Amy Lippert, NTP
Spicy Paleo Korean Pork Bulgogi, Dwaejigogi-bokkeum (Whole30, Keto)
Updated: Apr 27
Tender, succulent slices of pork bursting with the perfect balance of umami and spice! Marinate this Korean pork bulgogi the day before for a quick and easy dinner that is so good and sure to please!
Growing up, this was a staple dish in my home, and I love to serve it with Korean spinach, homemade napa cabbage kimchi, and a plate of steaming brown rice (cauliflower rice for Paleo or Whole30). This spicy bulgogi marinade is fabulous for other dishes like poultry, fish, and sprouted tofu as well. I hope you love this easy pork stir-fry as much as we do!
Why Pasture Raised vs. Conventional Pork
What does it mean to source humanely raised animal products verses conventional ones? Humanely raised animals such as pigs, chickens, and cows, are raised on pastures where they are able to forage and eat a diet that is natural and healthy for them. Healthy animals yield healthy products, increasing the nutrients themselves and the nutrient density of what you are eating. Conventional sources of animal products are from animals that are raised in harsh conditions, often in warehouses where the animals are locked in, confined without sunlight, and unable to eat their natural diets yielding products that are less nutritious and potentially inflammatory.
Pasture raised pork is higher in nutrients and is better for the environment. Let's talk about nutrition first.
Antioxidants: Pasture raised pork is higher in antioxidants, specifically vitamin E. This essential fat-soluble vitamin is a powerful antioxidant that plays a role in reducing oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals that may result in illness or disease. Vitamin E is essential in vision health, skin health, and reproductive health .
Vitamins and Minerals: Pasture raised pork is higher in vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a role in bone health, calcium absorption, immune function, and more. A majority of Americans are deficient in vitamin D and the most bioavailable form is not from supplements, but from real food like pasture raised pork. Selenium is a mineral that is essential in thyroid health, detoxification and helps to make DNA  and pasture raised pork has higher levels than conventional.
Omega-3s: With the Standard American Diet (SAD) being full of omega-6 fatty acids, most Americans are consuming an unbalanced ratio of omega-6 to omega-3. Due to the way the food industry raises animals, most of the animal proteins that we consume no longer have the omega-3s like pasture raised animals do, the way nature intended. Omega-3s are essential in reducing inflammation, cellular health, and vessel health.
Essential Amino Acids
The nine essential amino acids found in pork and their roles are :
Histidine: necessary for the production of histamine and also plays a role in nervous system health
Valine: necessary in energy production as well as muscle growth and repair
Phenylalanine: building block for neurotransmitters like dopamine and epinephrine (adrenaline), and in the production of other amino acids.
Leucine: necessary in stimulating wound healing, muscle repair, and blood sugar regulation.
Isoleucine: necessary in immune function and energy regulation.
Tryptophan: necessary building block for serotonin.
Methionine: necessary in detoxification, metabolism, and in your body's ability to absorb selenium (supports thyroid health) and zinc (necessary in production of HCl in your stomach).
Threonine: necessary in skin and connective tissue health.
Lysine: necessary in hormone production and your body's ability to absorb calcium (bone, heart, muscle and nerve health.)
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins: Pasture raised pork is rich in B vitamins: B1 (thaimine), B3 (niacin), B6, and B12.
Minerals: Pasture raised pork is rich in iron, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc.
So grab some pasture raised pork and let's get cooking!
Spicy Paleo Korean Pork Bulgogi Ingredients
2lbs Pasture Raised Pork Tenderloin
1/2 cup Coconut Aminos
1 Tbsp Pure Sesame Seed Oil
1 Tbsp Fish Sauce
1 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
1-2 Green Onions, julienned
1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1-2 Cloves Garlic, finely minced
1/2” piece Ginger, thinly sliced or grated
2 Tbsp Paleo Gochujang*
*Omit if you do not want your pork bulgogi spicy
How to Make Spicy Paleo Korean Pork Bulgogi
1. Add all of the ingredients except the pork to a large bowl and stir well to combine.
2. Thinly slice the pork, I like to cut small strips about 1/2" thick and 2" long, and transfer to the marinade.
3. Mix well and gently press the pork into the marinade, cover, and refrigerate 4-hours to overnight.
4. Heat a large skillet over high heat and stir-fry the pork in batches.
Watch the Video HERE
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Q: How do I make Paleo Korean spicy pork bulgogi less spicy?
A: You can either add less gochujang paste to the marinade, or add a little pure maple syrup or pure raw honey to temper the spice.
Q: Can I make pork bulgogi without marinating it first?
A: If you are pressed for time, yes, however, any amount of time you can allow to pork to marinate will result in a much tastier dish.
Q: How do I get my spicy pork bulgogi to have more sauce?
A: You could make a little more marinade and cook it down with the pork, or you can make a gochujang sauce to serve along side.
I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does. - Amy
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