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Samgyeopsal being grilled with sliced onions and garlic on a hot plate.
Korean name
Hangul 삼겹살
Hanja 三겹살
Revised Romanization Samgyeopsal
McCune–Reischauer Samgyŏpsal

Samgyeopsal (삼겹살; Korean pronunciation: [sʰamɡjʌps͈al]) is a popular Korean dish that is commonly served as an evening meal. It consists of thick, fatty slices of pork belly meat. The meat, usually neither marinated nor seasoned, is cooked on a grill at the diners’ table. Usually diners grill the meat themselves and eat directly from a grill. It is most commonly dipped in sesame seed oil mixed with salt and pepper.


The literal meaning of the word is “three (sam; 삼) layered (gyeop; 겹) flesh (sal;살)”, referring to what appears to be three layers that are visible in the meat. One can also find ogyeopsal (오겹살), with o meaning “five”.

In other countries[edit]


Something similar to "Samgyeopsal" is called "bara". It is cured and smoked belly meat as in the US, and is sold in either regular or half length sizes. Bacon in Japan is different from that in the US in that the meat is not sold raw, but is processed, precooked and has a ham-like consistency when cooked. Uncured belly rashers, known as bara (バラ), are very popular in Japan and are used in a variety of dishes (e.g. yakitori and yakiniku).

United States[edit]

A side of unsliced bacon was once known as a 'flitch'; it is now known as a 'slab'. An individual rasher of bacon is known as a 'slice' or 'strip'. The term 'rasher of bacon' is occasionally encountered (e.g., on restaurant menus) to mean a serving of bacon (typically several slices).


Roasted peameal bacon with a maple glaze at the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. An individual piece of bacon is a 'slice' or 'strip'. The term bacon on its own, or more specifically side bacon, typically refers to bacon from the pig's belly. Back bacon refers to either smoked or unsmoked bacon cut from the boneless eye of pork loin; this is called 'Canadian bacon' in the United States. Peameal bacon is back bacon, brined and coated in fine cornmeal (historically, it was rolled in a meal made from ground dried peas).

Also includes other countries like Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.


Pork has increased in Trade and has opened a free trade agreement. China: Prefer pork offal,thus the increasing of frozen pork. Japan: Prefer loin and Boston butt. South Korea: Prefer fatty pork belly,which is Samgyeopsal.

Popularity in Korea[edit]


According to a 2006 survey by Agricultural Cooperatives in Korea (농업협동조합), 85% of South Korean adults surveyed stated their favorite pork is samgyeopsal.[1] The survey also showed 70% of recipients eat the meat at least once a week. The high popularity of samgyeopsal makes it one of the most expensive parts of pork. South Korea imports wholesale samgyeopsal from Belgium, the Netherlands, and other countries for the purpose of price stabilization as imported pork is much cheaper than domestic.

The South Korean government planned to import 70,000 t of samgyeopsal with no tariff in the second half year of 2011. Thus, importation of samgyeopsal was expected to expand.

Samgyeopsal is popularly consumed both at restaurants and at home, and also used as an ingredient for other Korean dishes, such as kimchi jjigae.


The most common accompaniments for samgyeopsal are lettuce (sangchu; 상추) and sliced raw garlic, but very often the meat is served with other accompaniments, such as perilla leaves (kkaennip; 깻잎), sliced green chili peppers, shredded green onions, sliced raw onions, and aged kimchi (mugeunji; 묵은지). Garlic, onions, and kimchi can be either grilled with the meat or consumed raw with the cooked meat. Mushrooms, such as button mushrooms or oyster mushrooms, are also grilled with the meat.

Dipping sauce[edit]

Samgyeopsal is almost always served with at least two kinds of dipping sauces. One is ssamjang (쌈장), a paste consisting of chili paste (gochujang; 고추장), soybean paste (doenjang; 된장), sesame oil (참기름), and other ingredients; the other is gireumjang (기름장), made with salt and sesame oil, sometimes also with a small amount of black pepper. Usually ssamjang is used when a diner eats samgyeopsal with vegetable accompaniments, and gireumjang when a diner wants to taste the cooked meat itself.

Sauce Recipe[edit]

Seasoned Garlic Chives

Pork Belly BBQ (Samgyeopsal Gui) seasoned leek1- Ingredients for 4 servings

Garlic chives – one fistful 1/2 a small onion Sauce (mix these in a bowl)

Soy sauce – 1 tsp Refined rice wine – 1 tsp Anchovy sauce – 1/2 tsp Dark brown sugar – 1/2 tsp Chili powder – 1/2 tsp Apple vinegar – 1/2 tsp Sesame oil – 1/2 tsp Minced garlic – 1/4 tsp Parched sesame – 1/4 tsp -Steps

Rinse the garlic chives in cold water. Divide them into 3 portions and thin slice the onion. Put the garlic chives and onion into a big bowl. Just before you serve it add the sauce and mix them well. If you mix them too earlier the garlic chives go soggy. Serve it on the plate.


Prior to consumption, the large slice of the pork belly is cut into smaller pieces with scissors. A common way to consume samgyeopsal is to place a slice of the cooked meat on a leaf of lettuce or a perilla leaf or both, with some cooked rice and ssamjang, and to roll it up in the leaf and eat it. It is usually called sangchu-ssam (상추쌈). Cooked rice and other foods wrapped in Korean lettuce can also be called sangchu-ssam. Any combination of the vegetable accompaniments mentioned above can be added to the roll according to preference, the most popular is sliced garlic. Many people also add in kimchi, mushrooms, bean sprouts, and grilled onions. Usually, different types of banchan are added. Part of the reason so many people enjoy this food is they can customize it to their liking.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1] 2006 ACK Survey

Steele.J (2014, February 28)The Korean Blog:Blogging Korea,Sharing Experience. ZenKimchi. (2006, June 28) The Korean Food Journal. Sue. (2007, January 24) My Korean Kitchen. Oh. (2012, January) Asian- Australasian Journal of Animal Science.

External links[edit]