Meat jun, or “jung,” is one of Korea’s most famous dishes. It’s also known as “Korean barbecue.”
The name comes from its unique method of preparation—it’s cooked over hot coals.
Meat jun is traditionally served during special occasions like birthdays and weddings.
The dish has become so popular that it’s now available everywhere.
But what is it exactly?
Is it a traditional meal or just a trendy restaurant menu item?
Let’s find out!
What Is Meat Jun?
Meat jun is a kind of stewed meat dish.
Traditionally, it was prepared using beef, pork, chicken, duck, goose, rabbit, fish, shellfish (like clams), seaweed, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, leeks, cabbage, garlic, rice, onions, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, salt, pepper, ginkgo nuts, red chilli flakes, green onion, and ginger.
You can use any combination of these ingredients, but there are certain rules.
For instance, you must always add meat first, followed by vegetables.
Then you have to season everything properly before putting it all into your pot.
Finally, cook everything until tender.
If you’re not familiar with meat jun, here’s how to prepare it:
First, marinate the meat in seasoning.
Start off with 2 tablespoons of gochujang paste, 1 tablespoon of light brown sugar, 3 teaspoons of white vinegar, 2 tablespoons of water, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Mix well.
Add another tablespoon each of gochujang paste, sesame oil, and soy sauce.
Next, start preparing the vegetables.
Peel and cut up carrots, potatoes, spring onions, cucumbers, daikon radish, julienned kimchi, shredded lettuce, spinach, and scallions into bite-sized pieces.
Combine together in a bowl.
Place them on a plate and set aside.
Then, chop up garlic cloves, ginger, and shallots.
Put them in a mixing bowl and mix with a little bit of vegetable oil.
Season with salt and black pepper.
Now, heat up your grill pan with a few drops of vegetable oil.
Once heated, place the seasoned meat on top of the pan.
Cook the meat until slightly charred.
Remove and set aside.
Add chopped garlic, ginger, and shallot mixture onto the same grill pan.
Fry until fragrant.
Remove and set aside.
Once the meat is finished, pour the remaining marinade into the grill pan.
Heat through thoroughly, about 5 minutes.
After everything is ready, combine all the ingredients in a large pot.
Bring it to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.
Finally, remove the pot from the stove.
Pour in some additional water if necessary (you want to cover the bottom).
Cover the pot and let it sit for 20 minutes.
When the time limit is done, take the lid off and fluff the ingredients around.
Make sure they get evenly distributed throughout the broth.
If the liquid isn’t enough, add a little bit more water.
Now stir in the noodles.
Return the pot to the stove and continue to simmer for an additional 15 minutes.
When the time limit is complete, turn off the heat.
Garnish with sliced green onion, sesame seeds, and crushed peanuts.
What Are The Ingredients In Meat Jun?
There are many different ways to make this dish.
But since we’re talking about Korean cuisine, the basic components include beef, pork, chicken, duck, goose, rabbit, fish, shellfish (clam, shrimp, squid), seaweed, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, leek, cabbage, garlic, ginger, shallot, gochujang powder, white vinegar, dark brown sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce, and chili flakes.
These ingredients are usually mixed together in various combinations depending on where you live.
In my area, I see it frequently used in restaurants, but rarely at home.
In addition to that, there are other optional extras that you might choose to add such as ginko nuts, green onion, egg, cornstarch, and potato starch.
However, those aren’t mandatory.
They’re simply added because people enjoy them.
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to making meat jun.
How Do You Make Meat Jun?
It’s pretty simple! All you need to do is follow the steps above.
For example, to make this vegetarian version, try replacing the meats with tofu, seitan, tempeh, or bean sprouts.
To make this vegan, replace the meat with lentils, chickpeas, beans, split peas, or edamame.
And finally, you could even skip the meat altogether and substitute it with vegetables instead.
What Is The Nutritional Value Of Meat Jun?
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a serving size contains 4 ounces of protein, 2 pounds of carbohydrate, 0 grams of saturated fat, 8 milligrams of cholesterol, and 120 calories.
That means each serving provides you with approximately 40% of your daily recommended intake of protein, 30% of your daily recommended carbohydrates, less than 1% of your daily recommended saturated fat, and 150 calories.
