already, cut the pork belly in long, thin slices and place them in a bowl or any plastic container as long as its spacious enough to allow us to later rub the marinade onto the meat.

  2. Next, we are going to prepare our doenjang marinade. Start by adding the soybean paste into a mixing bowl. Please note that when we made this recipe, we were cooking for 6 people instead of 4, so don't be confused by the photos and follow the quantities as listed in the ingredients above and adjust to your group's size.

  3. Add the soy sauce, honey, sesame oil and black pepper.

  4. Use a food processor or knife to mince the garlic and ginger and add them also to the mixing bowl.

  5. Finely chop the green onions and add them as well to the mixture, together with the toasted sesame seeds.

  6. Use a spoon to mix everything together well, making sure that the sauce is smooth and has an even consistency. 

  7. And now for the fun part - pour it all over the pork belly! We recommend that you use gloves to mix it by hand, in order to rub the marinade onto each slice individually, to ensure that they are evenly coated.

  8. Once you have finished with all the slices, close the container and place in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours (but we recommend 4-6).

  9. Cook the pork slices directly on a hot grill or flat pan, without adding any extra oil as the meat is already a fatty cut. Leave them to cook well on one side before flipping for about 8 minutes on each side, as you want the pork to get brown and crispy - just like bacon! Flip the slices using tongs until both sides are brown and glistening. 

  10. At every Korean BBQ, when the meat is close to being ready, they use scissors to cut the meat slices into smaller pieces that can be picked up with chopsticks directly from the grill.

    Your pork belly is now ready to serve and don't forget to try dipping it into a bit of ssamjang for extra flavour and a bit of a kick! Follow our recipe for ssamjang sauce here!


Our Korean BBQ table also had fresh kimchi, a spring onion salad, rice, homemade ssamjang sauce and sliced yellow pickled radish which is very good at balancing out the fattiness of the meat and the richness of the sauce and of course, a cold bottle of soju and beers! 


We hope you enjoy recreating our recipe and good luck with your Korean BBQ!