Korean Barbecue Pork Jowl Lettuce Wraps

Korean Barbecue Pork Jowl Lettuce Wraps
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Korean Barbecue stands out because of simple flavors that pairs well with interesting cuts of meat; Pork Jowl Lettuce Wraps are no exception. Jowl is the face meat, along the jawline and chin. While pork cheeks are also part of the face, this smaller cut sits above the jowl. What you really need to know is that the jowl is marbled like bacon. <Yep, you read right, LIKE bacon!!> And it tastes like bacon!!! Because the jowl is not consistent in size or thickness, it can be intimidating. Since lettuce wraps often have minced filling or is sliced thin, jowl works very well. This bacon-like cut captures the sweet natural flavors of pork. Even rendered, jowl has a bit of chew, but when sliced thin, its a perfect bite with the freshness of lettuce. Yum!

Take barbecue and a lettuce wrap together, its the perfect weekday meal. “Korean Barbecue” for this week’s Supper Challenge is delightful in its simplicity and flavor. Add Miso Green Beans to the plate and dinner is served!

Taste: delicious – rendered sweet pork with savory umami of miso

Tenderness: soft and rendered with some crispy bits if you are lucky, the pork has a slight pleasant chew or resistance that is unique to the lettuce crisp

Korean Barbecue Pork Jowl Lettuce Wraps

Korean Barbecue Pork Jowl Lettuce Wraps

Korean Barbecue Pork Jowl Lettuce Wraps is the perfect bite of fresh, earthy, spicy with rendered pork with a little chew.  Perfect!


  • 1 lb pork jowl scored

SmellaQue Kitchen Pantry Rub

  • 1 tablespoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt (NOT table salt!!!)
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried or ground paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne

Lettuce Wrap

  • Ssam Jang Mild or Spicy – Seasoned soybean paste
  • 2 Romaine lettuce hearts


  • Preheat grill to low-medium or 250F
  • Generously season all sides of the pork jowl with SmellaQue Kitchen Pantry Rub
  • Place the pork jowl on the grill to render (preferably indirect if cooking on charcoal) about 5 minutes
  • Flip the pork jowl on the grill to render the other side, about 5 minutes.
  • Increase the temperature on the grill or if cooking on charcoal, place the pork jowl over the direct heat and sizzle/ sear the jowl for 2 minutes.
  • Flip pork jowl to sizzle for 2 minutes.
  • Once pork jowl is at 150, take off the grill to rest for at least 10 minutes.
  • Cut pork jowl into 1 ½” strips
  • Slice the 1 ½” strips across into ¼” slices.


  • On a romaine lettuce leaf, lightly spread Ssam Jang across the leaf.
  • Lay several pieces of grilled pork jowl onto the leaf.
  • Fold the leaf to encapsulate the pork jowl for a full satisfying first bite.

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