Chef's Recipes

Pork belly with clams, cavolo nero namul and corn (samgyeopsal)

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for pork belly with clams, cavolo nero namul and corn (samgyeopsal) by Moon Park, Sydney.

By Eun Hee An & Ben Sears
  • 40 mins preparation
  • 15 mins cooking
  • Serves 4 - 6
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Pork belly with clams, cavolo nero namul and corn (samgyeopsal)
"Belly pork is my favourite thing to eat at Korean barbecue: the meat is served as rashers and finished with salt and sesame oil," says Sears. "The fatty, sweet pork with nutty sesame oil and the smoky flavours of the barbecue is immensely satisfying. Korean cuisine also does surf and turf pretty well, and clams and pork go very nicely together." Namul essentially means marinated vegetable; the marinade here will make more than you need, but it lasts well in the fridge and goes with most green vegetables. Ssämjang is a mix of Korean miso and gochujang and can be served with everything. It keeps well in the fridge, too.


  • 1 kg diamond-shell (or other large) clams
  • 1 bunch cavolo nero, trimmed
  • 1 tsp grapeseed oil
  • 600 gm pork belly, cut across the grain into 2cm-thick strips
  • To taste: sesame oil
  • 1 punnet baby corn (115gm)
Namul marinade
  • 50 gm doenjang (soy bean paste)
  • 2 tbsp maesil (fermented plum extract)
  • 10 gm toasted sesame seeds, coarsely ground with a mortar and pestle
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 75 gm doenjang (soy bean paste)
  • 75 gm gochujang (chilli paste)
  • 75 gm toasted sesame seeds, finely ground with a mortar and pestle
  • 15 gm caster sugar
  • 2½ tsp maesil (fermented plum extract)
  • 30 ml mirin, or enough to thin


  • 1
    Heat a saucepan over high heat until lightly smoking, add clams and 200ml water, cover with a lid and cook, removing them with tongs as they open (2-4 minutes). Strain the liquid off and refrigerate while you remove the meat from the shells. Place the meat in the juice and refrigerate.
  • 2
    For namul marinade, combine ingredients in a bowl to a smooth paste.
  • 3
    For ssämjang, combine ingredients except mirin in a bowl to a smooth paste, then add mirin, thinning to your desired consistency.
  • 4
    Blanch cavolo nero (30-40 seconds). Drain, pat dry, then mix with 2 tbsp namul marinade and keep warm. Reserve remaining marinade for serving.
  • 5
    Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat until smoking, then add pork in batches and cook, turning occasionally, until deep golden and cooked through (2-3 minutes each side). Transfer to a warm plate, brush with sesame oil, season with sea salt flakes and keep warm. Return pan to heat.
  • 6
    Briefly fry baby corn in batches in the pork fat (1-2 minutes) and serve with pork, drained clams and cavolo nero, with ssämjang to the side.


Drink Suggestion: 2011 Scholium Project “Gardens of Babylon” red blend, Suisun Valley, USA. Drink suggestion by Ned Brooks