To close out the pork belly eating season (at least at Chez Pedersen), I made a roasted pork belly short rib drizzled with a teriyaki sauce spiked with gochujang (Korean pepper paste). This dish was inspired by an evening out with my BFF (and our husbands, but we didn't really talk to them much ☺). We went to a sake bar that served a nice selection of Japanese and Korean specialities (kimchi bloody mary with kimchi shaved ice and goat curry udon, anyone?) to accompany the sake. Combining Korean and Japanese flavors is not something I admit to doing very often because I know it's bound to piss some people off, but I think the flavors can go very well together. They did in this case, anyhow.
Again, no real recipe, but so easy anyone can do it! The perfect cut of meat for this is pork belly with the bones still attached, sometimes called pork belly short rib. If you can't find pork belly or the short rib, butt or any other fatty cut will work (1.5 to 2 lb roast). Even better if it has the fat cap (one reason I love my pork guy; all the cuts come with fat cap!). Don't use tenderloin or a regular loin roast for this preparation because you'll be roasting this well over the 150 to 160F that's normal for pork.
To get this roast perfect, salt the meat with a generous amount of salt, score the fat cap, put it in a shallow roasting pan with a rack, then stick it into a 450F preheated oven for 15 minutes. Then lower the heat to 300F (or 275F with convection). The mantra is low and slow. In fact, you could go as low as 225F, but that would significantly increase the cooking time. Roast till the internal temperature reaches 200F (yes, 200F!). Depending on which cut you use and how big it is, roasting time could be about 1 hour per pound, so plan accordingly. Remember to let it rest for about 20 minutes before cutting into it!
For the sauce, simply combine equal volumes of tamari (or regular old soy sauce) and mirin. Add sugar (or honey) and gochujang (Korean pepper paste) to taste. You can add a splash of sake if you've got it too. Heat the sauce over medium heat until it reduces and thickens a bit. Use it to drizzle over the sliced pork, or as a dipping sauce. If you go the dipping sauce route, spruce it up with toasted sesame seeds or a splash of sesame oil and grated fresh ginger. Serve with Japanese sticky rice and an assortment of Japanese pickles or kimchi.