Teriyaki Pork Rolls with Thai Basil and Gochujang

porkbasilrollspEven though my “garden” means only a couple of boxes on a small balcony, I regularly find myself suddenly overwhelmed with huge crops of certain plants. This is a great occasion to learn new recipes and an excellent creativity booster. This summer Thai basil has been particularly prolific, so after several Thai or Thai-inspired meals in one week, I desperately needed fresh ideas because the basil would still grow like crazy until it even developped flowers (see above).

I started to look for inspiration out of the Thai cuisine. Since, just like shiso (aka perilla), Thai basil supports well heat and cooking process, I tested it in Teriyaki Pork Rolls I always prepare with shiso. The result of this triple fusion (Korean gochujang, Japanese teriyaki and Thai basil) was highly satisfying and all the ingredients seemed to go extremely well together. After this experiment, I’m planning to use Thai basil more boldly and strongly encourage all those who cannot get shiso leaves to substitute them with Thai basil in other dishes too. The taste will be completely different, but the result at least equally good.

If you feel like playing with pork and shaping it into rolls, you might also like some of these:

Pork Rolls and Shiso in Tempura
Pork Rolls and Shiso in Tempura
Okra Teriyaki Pork Rolls
Okra Teriyaki Pork Rolls
Potato Teriyaki Pork Rolls
Potato Teriyaki Pork Rolls
Asparagus Teriyaki Pork Rolls
Asparagus Teriyaki Pork Rolls


TIPS: Gochujang is not necessary here. If you don’t have it or don’t like very hot dishes, simply skip it.

If you don’t have a butcher nearby (sadly less and less people do), who can slice the pork very thinly (with the slicing machine), you can cut the thin pork slices on your own. I have one knife which is wide, long and sharp enough, but if you find it difficult,  try slightly freezing the meat before cutting it. It should be easier. I also sometimes pound the slices before rolling if I find them too thick.

Pork rolls (raw) can be prepared the day before, stored in the fridge and fried just before serving.

There are several basil varieties used in Thai cuisine. My basil is called also “sweet basil”; bai horapha/horapha in Thai and has an anise aroma and flavour.

Preparation : 40 – 45 minutes

Ingredients (serves 2 – 3):

12 -15 thin pork slices (max. 3 mm thick)

1 big bell pepper (or another variety of sweet pepper)

about 20 medium sweet Thai basil (horapha) leaves (or more if they are small)


salt, pepper


Teriyaki glaze with gochujang:

3 tablespoons mirin

2 tablespoons soy sauce (or 4 if you have low sodium soy sauce)

3 tablespoons sake

1 heaped tablespoon gochujang (or less if you gochujang is particularly hot – mine is medium hot – or if you don’t like very hot dishes)

Cut the bell pepper into thin strips (cut them in two horizontally if they are very long; their length should be adapted to the size of pork slices, so that they do not stick out too much).

Season slightly the pork slices with salt and pepper.

Prepare the Thai basil leaves.

Place the pork slice on a cutting board, seasoned side up. Put two or more Thai basil leaves to cover most of the surface.

Put 3 pepper strips at one end of the pork roll.

Roll it tightly and put aside.

Do the same with all the pork strips.

Heat some oil in a pan.

Dust the pork rolls with flour and fry (sealed side down), covered on a medium heat until they are well browned (it will take about 15 minutes).

Combine the teriyaki sauce ingredients and heat them in a small pan or in a microwave.

Pour the teriyaki sauce over the rolls and make sure they are well coated.

Let the sauce thicken for about one minute.

Transfer the rolls to a plate and garnish with the remaining sauce.

50 Replies to “Teriyaki Pork Rolls with Thai Basil and Gochujang”

  1. Those teriyaki pork rolls look fabulous! Thai basil is such a wonderful herb and I wish that I planted some this year. Next year for sure! Have a great day Sissi!

