Samgyeopsal(삼겹살) -or grilled pork belly- is one of the most popular Korean dishes. It is mostly enjoyed as an evening meal, which is perfectly understandable considering not many people would enjoy eating grilled pork with fat with their morning coffee or tea. Thick, fatty slices of pork meat are usually grilled at the dinner table without being seasoned or marinated before.
In a survey, %85 of South Korean adults said it was their favorite pork meal. Due to this popularity, it’s belly is the most expensive part of the pork. Samgyeopsal is consumed both at restaurants and homes. Also, it can be used as an ingredient in another very popular meal, kimchi jjigae.
Although the meat is not seasoned or marinated before the cooking process, Samgyeopsal is almost always served with at least two different dipping sauces. One of them is ssamjang(쌈장), which consists of chili paste(gochujang – 고추장), soybean paste(doenjang – 된장), sesame oil and several other ingredients and the other is gireumjang(기름장), made using sesame oil, salt and sometimes black pepper.
Before eating it, people usually cut a slice of the pork belly into little pieces using a scissor. A common way of consuming it is to place a slice of meat on a lettuce or leaf with some rice and ssamjang and eat it. That is usually called sangchu-ssam( 상추쌈).