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Two boldly flavored Asian ingredients transform traditional pulled pork
Milk Street Bowtie Miso-Gochujang Pulled Pork

Miso-Gochujang Pulled Pork

4 hours 1 hour active

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Miso-Gochujang Pulled Pork

Free

This Asian-inflected take on barbecue pulled pork was inspired by the “Pigalicious” wrap served at Bird & Ewe in Sydney. White miso and gochujang provide deep, savory-sweet notes and lots of complex flavor to oven-braised pork butt. Miso usually is sold in the refrigerator case; gochujang, or Korean red pepper paste, does not require refrigeration until the container is opened. Both are available in well-stocked supermarkets and Asian grocery stores. The pork cooks for about three hours; use this time to prep and cook the miso-seasoned onions that are combined with the meat after shredding.

6 to 8

Servings

Tip

Don't forget to skim the fat off the cooking liquid so the pulled pork doesn't end up greasy. But make sure to allow the liquid to settle before skimming so all the fat has time to rise to the surface.

4 hours

1 hour active

5 pound boneless pork butt, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
3/4 cup gochujang, divided
6 tablespoons white miso, divided
1 bunch fresh cilantro, stems minced, leaves left whole, reserved separately
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
3 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 3 chunks
2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
Ingredients
  • 5

    pound boneless pork butt, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes

  • ¾

    cup gochujang, divided

  • 6

    tablespoons white miso, divided

  • 1

    bunch fresh cilantro, stems minced, leaves left whole, reserved separately

  • ¼
  • 3

    ounces fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 3 chunks

  • 2

    tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil

  • 2

    large yellow onions, thinly sliced

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 3

    tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar

Directions
  1. 01
    Heat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the lower-middle position. In a large Dutch oven, combine the pork, ½ cup of gochujang, 2 tablespoons of miso, the cilantro stems, the hoisin, ginger and 1 cup water; stir to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium-high, then cover and place in the oven. Cook until a skewer inserted into the meat meets no resistance, about 3 hours.
    See Demo
    11 14 18 Cpk 012
  2. 02
    Meanwhile, in a nonstick 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onions and ¼ teaspoon salt, then reduce to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Stir in the remaining 4 tablespoons miso and cook, stirring frequently, until the miso begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
    See Demo
    11 14 18 Cpk 032
  3. 03
    Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a large bowl. When cool enough to handle, shred into bite-size pieces, discarding any fat; set aside. Remove and discard the ginger chunks from the cooking liquid. Tilt the pot to pool the liquid to one side and use a wide spoon to skim off and discard as much fat as possible from the surface. Bring to a simmer over medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by about half and a spatula drawn through the sauce leaves a trail, 5 to 7 minutes.
    See Demo
    11 14 18 Cpk 341
  4. 04
    Whisk in the remaining 4 tablespoons gochujang. Stir in the pork and onions. Reduce to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until heated through, 5 to 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in the vinegar, then taste and season with pepper. Serve with cilantro leaves, pickled carrots and pickled jalapeños.
    See Demo
    Miso-Gochujang Pulled Pork
Tip: Don't forget to skim the fat off the cooking liquid so the pulled pork doesn't end up greasy. But make sure to allow the liquid to settle before skimming so all the fat has time to rise to the surface.
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Reviews
Myrna A.

Amazing flavors- so good! I followed the recipe exactly but did not notice the gochuang paste I bought was very hot and not mild. I also made the pickled carrots and sour cream as well as pickled cucumbers. Definitely will make again!

Joan T.

This was amazing! I used a 5 pound pork shoulder and cooked it in a crock pot for 8 hours. Followed the rest of the recipe for the onions and reduced the liquid as stated. It was delicious! Would definitely make this again, hopefully with the boneless pork butt!

Kate P.

Joan, what liquid did you cook the pork in in the crock pot? Did you put the shoulder in whole or cut it into pieces?

Kate P.

Ted G.

