When most people think of Korean food, they think of kimchi and Korean barbecue. I’ve actually never had Korean barbecue in the states, but somehow I doubt that it compares to what is found in Korea. Today I am going to talk about neither of those delicious foods. Instead, I will introduce one of my favorite foods in Korea; samgyeopsal (삼겹살)! Samgyeopsal is pork belly; the name literally translates to “three fold flesh” referring to the folds of a large belly. Samgyeopsal is served raw at a table with a small grill in the center. Often times the samgyeopsal will come with mushrooms, kimchi, onion, and other fresh or grill-able ingredients. Sometimes the grill is gas powered, sometimes it is coal heated. In the case of the latter, there will be an exhaust vent directly above the grill to remove any smoke. Usually the samgyeopsal is about the size of very thick bacon. After it cooks on both sides it is cut and cooks for a short while longer. It doesn’t take long at all for samgyeopsal to cook. Along with the meal is the wide array of Korean side dishes. These include anything from sweet pumpkin to any number of sauces. Once the meat is cooked it is common to make a small wrap from a piece of lettuce or sesame leaf. Inside the wrap you can put anything you find at the table (most commonly mushroom, radish, kimchi, or onion).
Later I will tell about a different way to cook samgyeopsal, but for now I will just say that it is a wonderful meal. The only downsides are that it is a bit greasy, and your clothes may smell like pork belly for a while.