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Samgyupsal at home? Here’s a quick guide—from meat cuts to side dishes

Samgyupsal at home? Here’s a quick guide—from meat cuts to side dishes

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samgyupsal at home

You probably already miss seeing and smelling the sizzling of pork and beef as you grill it in Korean barbeque restaurants. We do, too—which is why we tried figuring out how to make our own samgyupsal feast at home, and we’re here to tell you everything you need to know.

Of course, the first and most important thing you have to know is identifying the meat cuts you should use. While samgyupsal is pork belly (or simply, liempo) cut into 1/4 inch thick cubes, Korean barbeque restaurants also offer a variety of other meat cuts.

Among these is the chadolbaegi, or the very thin beef brisket strips which take little time to cook on the grill. Using chadolbaegi for your samgyupsal feast at home requires you to freeze the meat ahead of time to make sure that its layers of fat don’t melt.

Another paper-thin beef cut that’s easy to cook is usamgyeop or beef belly slices. When raw, these look like rolled-up bacon slices and are perfect for those who don’t like waiting for a long time or estimating whether the meat is already cooked or not.

However, if you prefer thicker meat cuts, you can opt for deungsim or steak cuts like sirloin and ribeye. Although a bit more expensive, the latter chars more beautifully when grilled.

You’ve also probably heard of hanwoo or high-grade Korean beef, but since this variety is a bit hard to find, you can grill tender beef cuts instead.

In order to make sure that the meat doesn’t stick to the grill, make sure to spread some oil by rubbing one strip of meat on it before you put all the rest.

Here’s where you can buy ingredients:

Side dishes

Lettuce leaves and kimchi as wraps are a given. But in addition to these two, here are some popular side dishes in Korean barbeque restaurants which you can easily make:

One of the side dishes often served with samgyupsal are Korean stir-fry glass noodles, more popularly known as japchae. You can make this at home using vermicelli or sweet potato noodles, strips of lean beef, spinach, vegetable oil, onion, mushrooms, carrots, salt and ground black pepper. For the sauce, all you need is soy sauce, white sugar, sesame oil and garlic.

A tasty match for meat and freshly-steamed rice is the side dish gamja jorim or Korean braised potatoes. While regular-sized potatoes are also used for this dish, samgyupsal places prefer braising baby potatoes instead to emphasize its bite-sized look. All you need to make it are baby potatoes, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, sesame oil and sesame seeds for garnish.

Aside from being a side dish for samgyupsal, kongnamul muchim or seasoned soybean sprouts also often go with bibimbap. Similar to ginisang togue, its important feature is its crunchy texture, which is highlighted by the nutty flavor of the sprouts. Together with sprouts, you need scallions, garlic, sesame oil, sesame seeds, salt and pepper to make this side dish.

Another favorite among those who frequently eat at samgyupsal places is the candied sweet potatoes dish called goguma mattang. Kids will also surely love this treat, which can be easily made using sweet potatoes, cooking oil and sugar plus crushed nuts or roasted sesame seeds as garnish.

Here’s where you can buy ingredients:

Header photo by SJ Baren on Unsplash

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Writer: YANN MAGCAMIT

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