  2. Nothing wrong with a couple boxes on a small balcony 😉 and it’s a testament to your green thumb that you are overwhelmed with crops! (Trust me, I could have acreages of land and still not manage to have one growth patch ;O). And if you’re going to be inundated, I say let it be Thai basil… Sissi, your rolls look incredible! That glaze is simply mouth-watering. I’ve got a pot of potatoes on the stove and the usual chicken ready to toss in some olive oil but looking at this, I wish I could order take out chez Sissi (with a glass of wine too ;-)). Love the effect of the bell pepper. Such a great image.

    1. Hi Kelly. I must say this year my plants don’t grow as well as last year (I got into the “organic soil” trap; never again!), but some are still very prolific and it’s such a pleasure to harvest them from my balcony! Thank you so much for the compliments. I think that even clumsy rolls always look somehow cute 🙂 I don’t always have pork rolls, but a wine of glass is always waiting for guests 😉 (Haha! Actually it was chilli pepper!).

  3. If I could only get pork slices that thin, I’d give a version of these a try. Maybe I should ask my butcher if he’ll special cut it for me. Of course, after visiting that Hungarian restaurant in London, Ontario (it’s called Budapest and has been in business for almost 50 yrs) and having those amazing wiener schnitzel I might use the pork for that. Decisions, decisions.

    I’ve got a sad little thai basil plant that self seeded from last year in a pot in the back yard. I haven’t had the heart to take any of its leaves though. I should take a picture and share it. 🙂

    1. Hi, A_Boleyn. Since the only butcher selling free-range meat closed, I only buy meat in big pieces in organic shops and if I’m lucky to get organic or free-range in supermarkets too, so I have to cut them on my own. I find it quite easy, though I am not able to make transparent slices. You should try partly freezing the meat before (you can also pound it afterwards! I will add this tip because I often do it if I feel that slices are too thick).

      1. I’d be curious to see the pork in its raw state before you fill it up so I could estimate if I could do the cutting myself. What cut of pork do you buy to make them?

        1. I always use pork loin but if you don’t care for the fat content, you can use any other big chunk of pork (like for roasting), which produces big slices. I think the slices shouldn’t be thicker than 3mm, but the thinner they are, the better: they cook quicker and are juicier.

        2. Oh, and since now I don’t have my butcher any more, I usually buy a big loin roast which is covered with some grease (I cut it off) and is tied up (I untie it).

            1. If you wonder what else to do with the remaining roast (of it’s too small to roast), such thin slices are also great cut into 2 cm ribbons and stir-fried with vegetables (I usually marinate them in a Korean mixture before). This is drier than if made with pork belly but leaner.

  4. I am so jealous of your Thai basil! It’s my favorite but I didn’t grow it this year. My garden is small as well, mostly herbs in pots and then cucumbers in a pot. Better than nothing, right? Have never had pork rolls like this. As with everything you make, these do sound delicious and they seem so easy to make. I’m sure regular basil would work, just not as good. Thanks for another great recipe Sissi!

    1. Thank you so much, MJ. I’m sure your garden is bigger than my small balcony, but I understand what lack of space means… I grow Thai basil because I cannot buy it here in small amounts (only huge expensive bags) and it’s imported from Thailand, so I’m sure it’s packed with chemicals. I think any aromatic herb which supports well heat and goes well with pork would be perfect here.

      1. Yes, I do it sometimes, but I must say I prefer the mixture of mint and coriander. I prefer Thai basil slightly heated, but it tastes well also raw of course.

        1. I’m one of those people who dislikes cilantro/fresh coriander and fresh mint is only found in certain grocery stores (I’ve got to order some seeds one day) so Thai basil is my usual fresh herb go to.

    1. Thank you so much, Squishy Monster. It’s just a borrowed recipe (not mine!) which I have tweaked a bit. I’m glad it tasted great.

  5. Ok teriyaki is The Sauce in our house. We all love it and I make salmon teriyaki almost every other week. My son eats tons of it. These rolls are definitely the perfect little things for us!

  6. I have more than one butcher near my place, but the problem is that we don’t get pork easily. Here, chicken and mutton (goat meat) are more popular. I would love to do this same recipe with mutton. When I was in Hong Kong, my butcher in the wet market would chop pork rump so fine, like you mentioned. GOCHUJANG is simply a wonder ingredient, I love it!

