Atlanta restaurant reviews, culinary news, and gluttonous gossip by admitted foodaholic Serina Patrick

Chef Kevin Gillespie’s Korean Barbecue Pork Bulgogi


Kevin GillespieChef Kevin Gillespie’s true passion lies in incorporating fresh, organic and sustainable ingredients in all of his dishes. After graduating with honors from the Art Institute of Atlanta, the Georgia native worked in top restaurants in Oregon and Atlanta including the highly acclaimed Woodfire Grill. He opened his first restaurant Gunshow, in May 2013, a unique dining concept where dishes are served dim-sum style. In early 2015, Gillespie released Pure Pork Awesomeness: Totally Cookable Recipes from Around the World, a follow-up cookbook to Fire in My Belly, which was selected as a James Beard Award Finalist. Recently, Gillespie opened his second restaurant, Revival, in Decatur, Georgia, which is a fresh take on the traditional, family-style Sunday dinner, with a focus on farm-raised and artisan-prepared ingredients. Gillespie was one of the three finalists on the sixth season of Bravo’s “Top Chef” and was voted “fan favorite.” (photos and bio courtesy of Emily at Melissa Libby & Associates)

If you’ve never eaten at a Korean barbecue restaurant, you gotta go! It’s fun. You grill your own strips of marinated meat, then add whatever spicy, sharp, and crunchy accompaniments you like. The requisite spread usually includes kimchi, pickles, chiles, and lettuce leaves to wrap it all up. Beef is most common but there are pork versions too, which I like better. To simplify the dish, I pan-sear thin slices of pork shoulder and turn the accompaniments into a sort of slaw that you wrap up in the lettuce. You could brush a little hoisin in there before you roll it up, or squirt on some sriracha. Use whatever condiments you have or none. ~ Kevin Gillespie

Feeds 4

1 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon Korean red chili powder (or espelette pepper)
1 teaspoon mashed garlic
12 ounces paper-thin sliced boneless pork shoulder
¼ cup Duke’s mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated, about 2 teaspoons
2 limes
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon sambal oelek, or more as desired
1 carrot
¼ small head cabbage, finely shredded, about 2 cups
4 scallions, root end trimmed, thinly sliced on the bias
8 butter or bibb lettuce leaves, for serving

In a gallon-size zip-top bag, combine the soy, sugar, sesame oil, chili powder, and garlic and smush to combine. Add the meat and smush around so all pieces are well coated. Squeeze out the air, zip the top shut, and marinate for 15 minutes at room temperature. The meat is so thin and the marinade so strong that a quick marinade is all this needs.

In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, chili sauce, ginger, 1 tablespoon lime juice, the salt, and the sambal oelek. Taste and add more sambal oelek if you like it spicy.

Grate the carrot on the largest hole of the box grater; you’ll get about 1 cup. Squeeze dry in a paper towel, then toss the carrot, cabbage, and half the scallions with the dressing to combine.

Heat a grill pan over high heat. Remove the meat from the marinade and discard the marinade. Working in batches, grill the meat in a single layer for 30 seconds, then flip and grill for another 30 seconds; it will shrink and get some good color and grill marks. The meat is so thin that it should cook through in this short amount of time. Transfer the meat to a plate and stack. Slice the meat crosswise into 1-inch slices.

Layer the meat and slaw on the lettuce leaves and garnish with the remaining scallions.


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