Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Korean Bacon Explosion

The original bacon explosion, according to the NY Times, was originally done as part challenge and part stunt to attract traffic to BBQAddicts.com.  It was wildly successful, generating over 27,000 hits on Christmas Day, a few days after its posting, and almost half a million hits within one month.  Nothing quite celebrates the birth of Jesus like several pounds of bacon wrapped around several pounds of sausage stuffed with more fried bacon.  Talk about your come to Jesus moments!

Since its debut, the bacon explosion has attracted numerous admirers and detractors.  It is an excessive, over the top celebration of pork.  About two years after it first appeared on the net, EpicMealTime, a Youtube production by a group of stupid smart Canucks, applied the principles of the bacon explosion to a series celebrating excess, gaining over two and a quarter million subscribers to their weekly episodes.  Vegetarians, dietitians, and people who are upset by seeing food wasted while millions are hungry, may not find EpicMealTime or the bacon explosion their cup of tea.  I, however, appreciate this brand of humor. 

The impetus for my take on the bacon explosion was the expiration of my nephew's visa. Sam has been staying with us the last several months while looking for a job.  Having graduated with a degree in finance, he was unable to find a job in the current market here in the States.  As a result, he must return to Indonesia.  My family wanted a chance to say goodbye to him before he left, so my sister and her husband hosted a farewell dinner at their house on Sunday.  Kathy and my mother provided drinks and dessert, my brother and his wife brought the beer, and I brought the food.  Everyone in our family likes pork, and Sam is fond of Korean food (although he's a wuss when it comes to spiciness), so I thought I'd try to come up with a variation on the bacon explosion using fresh pork belly.

Sliced pork belly can be found in some Asian markets; I bought it at the local Ranch 99.  I removed the skin from the slices and fried those up. 

Around the strips of fried skin I wrapped a little over three pounds of pork shoulder that I had ground and seasoned with salt, powdered dehydrated onion, cayenne, Korean BBQ sauce and Chinese chili in oil sauce. (Commercial sausage and most ground pork in the supermarket has an even higher fat content.  Commercial sausage also tends to be very heavily salted.  It may seem foolish to worry about fat and salt content in a recipe such as this, but I think you end up with a tastier dish, which may be marginally less harmful from a health standpoint.) 

I marinated a little over a pound and a half of thinly sliced beef brisket that I bought at a Korean market in some Korean BBQ sauce. 

I wrapped the ground pork mixture with the marinated beef slices. 

I then wrapped the beef wrapped pork mixture with a blanket of woven pork belly slices. 

I seasoned the exterior with a liberal sprinkling of a dry rub containing paprika, ancho chili powder, powdered ginger, cayenne, brown sugar, and sea salt. 

This was smoked for about 4 hours at 225º F, until the internal temperature of the pork reached 160º F. The last half hour I brushed the top with the Korean BBQ sauce.


We had ca tai chanh with sesame crackers as an appetizer.  For dinner, I provided grilled asparagus salad with black bean vinaigrette,  red leaf lettuce for wrapping the sliced meat roll, pickled daikon and julienned carrots for adding to the rolls, and steamed rice.  Kathy made some ice cream pies for dessert.  This was plenty for twelve adults, providing another night of leftovers.


  1. Doug, thanks for bringing this to the BBQ. Looks fantastic. Cheers

  2. This is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.



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