I still remember discovering Korean dishes made me feel like tasting a bolder and hotter version of the Japanese cuisine. I quickly realised this vision was too simplistic, since Korean cuisine is much more than chili and garlic, which are not as ubiquitous as many people think. Until now I have cooked very few Korean dishes and have posted only one (Mandu, or Korean dumplings). Even though I don’t cook Korean more than a few times a year, I am addicted to gochujang and put it in many Asian or European dishes (Black Pudding and Gochujang Toast and Scallops with Gochujang are very good examples). My very recent discovery of Eating and Living, a beautiful, inspiring Korean cooking blog, has triggered off my need to keep on exploring this cuisine, especially since, browsing through posts I realised many dishes can be prepared with the Japanese ingredients I always have in stock.
These pork rolls were the first I have bookmarked. Even looking at them I knew they were my cup of tea: I love tempura, shiso, pork and the chili kick was all I needed on a cold Autumn night. I was also thrilled to discover the excellent pork and shiso combination, broadening the use of the herb I am so fond of. Even though my rolls were not as beautiful as Hyosun Ro’s, the taste was perfect. When cut in half and presented with the colourful filling upwards, my rolls ended up looking quite appealing. I used one slice of hot pepper and one slice of bell pepper, but next time I will stick to chili. Thank you, Hyosun Ro, for this wonderful recipe!
I had them as a main dish, but I can imagine them as an ideal party snack. It didn’t come as a surprise that the Tomato and Shiso Salad was the perfect pairing. You can serve them, as Hyosun advises, with this sauce, or with any sauce of your choice. I enjoyed them with one of my favourite quick sauces: a mixture of thick soured milk and gochujang.
Preparation: 1 hour
Ingredients (16 pork rolls: a starter for four or a main dish for two):
16 thin lean pork slices (1-2 mm thick)
16 big perilla/shiso leaves
1 big bell pepper or chili peppers, sliced (I counted two thick slices per roll)
a couple tablespoons flour
50g tempura flour
3 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
oil for deep-frying
Season the pork slices with ginger, salt and pepper. Put aside.
Heat the oil in a pan.
Prepare, in separate bowls: tempura batter roughly mixed with ice cold water (the mixture should have a pancake batter consistency, but it shouldn’t be smooth, but with lumps; the best way is to mix delicately with chopsticks), flour, shiso leaves and sliced chili or bell peppers.
Dredge every pork slice slightly in flour (on both sides), place a shiso leaf on one side, then chili slices (close to the edge) and roll the pork slice very tightly.
Check the oil temperature: if a small amount of tempura starts bubbling and frying immediately (it doesn’t fall down), the oil is probably ready to fry.
Dredge each pork roll in tempura batter and deep-fry for 4-5 minutes.
Pat dry with paper towels and serve.
TIP: I always keep a baking dish in my oven, heated to 60°C, and put there every deep-fried batch, so that they stay warm until I serve everything.