    1. Hi, Purabi. I’m sure you can prepare it with any meat you like! Beef, chicken, mutton… I hope you will try it.

  7. This is simply amazing!! I’ve been trying to cut down my pork consumption this year but I’ll have to try this recipe! Like how you can turn this dish into different variations with different fillings. Great post!

  8. Oh! I didn’t realise the actual “case” of the roll was pork… I thought it was inside! That looks so good, especially with that teriyaki glaze which really transforms it completely… so golden and shiny! For the slicing of the pork, do you not have a slicer yourself? Well, I mean, maybe there’s no need if you have a good butcher nearby, but I have one and am so pleased with it. It’s wonderful to be able to slice anything I want to wafer thin slices! Use it all the time when I make roast beef!

    1. Thanks a lot, Charles. I think that good slicing machines are quite expensive… I would love to have one, but I always have some other priorities (like a really big freezer!). I will buy it one day for sure because I often slice pork in such a way (I love rolls and I love think strips of stir-fried pork too). Not to mention cutting the excellent French sausage!

  9. Wow Sissi, these rolls look delicious…pork and Thai basil…all in a teriyaki sauce….yum!
    Thanks for the recipe and hope you are enjoying your week 😀

  10. Sissi, you are so creative and have such a huge vast of knowledge of the Asian cuisine…sometimes I wonder if you were not an Asian chef in a ‘past life’…getting a little bit off on the subject your amazing Teriyaki pork roll, it is superb, elegant and so delicious! We have mostly herbs and fruit trees in my daughter’s garden; and as for me living on the beach…only the best and prettiest view on each side of the island, in S. Florida!
    Sorry for not commenting sooner…I’m so distracted worrying about my next upcoming skin cancer surgery next week, but I know it will be all right:)

    1. Haha! Elisabeth, you are so sweet! Thank you for all the compliments! I cross my fingers for your surgery! I’m sure it will go perfectly well.

  11. My basil is going crazy too, but you should not let it go to flower because it will stop producing leaves and focus all the energy on the flowers, in fact, the leaves will become less flavourful too! I just made a large batch of pesto yesterday to utilize some of the crazy basil. I wasn’t able to get Thai basil this year but I have columnar basil which is a variegated leaf and has a pronounced anise flavour as Thai basil does, so I use it in place. I am now looking desperately for a hydroponic system so that I can grow my herbs in the winter in my kitchen (hydroponic because I don’t want soil in the house, because it attracts bugs).
    Your pork rolls look perfect Sissi and the flavours are right up our tastes too. And the glaze would definitely remove the need to have a dipping sauce, which makes it a very easy meal to put together. I’m glad you mentioned about slightly freezing the meat to get the thin slices, I saw that tip on a cooking show several years ago and it’s amazing.

    1. Thank you so much, Eva. You are of course right about the flowers. I always avoid them in herbs (always taste worse), but this time I missed the moment… (I’m not a very attentive gardener 😉 ). I am seriously interested in your plant growing system. I also would love to avoid bugs at home. Please let me (us?) know how it goes!

  12. Tonight was supposed to be pork rolls as I defrosted the sliced pork but we’ve been so busy that we ended up eating outside. I would love to try with Thai Basil. I think this may be my new addiction after shiso. I love thai basil… never thought of rolling it in the pork rolls. Genius!

    1. Thank you so much, Nami. It was an accident due to the big amounts of Thai basil on ma balcony, but I loved it (I still prefer shiso though!).

  13. So jealous of your Thai Basil! I usually get them in small plastic containers here. And they are never too fresh. This looks so delicious! I love the use of Thai basil in this. Beautiful dish Siss!

    1. Thank you so much, Gomo. Thai basil is surprisingly easy to grow and I know what you mean about freshness: it wilts quite quickly.

  14. These rolls must be exploding with flavor beginning from the outside with the glazing of teriyaki sauce. I can imagine another layer of yummy fun awaits the bite. Thank you, Sissi! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Karen. I love making meat rolls. I could probably stir-fry bits of pork instead, but it wouldn’t be so much fun.

Comments are closed.