Samgyupsal Gui (Grilled Pork Belly) and Grilling Roundup

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The warm weather is definitely here to stay! That means it’s grilling season. Grilling is enormously popular in Korean cuisine. I’m sure many of you have been to a smoke-filled Korean restaurant where you grill your meat at the table. At home, we use a portable gas grill or electric grill to cook at the table, or we fire up the grill outside. Traditionally, grilling is done over wood charcoal (sootbul, 숯불), which is considered the best heat source for Korean grilling and used by many good Korean BBQ restaurants. In the past, I’ve shared a number of marinated Korean BBQ recipes.
 
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Here, I decided to introduce a very simple yet popular grilled dish called samgyupsal (fresh pork belly) gui (grilled), which is an absolute favorite. The thick strips of pork belly can be cooked in large pieces or in bite sizes. The fresh meat is grilled without seasoning or marinating. You dip a piece in the sesame oil sauce and wrap it in a lettuce leaf with a dollop of ssamjang and pa muchim (scallion salad) or simply sliced scallions. Simple enough?
 
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3 – 4 servings
Ingredients:
1 pound thick sliced fresh pork belly (Samgyupsal)
3-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 green chili peppers, roughly sliced
(It’s also common to grill sliced onions, mushrooms and/or kimchi with the pork.)

3 – 4 scallions, thinly sliced (or pa muchim)
2 heads of red or green lettuce
(You can also use perilla leaves, kkaennip.)  

Sesame oil sauce:
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste

Ssamjang (sauce for wraps):
1 tablespoon gochujang, Korean red chili pepper paste
2 tablespoons doenjang, Korean soybean paste
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon rice wine (optional)
(If the sauce is too thick, use a tablespoon of water or soda to thin it.)

Prepare the vegetables. Mix the sauce ingredients for each sauce. 

Heat the grill (or a flat pan or grill pan). Cut the pork belly strips in shorter bite size pieces. You can also grill first and cut into bite sized pieces.

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Add the meat to the grill along with the garlic, chili peppers, and any other vegetables you are using. Grill over moderate heat until cooked through, flipping once. It’s best to serve right off the grill or pan as you cook.

For additional summer grilling ideas, I am also sharing a roundup of great Korean grilled dishes. Happy grilling!

Galbi (Korean BBQ Short Ribs)
These grilled ribs are so tasty that everyone loves it every time. The smooth balance of sweet and savory flavors is certainly palate pleasing!
 
galbi - Samgyupsal Gui (Grilled Pork Belly) and Grilling Roundup

 

Dwaeji Galbi/Kalbi (Korean-Style Pork Ribs)
The two different Korean marinades for these ribs will be a nice change from the usual dry rub and BBQ sauce versions.

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Dwaeji Bulgogi (Korean Spicy Marinated Pork)
If you love fatty pork and spicy food, this is the perfect dish for you!
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Bulgogi (Korean BBQ Beef)
Easy to make with only a few simple ingredients!
 
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Dak Bulgogi (Korean BBQ Chicken)
If you like sweet and savory bulgogi flavor but don’t like red meat, this one’s for you! For easier outdoor grilling, marinate the chicken pieces without cutting into bite sizes.

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LA Galbi/Kalbi (Korean BBQ Short Ribs)
A different cut of short ribs!
 
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Godeungeo gui (Grilled Mackerel)
The fish is simply salted and grilled. The high oil content, firm flesh, and strong flavor of mackerel makes it perfect for grilling.
 
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Korean-flavored Baked Chicken Wings

You can also grill these chicken wings over moderate heat for 15 to 20 minutes, turning frequently.
 
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Comments

  1. I tried making samgyupsal once at home over stovetop in a cast iron grill pan. However, my studio apartment became so oily that I spent 2 hours cleaning the whole place and had to do it 2 days in a row! Is it as oily when grilling it over an electric griddle? I am scarred and so afraid of it now. 🙁

    • We normally grill samgyupsal in a pan with a drip hole or tray so the fat/oil can flow down. You can also absorb the fat with a paper towel as you cook so there are less oil to burn. Just being electric doesn’t help. Hope this helps.

  2. 안냉하세요 HYOSUN RO씨, I recently discovered your website and am enjoying your recipes! I am also trying to learn Korean and would greatly appreciate your providing the correct spelling in Hangul for the dishes you make and Korean ingredients you use. 감사합니다!

  3. I wanted to say a big kamsamnida for this recipe! I tried it out yesterday at lunch for my parents, sister and brother-in-law. A kilo of pork (and my father doesn’t eat much red meat), but there wasn’t a scrap left. It was delicious, thank you so much for this.

  4. What do you call where you grilled that pork??

  5. I dated a Korean man for a while, and he made the *best* samgyupsal!

    Along with the ingredients you have here, he also grilled mushroom tops, onions, peppers, and kimchi. The mushroom tops are especially good: as they grill, they become filled with their own tasty brothy moisture.

    As other people have said, I loved the communal aspect of samgyupsal. He would be in charge of grilling the meat, and the rest of the diners would grill the veggies and garlic — and make wraps for the grill-tender, of course!

    This recipe brought back a lot of happy memories. ^_^

  6. It’s a fun time having samgyeopsal with family around the table. Perfect way to bond. Is there any alternative sauce for the ssamjang? Thanks

    • Yes I couldn’t agree with you more! Are you saying you don’t have gochujang or doenjang? How about Japanese miso?

  7. what kind of Korean BBQ grill (or plate ) is the best for household using?