And while meat jun may be high in sodium, it doesn’t contain too much.
A single portion only has 140 mg of sodium which is half the amount recommended by the American Heart Association.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Meat Jun?
Since meat jun is packed full of nutrients, it’s great for overall good health.
Not only does it provide adequate amounts of proteins, but it also adds fiber, vitamin C, B vitamins, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, potassium, riboflavin, niacin, thiamine, folate, copper, manganese, phosphorous, selenium, iodine, and antioxidants.
One of the best things about meat jun is that it’s low in fats.
Since it contains only trace levels of saturated fat, it’s considered heart-healthy.
Another benefit is that it helps reduce blood pressure and prevents cancer.
Plus, it gives you energy.
Lastly, it makes you feel satiated due to the complex blend of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats that it contains.
What Are The Risks Of Eating Meat Jun?
Although meat jun is nutritious, it’s still very caloric.
So, don’t get carried away with this dish.
The USDA recommends consuming between 300 and 500 calories per day.
This will help keep your weight under control.
Another thing to consider is that meat jun can sometimes cause gas, bloating, stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and indigestion.
Therefore, it’s important that you drink plenty of fluids after having meat jun.
Also, avoid eating spicy foods right before, right after, or within two hours after eating meat jun.
Is Meat Jun A Healthy Food?
Yes. As long as you consume it in moderation, meat jun is safe to eat.
Just remember that it’s better eaten on occasion rather than every single day.
Why Is Meat Jun A Popular Recipe?
Because it tastes delicious and it’s easy to make.
Plus, it’s versatile.
You can easily switch meats with veggies, change spices, and adjust portions accordingly.
It’s a perfect meal prep option for busy families who don’t have time to spend multiple hours in the kitchen.
How Can I Make Meat Jun More Healthy?
You should definitely try adding healthier options to your meals.
Replace regular breads with whole grains and swap sugary sweets with fruits.
Don’t forget to add lean proteins like eggs, fish, poultry, legumes, nuts, tofu, etc.
Try to minimize processed carbs and sugars whenever possible.
Also, pay attention to your portion sizes. While everyone needs variety in their diets, it’s crucial to watch the amount you eat.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Americans tend to overeat because our bodies adapt to larger servings faster than they adapt to smaller ones.
So, eat slowly and mindfully.
What Are Some Alternative Recipes To Meat Jun?
I would recommend trying chicken meat jun, crab meat jun, shabu-shabu, and fried rice.
Those are just three examples of alternatives to meat jun.
Remember, you can always experiment with different flavors and spice levels to come up with new ideas.
Try making a veggie version of meat jun by replacing the meat with tofu, seitan, tempeh, or bean sprouts.
Or, replace the meat with vegetables like broccoli, peppers, celery, cauliflower, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, green beans, bell peppers, baby bok choy, kale, collard greens, mustard greens, Swiss chard, asparagus, brussels sprouts, fiddlehead ferns, snow pea pods, artichokes, and snap peas.
- 1 Bowl
- 1 Pan
- ½ pound ribeye thinly sliced
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 onion chopped
- ⅓ cup flour
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon Korean chili pepper flakes
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 stalks green onions chopped
- Make the meat marinade. Sliced meat should be put in a container. Pour the marinade over the meat after thoroughly combining all the ingredients. For one hour, marinate in the refrigerator.
- Construct the dipping sauce (optional). In a small bowl, combine the green onions, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, chilli flakes, and garlic. Place aside.
- Smash the meat. Onto a plate, pour the flour. The eggs should be beaten and put in a big bowl. Dip each pork slice into the flour first, working with one at a time (shake off any excess flour). the egg, and then dip.
- the meat in a pan. Make sure your pan has around 1/2 inch of oil. Fry for 1-2 minutes on each side over medium-high heat. When done, transfer to a plate covered in paper towels (to soak up oil).
- It’s mealtime! With hot rice and dipping sauce on the side, serve the pork jun. You can cut each piece like a steak and eat with a fork and knife. Alternatively, cut the meat into strips using scissors and then consume with chopsticks (this is how most places in Hawaii serve it).