In many Korean restaurants across the globe, samgyupsal is King and while in Korea this might not entirely be the case, it still is a favorite in the vast Korean food repertoire – so much so that March 3 is dedicated to samgyupsal, and is rightfully called Samgyupsal Day.
Imagine this setting: a Korean restaurant is enveloped in a thick haze of smoke. You enter, and think to yourself, “Ah, I’m most likely going to smell when I get out. Maybe I should go?” But then your gaze settles on the open menu and there’s the samgyupsal photo sticking out from the pages. You understand it all too well: the three-layers of goodness may as well be three-layers of heaven. Samgyupsal is just flesh, fat and skin cooking in its own fat; but then you look at the tabletop grill, waiting for it to reach its most ideal doneness and you’re possessed by a different kind of impatience.
Samgyupsal is usually cooked on tabletop grills in Korean restaurants – if you know how. This plate of pork belly comes with garlic and onion, which you can also grill alongside the samgyupsal. Within your arm’s reach are the ssam and the ssamjang which you can use to wrap the samgyupsal in. Or if you’re feeling it, you can eat samgyupsal as soon as you’ve lifted it from the grill. Be careful though, it is hot.