I was disappointed that the final result of this was an overly salty dish. Quite an investment of time and effort. Probably too much miso. If I try again, I’ll leave much of the miso out, rather than add to the finished onions.

Jon G.

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Nicholas A D.

Same happened with me. I used about 3/4 of the miso called for and it was waaaayyyyy to salty. Don't think I will make this again.

Jennifer D.

This looks so good! But I've been trying to eat a lot less meat. I wonder how this recipe would taste with Jack fruit instead of pork.

Janelle C.

Hi Jennifer,

Please let us know how it turns out if you try it!

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Jan F.

I just tried the recipe, swapping a 14 1/2 oz. can of jackfruit (in brine) for the pork and halving the ingredients. After draining and rinsing the jackfruit, I added it to the gochujang mixture and baked it for only two hours (rather than the instructed three). I then proceeded, following the rest of the recipe (shredding the jackfruit in place of the pork). The resulting dish was wonderful. My husband, who is not a fan of jackfruit, stated that it was delicious and would gladly see it in our regular rotation. Thank you for a very successful meal.

Andrew J.

Made this today and was very impressed. I'm familiar with gochujang but rarely cook with it and was slightly concerned about it overwhelming the flavor of the pork. This wasn't the case, and it melded well with the pulled pork without being overly harsh or too saucy. The pickled carrots and gochujang sour cream really rounded out the sandwich.

Oksana E.

This is an interesting recipe, but we liked the meat much better before adding onions with so much miso. Will omit next time. Be careful with gochujang too, better add it gradually at the end. Also I increased the temperature to 340 F and the meat was ready in 2 hrs 20 min. I think this dish will translate very well into pressure cooker.

Danielle C.

Has anyone tried this recipe in an Instapot? If so, how long did you cook it for?

Vera S.

I used my Instant Pot and it came out perfectly. I mixed the ingredients in a bowl and browned the pork in the Pot using the sauté mode, just to give it extra color and flavor. Turned sauté off, added the liquids (and other ingredients), used the pressure cook for 65 minutes with natural release for 20 minutes. Falling-apart tender is what I got, just perfect. Give it a go.

Philip K.

I made this recipe with skinless chicken thighs and instead of a sandwiches I made tacos with pickles carrots and onions. So good! I will definitely make again!

Emily B.

This was phenomenal. I had very little cooking liquid left after 3 hours of roasting, so I added about 1/2 cup water after skimming out the fat, and simmered that down. Also didn’t add the additional 4 T gochujang at the end, as it was already super spicy and tasted delicious without it. Just now realizing I forgot to stir in the rice vinegar at the end. Guess what - it was STILL phenomenal. When I make it again, I may not change a thing. :) Also did the pickled carrots and gochujang sour cream - both amazing. Thanks, Milk Street!!

Barbara B.

I made this tonight and it was delicious. After reading the comments I did cut down on the miso. I cooked the onions without the miso and added miso to taste when adding the onions to the pork. I also tasted it before adding all the gochuang paste the recipe called for at the end and added it to my taste. I made the ginger pickled carrots and thought those were great. I would eat that as a salad alone. Very nice flavor.

Mary B.

I made this vegan (substituted 2 cans jackfruit + 1 vegan/impossible burger for pork) and it was glorious. Great flavors and texture. Balance of sweet, tang, and heat is perfect. Husband declared it the best BBQ since going vegetarian!

Mark W.

I'm curious if sodium content varies widely by miso producer. Between it and the gochujang the final result bordered on inedible due to being far too salty. Judging from the comments people are successful with the recipe as published. Unfortunately this was a significant time investment with minimal reward.

Lynn C.

Hi Mark -

Yes, we discovered during development of our Miso Peanut Butter Cookies, that miso varies greatly in sodium content, with some brands containing more than twice the amount of others. We suggest looking for a brand that is relatively low in sodium (about 300 mg sodium per 12 grams of miso; check the nutritional label).

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Mark W.

