Pulled Pork Burger with Spicy Mayo and Korean Slaw

 
This started with a craving for a Korean-style slaw with a spicy gochujang dressing. Gochujang (as many of you might be familiar with) is a Korean red pepper paste that are sold in tubs and come in varying degrees of "heat". You can usually tell by the number of chillies on the label. I chose one with 3 chillies I think, as these things can pack quite a punch in terms of heat and intensity of flavour. So, I was wondering what would go with Korean slaw, and thought of bo ssam (Korean boiled pork belly with lettuce wraps). I found David Chang's bo ssam recipe using pork shoulder/butt and decided to turn that into a pulled pork burger with Korean slaw. And what's a burger without mayonnaise, especially a spicy gochujang mayonnaise? And to top it off (no pun intended), I baked these wonderful buttermilk buns (or brioche) which were moist, tender and didn't fall apart like most buns do when you're halfway through a burger.
 
 
Korean food doesn't just stop at Korean Fried Chicken and Korean hotpot. Give these a go at your next party. They don't require much preparation (the buns are relatively easy too) and will feed an army or two. Moreover, you can make the slaw one day ahead, which allows the cabbage to absorb the tangy, spicy and sweet flavours from the dressing. Oh, and that slow-roasted pork? Amazing.

 
 
Pulled Pork Recipe
Serves 12-16 | Prep 20mins | Cook 6 hours | Prep one day ahead
 
2kg (4-5 pounds) bone-in pork shoulder or pork butt, skin-on
1/2 cup caster sugar (granulated sugar)
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 cup light-brown sugar
 
Using a sharp knife, score the pork skin at 1cm intervals. Place pork in a large bowl or roasting pan. In a medium bowl, mix together granulated sugar and 1/4 cup salt. Rub sugar mixture all over pork and cover bowl with plastic wrap; transfer to refrigerator for at least 6 hours and up to overnight.
 
Preheat oven to 160C (300F).
 
Transfer pork to a large roasting pan, skin-side up, discarding any accumulated juices (or drain accumulated juices from roasting pan that pork is in). Brush off any remaining salt/sugar from the skin and pat dry with a paper towel. Transfer roasting pan to oven and cook, basting the meat every hour with rendered fat in roasting pan. After 2 hours, carefully remove crackling from the pork and place on a baking tray. Continue roasting the pork and crackling for another 3-4 hours until meat is tender and easily shredded with a fork.
 
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and brown sugar. Rub mixture all over pork.
 
Increase oven temperature to 250C (500F). Return pork to oven until sugar has melted into a crisp crust, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and cover pan with a foil to keep warm. To serve, use two forks and pull the pork into shreds, mixing them with the rendered fat in the pan. Enjoy on a buttermilk (brioche) bun with Korean slaw and gochujang mayo (see below for recipe). For a "healthier" alternative, serve in a lettuce wrap using Cos/Romaine lettuce, with ginger-scallion sauce, ssamjang, kimchi and Korean slaw.
 
Korean Slaw
Serves 12-16 | Prep 20 mins | Make one day ahead
 
1/4 small savoy cabbage, finely shredded
1/4 small red cabbage, finely shredded
1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
2-3 stalks scallions, sliced thinly
 
Slaw dressing (mixed well in a bowl):
7 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 tablespoons gochujang
4 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
 
I like to prepare this one day ahead and refrigerate it overnight. This allows the cabbage to absorb all those flavours from dressing. Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing. Place the cabbage, carrots, onions and scallions in a large bowl and gradually add the dressing, tossing to ensure it's evenly mixed through. Cover with clingwrap and refrigerate overnight until ready to serve.
 
Gochujang mayonnaise
 
3/4 cup gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
1 cup + 2 tablespoons Japanese/Korean mayonnaise
2 tablespoons ketchup
 
Combine and mix well in a bowl. Set aside until ready to serve with burgers.
 
Buttermilk buns
Serves 12-16 | Prep 20 mins | Cook 30 mins
100ml milk
28g active yeast (10g. dried)
90g sugar
2 free range eggs
840g strong bread flour
70g butter, softened at room temperature
400ml buttermilk
14g Malden sea salt
80ml vegetable oil
 
Glaze:
1 egg yolk + 1/2 tbsp milk
Sesame seeds (black/white)
Sea salt
 
Prepare this while the pork is cooking in the oven. In the bowl of a stand-mixer, add salt and sugar followed by flour and yeast. Mix using a dough hook on medium speed. Combine the milk, buttermilk, eggs and oil then add to the bowl, still on medium speed. Once a dough forms, add the butter in small knobs and knead until gluten is formed (about 10 minutes). Sprinkle a bit of flour if it's still too sticky. Prove in a bowl covered by cling film or a damp cloth in a warm place. Once it doubles in size, bring back down making sure as much of the air is removed from the dough, then form round buns and prove again. When ready, glaze with egg yolk and sprinkle with sesame seeds and sea salt. Bake at 160C (300F) for 25-30 minutes until crust is richly brown and glossy. When done, remove from the oven and leave to cool before cutting.
 
Assemble the burgers!
Slice the buns in half, spread with butter and toast them buttered side down on a hot grill pan.
Spread some gochujang mayonnaise on the bottom half of the bun, followed by some pulled pork, bits of crackling. Top with a handful of Korean slaw and cover with the other half of the bun. Add more mayo if desired. Serve immediately and enjoy!
 
Nice Buns!

 

More spicy mayo for more oomph!