While living in Korea we found ourselves constantly trying new dishes that we had never heard of before. Some were great (read: 호떡 (ho-dduk) and 붕어빵 (bungeobbang)) while others weren’t as pleasing (read: silkworm larvae). If there’s one Korean dish that most foreigners find deliciously satisfying, it’s probably samgyupsal.
So what exactly is samgyupsal? The literal translation actually means “three layers of fat” which is precisely what you get. Think of a very thick bacon- and really, who doesn’t like bacon? I have to admit that I really wasn’t a fan of samgyupsal until we went to a local restaurant called Bul-Jip. They have a magical sauce that is to die for. If it was possible to milk a unicorn and fuse it with angel tears it just might compare to whatever liquid crack they put in their sauce. In reality I think it’s actually a mix of soy sauce, garlic, sugar, and sesame oil.
I’m a big fan of concocting “the perfect bite” and samgyupsal is no exception. Lucky for you, after many tests and trials I have successfully come up with the best bite to share. Selfless, no?
Cook your meat to perfection. Samgyupsal is something that you cook on your own. I prefer my meat well done (as it should be since it’s pork) and a little crispy. Throw some pieces of garlic on the grill as well. They’ll be nice and ready by the time you’re all set up. You’ll start with pieces of pork that look like this…
Prepare your sauce. They wonderful staff at Bul Jip will give you a bowl full of the aforementioned crack-juice. It’s your job to put what you want in it. Your choices are onions, green onions, and/or sprouts. I like to go heavy on the onion and sprouts.
You’ll also want to keep the kimchi nearby as you’ll need if for the perfect bite.
Grab a lettuce leaf (the boy prefers sesame leaves) and put a little bit of red bean paste on it.
Put on your blend of onions and sprouts that have been soaking in the sauce.
Add your perfectly cooked piece of samgyupsal and a piece of garlic. Throw some kimchi on top for good measure.
Wrap everything up in the leaf and shove the whole thing in your mouth. Attempt to look attractive while doing it. I obviously fail.
I’m not the only one that loves this stuff. We’ve taken all of our guests here and they’ve all loved it. Add a little soju to the mix and you’re in for quite the party.