Sunday, November 27, 2011

Samgyeopsal (Spicy Pork on Hot Plate), Seoraksan Korea

 Between autumn and winter is not exactly the best season to go to Korea in all honesty! Weather is rainy and cold, vegetation is mostly dead and the lack of snow makes most places seem bleak. Still once in a while at Seoraksan, one of the most popular national parks in Korea, you find nice spots amidsts the desolation.

 Took a much needed break for lunch and grabbed a few beers to keep ourselves warm and boogie woogie all night long.

 We fumbled in the restaurant until we came across the english menu where we ordered a spicy pork on hotplate for two people at 25,000 won (~$28). Not speaking a word of Korean (and them not speaking a word of English) I waited for 10 minutes before I realized we had to collect our food at the counter ourselves. And holy crap ...

{ Samgyeopsal 삼겹살 (28,000 won, ~$28) }
Spicy pork on hotplate. Feeds 2 - 4.

 Never had I seen a plate of pork redder, fattier, sizzlier and more awesome that this right here. A version of Samgyeopsal (삼겹살), or 三層肉 in Chinese, thick fatty pork belly and onions cooked in what I assumed to be korean sweet spicy pepper sauce in a hot plate. With a little dash of sesame seeds and voila, you're done.

 But holy moley, was this one of the best pork dishes I've had in my entire life. The pork while fatty didn't taste oily - if that makes sense. While the pork fat in local 三層肉 disintegrates and melts into oily mush when you chew into it, the pork fat in these ones were strangely firm and tough, and every bite BURSTING in porky, bacony, sweet peppery goodness. I'm not sure if it's because the pigs were raised in a different way ... but needless to say this tastes unlike any pork I've tasted back home. And with a little bite of the caramelized onions ... awesomeness.

 While I've not had Samgyeopsal elsewhere in Korea, this simple dish blew my mind and it alone might have made the trip to Seoraksan worth the time and money. And did I mention there was enough meat on that plate to feed 4 grown men?


  1. hi there, if u fancy the 'red pork', there is a korean bbq restaurant in SG call Red Pig, off Amoy street that serve aunthetic bbq. Their famous dish is the red pig.. Many koreans would appear in this little restaurant during dinner time so it has to be good.

  2. Hi, may I know the name of this restaurant at Mt Sorak. I will be there mid of Nov.


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