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Samgyeopsal, one of the most popular Korean dishes, refers to pork belly meat slices grilled on your table. It’s name literally means: three (sam; 삼) layered (gyeop; 겹) flesh (sal; 살) referring to the layering of fat and meat. In fact, there’s a Samgyeopsal Day celebrated every 3rd of March (sam 삼-sam; 삼) where all people should eat Samgyeopsal. 🙂

We went all the way to the Gangneung province to taste and experience what authentic Samgyeopsal is like in Korea…


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Samgyeopsal is usually eaten during dinner, but we were lucky to find a place open for lunch.

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It’s a very traditional menu (no English translation), so just get the usual set. We paid KRW 8,000/person.

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The meal starts with the owner prepping the grill and serving Cass Korean beer. 🙂

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Banchan side dishes like kimchi and shredded lettuce with sesame dressing are served…

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…as well as garlic, okra with chili paste…

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…jelly with chili…

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…and my favorite, green vegetables with sweet chili, and tofu with chili paste.

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The restaurant has an open kitchen setup where you can see how the food is prepared.

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She showed us the part of the pig where samgyeopsal comes from… 

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The slices of pork belly are not marinated or seasoned. The flavor comes from the quality of the meat. 

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Burning red charcoal is placed in the center of the grill.

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The exhaust is used to intensify the heat of the charcoal.

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The pork slices are cooked on one side, typically with slices of garlic and sometimes kimchi.

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You flip the pork slice afterwards, making sure you cook each side only once.

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Then you cut the meat into bite size pieces.

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Usually, you can dip it in a sauce of salt and sesame oil for flavor. I prefer it with chili.

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Cook until the meat has that good grilled finish. Just make sure not to overcook it.

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The pork is usually eaten wrapped in vegetables with Ssamjang (chili), with bits of garlic, kimchi, or  rice.

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Traditionally, the meal ends with hot soup, probably to ensure your veins don’t clog up from eating too much samgyeopsal. 🙂

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Thank you to my Samgyeopsal buddies, DJ Quang from Vietnam, Wut and Kate from Thailand, and our very good Korean Tour Guide, Helen Kim

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I’m happy I got to appreciate the art of eating Samgyeopsal the traditional Korean way. 🙂 

It’s definitely an experience you shouldn’t miss when you travel to Korea!

Awesome Korea Experience: Be Inspired Series

Live an Awesome Life,

Anton 
Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com

P.S. Thank you to Korean Tourism Organization of Manila for the Asian On Air Program: Asia Power Bloggers Tour of South Korea! 감사합니다 Kamsahamnida!

Here’s the calling card of the restaurant we ate at:

KOREA Calling Card