How to properly eat Samgyeopsal

OVER the years, the Cebuano palate has grown to love many different kinds of cuisines from all over the world. Restaurants with specific specialties that are made from Asian countries like Japan and Korea have been frequented lately by Cebuano foodies. It is no question that Cebu has slowly become a foodie paradise.

With the rise of Korean pop culture came Korean food—exciting, spicy Korean food that has captured the Cebuanos’ taste. One of the most popular Korean dishes that Cebuanos love is samgyeopsal.

There’s something fun and exciting about grilling your own meat at the dinner table while gorging on the different side dishes that come with this Korean evening dish. But do you really know how to properly eat samgyeopsal (pork belly)? Here are step-by-step instructions on how to properly enjoy this Korean dish.

A major part of samgyeopsal is grilling the strip meats on the diners’ table and eating it directly from the grill. The meat of the samgyeopsal shouldn’t be marinated and should be cut into small thin strips. Grill the meat with white onions and garlic.

There are many side dishes that come with the samgyeopsal, which could be enjoyed while the meat is cooking. Though these side dishes vary from different restaurants, the samgyeopsal is mainly paired with fresh lettuce, spinach or other leafy vegetables, kimchi, pa muchim or fresh scallion salad, onions, garlic and green chili peppers.

Once the meat is cooked, use a piece of lettuce to wrap the meat strip. One may also place a piece of sliced onion, garlic, kimchi or any of the available vegetables inside the meat wrap. One may also put cooked rice in the wrap.

Dip the meat wrap to one or both of the main dipping sauces of samgyeopsal. Ssamjang is a paste that consists of chili paste, soybean paste and sesame oil, while the gireumjang is made of salt, sesame oil and a small amount of black pepper. Usually, the ssamjang is used by diners who eat samgyeopsal in a vegetable wrap while the gireumjang is for diners who want to taste the cooked meat itself.

This step-by-step guide is mainly how samgyeopsal is eaten, but don’t hesitate to experiment. Part of the reason why this Korean dish is so popular is that diners could actually eat it to their liking, so enjoy this Korean meat dish to your heart’s desire and grill away!

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