  8. I love Sam-Gyup-Sal! My husband hates it so I don’t get to eat these very often but when I go to Korea to visit family, I plan on eating these!! Yum! These are perfect with Kimchi Ji-gae!

    • I know what you mean. My brother loves samgyupsal, but his wife doesn’t it pork. So he loves it when I make samgyupsal when we get together.

  9. sUjittra soontrontip says

    หมูย่างของเกาหลีวิเศษจริงๆอร่อยมากๆๆเลย

  10. Anonymous says

    thanks for this blog, i am so addicted to korean food and korean soap. cant get enough of kimchi. its so hard to get any authentic korean recipes. i will surely try all your recipes.

  11. Sofie Dittmann @thegermanfoodie says

    “Mom”, you can cook for me any time. Will you adopt me? 🙂

  12. Wow, love all the food that you posted. Very well done, Hyosun. Who wouldn’t like samgyupsal wrap with lettuce? I should have some at home soon.

  13. Hi Hyosun, Love grilled pork belly and I love smoky-filled Korean restaurants. 😉 Thanks for the grilling round-up, it’s the perfect “go to” post! Have a great weekend!

  14. Nami | Just One Cookbook says

    Hi Hyosun! This is a very very nostalgic food for me. My very good Korean friend made delicious samgyopsal when we were in college and he made so many great Korean food. We rely on his cooking a lot back then… LOL. I haven’t made this for years since he left for Korea. We eat pork belly often. I think I’ll make this very soon. Thanks for the wonderful Korean recipes all the time!

  15. My parents loved grilled pork belly. Personally, I never liked pork belly, but I always see people eating them on Korean dramas and they certainly make it look tempting enough for me to give it another try. Loved the dak bulgogi idea. Don’t know why I never thought to use the same marinade for chicken… duh!

  16. That grilled mackerel looks especially beautiful – plump, juicy flesh, with the wonderful fish oils as a back flavour… I’m feeling hungry again 😀

    I remember seeing the dwaeji bulgogi before here and remember thinking how wonderful it looked – thanks for introducing us to a few of the other grill delights you’ve posted though!

  17. The grilled pork belly sounds fabulous. Dipped in the sesame oil sauce and wrapped in salad leaves… it must be a wonderful summer meal.
    Thank you for reminding us of all the excellent grilling recipes you have posted. I have made your bulgogi dozens of times (usually with pork because I love pork) and it’s always perfect. I must try the chicken bulgogi and definitely spicy marinated pork!

  18. Katherine Martinelli says

    Oh how I love and miss pork belly!!! Haven’t had it for ages. This looks delicious!! As do all your grilling recipes 🙂

  19. What a lovely spread…love the pork belly…it is so simple yet tastes so incredible….

  20. Wow, that’s one awesome spread. We don’t eat pork but you have made me curious to try the recipe with chicken/lamb

  21. Priscilla M says

    I can’t even choose which one I like the best. They all look very inviting!

  22. denise @ singapore shiok says

    Oh! My word!! After seeing Biren’s grilled turmeric chicken, I had to come check out your grilled pork belly and I’m almost sorry I did. I’m on a diet and this is making me feel so sad and deprived 🙁 Now I have to console myself with rice porridge and simmered lean beef soup!

    I also wanted to wish you a Happy Memorial Day and to personally invite you to participate in my giveaway to celebrate the completion of my second cookbook. It’s not a competition, just leave a comment and you’re in the running for one of three prizes! I’m so happy it’s finished and I hope you will come celebrate with me 🙂

    • Hyosun Ro says

      Thank you, Denise! You’re so kind. Congrats on your second book!! I entered your giveaway. Hope I win! haha

  23. Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake says

    Pork belly is literally my favourite meat. A lot of people I know take off the skin and all the fat which makes this delicious meat less than what it can taste and I think that’s always such a waste. All your meats look delicious and it’s making me very hungry!

    • Hyosun Ro says

      It’s my son’s favorite as well. And my son will entirely agree with you on the skin and fat. Thanks for the nice words!

  24. I have never tried pork belly but your photos made me really hungry. I think I must try it!

  25. Sandra M. says

    Absolutely stunning each and every dish that you presented! Love pork belly fresh from the grill..so crunchy and flavorful! Those ribs are making my mouth water just like everything else:)
    Hope that you are having great week so far!

  26. Just an awesome round up!! I am going here next for my dinner, but first i have to get some fresh kimchi 🙂

  27. Simple yet delicious! I love simple recipes that use just a few ingredients!

  28. angsarap.net says

    I love Korean barbecues! And is one of my favourite theme restaurant, its not just the delicious meats and side dishes, its the joy of cooking this items together at table tops

  29. This is my favorite thing to eat ! Thank you for another one of my favs hyosun :))

  30. Fern @ To Food With Love says

    Another great recipe Hyosun, and it looks delicious! Will definitely be trying this soon! Thanks for posting this 🙂

  31. Okay, now I’ll have to grill pork belly!

    Korean BBQ is the best! 🙂

  32. I’m so used to seeing Koreans eat samgyupsal grill in dramas, I had no idea how easy it was!

    I have a little question: do you know the exact name of those green chili peppers? And are they extra hot? I think I’ve seen people (yes, in a drama probably lol) bite into those peppers like it was totally normal and not spicy!

    • Hyosun Ro says

      Lk – Sorry for the late reply. These peppers were not really hot. They are just called Korean gochu, which come in varying degrees of heat level. Thanks for visiting!