Much appreciated. We'll give it another go with low-sodium miso. Everything else we've attempted from the book has given us "wow" moments.

Denis P.

Would sure be helpful to add this to the recipe as a tip and consider recommending a brand.

Mark W.

Much appreciated. We'll give it another go with low-sodium miso. Everything else we've attempted from the book has given us "wow" moments.

Denis P.

Would sure be helpful to add this to the recipe as a tip and consider recommending a brand.

David E.

I love the flavor but screwed up a bit, insofar as I didn't read these comments mentioning the high sodium content of miso in advance. The second thing I did wrong was not check the pot after two hours. After three, the meat was brown and there was barely any liquid left in my Le Creuset. Then and there I should have poured a cup of water in--which would have made it possible in a few minutes to skim off some floating fat. Instead I said, whoa, it's already reduced! But all that fat is now mixed into the dish... For all that, it's really good. Next time I'll do it in the Instant Pot so there's less evaporation and more opportunity to test for salt and fat.

Eleanor W.

I’m making this for the second time after the exact same experience (too little too late with adding water)…it would be awesome if Milk Street editors could comment on the amount of liquid and if the real intention here is really just 1 cup?

Lynn C.

Hi Eleanor -

Yes, 1 cup of water is correct. In addition to the liquid released by the meat, the mixture is covered while in the oven. This should create a fair amount of steam/liquid that will add liquid to the pot as well. Make sure that the cover on your pot is tightly sealed before adding it to the oven.

Best,
The Milk Street Team


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Miso-Gochujang Pulled Pork

Get Ready to Cook

6 to 8

Servings

4 hours

1 hour active

Tip

Don't forget to skim the fat off the cooking liquid so the pulled pork doesn't end up greasy. But make sure to allow the liquid to settle before skimming so all the fat has time to rise to the surface.

Ingredients
  • 5

    pound boneless pork butt, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes

  • ¾

    cup gochujang, divided

  • 6

    tablespoons white miso, divided

  • 1

    bunch fresh cilantro, stems minced, leaves left whole, reserved separately

  • ¼
  • 3

    ounces fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 3 chunks

  • 2

    tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil

  • 2

    large yellow onions, thinly sliced

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 3

    tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar

Step 1 of 4

Simmer the meat

¾
cup gochujang, divided
5
pound boneless pork butt, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
2
tablespoons white miso
1
bunch fresh cilantro, stems minced, leaves left whole, reserved separately
¼
cup hoisin sauce
3
ounces fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 3 chunks

Heat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the lower-middle position.


In a large Dutch oven, combine the pork, ½ cup of gochujang, 2 tablespoons of miso, the cilantro stems, the hoisin, ginger and 1 cup water; stir to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium-high, then cover and place in the oven. Cook until a skewer inserted into the meat meets no resistance, about 3 hours.

Step 2 of 4

Cook the onions and miso

2
large yellow onions, thinly sliced
4
tablespoons white miso
Kosher salt

Meanwhile, in a nonstick 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onions and ¼ teaspoon salt, then reduce to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Stir in the remaining 4 tablespoons miso and cook, stirring frequently, until the miso begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Step 3 of 4

Shred the pork

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a large bowl. When cool enough to handle, shred into bite-size pieces, discarding any fat; set aside.


Remove and discard the ginger chunks from the cooking liquid. Tilt the pot to pool the liquid to one side and use a wide spoon to skim off and discard as much fat as possible from the surface. Bring to a simmer over medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by about half and a spatula drawn through the sauce leaves a trail, 5 to 7 minutes.

Step 4 of 4

Add the remaining gochujang

3
tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
1
bunch fresh cilantro, stems minced, leaves left whole, reserved separately

Whisk in the remaining 4 tablespoons gochujang. Stir in the pork and onions. Reduce to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until heated through, 5 to 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in the vinegar, then taste and season with pepper. Serve with cilantro leaves, pickled carrots and pickled jalapeños.

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