Gochujang is going to be the runaway flavor of 2018, mark my words. For those of you who spent some time in South Korea, you might be familiar with the sweet, spicy Korean pepper sauce. If you haven’t tasted it yet, be prepared to completely forget about Srira… sri… whatever it’s called. And, of course, a Ranger-owned business is leading the way.
If you’re interested in trying it out, you need to get KPOP sauce.
KPOP was founded by Mike Kim and Theo Lee. Kim was an Army Ranger and infantry platoon officer who served with distinction in Afghanistan. He and Lee co-founded KPOP Foods and developed the sweet and spicy sauce from Lee’s grandmother’s original recipe.
The two began a Kickstarter project to raise the capital needed to get their business off the ground.
We field-tested the sauce at the WATM offices and, after going through five bottles in a week, we decided that we’d follow the Ranger officer to any culinary place he wanted to take us. You can check out the KPOP Foods site for some epic recipes, but we decided to create one of our own.
August Dannehl, WATM’s resident Navy veteran, chef, and host of KCET’s new show Meals Ready to Eat, created a special recipe using the KPOP sauce — one that he says blends the flavors of the NC forests with the fields of South Korea.
This is a crowd pleaser, so bring a couple of friends.
Camp Lejeune NC BBQ Sandwich w/ KPOP and Kimchi Slaw
1 (8lb) pork shoulder roast
1 qt apple cider
2 tbsp kosher salt
2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp onion powder
2 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
1 lg onion chopped
2 cups KPOP
5 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tbsp onion powder
1/2 tbsp mustard powder
2 cup Kimchi(hot)
5 cup Napa Cabbage, shredded
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1 cup Japanese mayo
Salt and pepper to taste
Soft rolls w/ sesame seeds
3 cups hickory chips, water-soaked
• Prepare the pork by rubbing 1/2 of all of the dry ingredients on the pork and then place the shoulder in a large pot. Pour the apple cider into the pot until it covers the pork. Place the pot in the fridge for 12 hours or overnight.
• To prepare the slaw, add all of the shredded vegetables to a bowl. Chop the Kimchi and add to the bowl with the vinegar and mayo. Mix liberally and add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and place in the fridge for 12 hours or overnight.
• To prepare the sauce, add all of the ingredients into a small sauce pot and simmer at very low heat for 45 mins. Add water if reduction becomes to thick. Keep warm for service.
• After the pork has brined in the apple cider for at least 12 hours, remove cider brine and reserve. Prepare your smoker to 210 degrees Fahrenheit, pour in reserved brine, and place onion into water pan of the smoker. Spread remaining rub over shoulder and add to the center of the smoker.
• Smoke pork until fork tender; about 8-10 hours. Baste the shoulder with KPOP BBQ sauce about every 20mins to build a crust. Once falling apart, remove to a large receptacle and let sit for 15-20mins. Once juices have redistributed, pull pork apart using two forks and add more KPOP sauce. Place in warm oven or back in smoker to keep warm.
• To serve, remove slaw and allow to warm to room temp; about 15 minutes. To assemble sandwich, place pulled pork on bun, top with more KPOP BBQ sauce and Kimchi Slaw.