Korean Food - Pork (Menu, Parts, Types)

Food in Korea | Harry

May 24, 2019

(All the following text is referenced from "Pork" by Amos Farooqi 




Korean Food - Pork


Pork is the most widely consumed meat in Korea, because of its savory taste and relatively cheap price, especially when compared to beef. All parts of the pig, from its head to its feet, are widely used in Korean dishes. Nevertheless, the most beloved part amongst Korean is by far pork belly, or samgyupsal.




Pork Cuts / Parts



Moksal: Boston butt

Perfect blend of flesh and fat.

barbeque, bossam

Deongshim: Loin

Consists of mostly flesh. Very soft.

steak, bulgogi, cutlet, jjigae

Anshim: Tenderloin

Consists of mostly flesh. Softest pork cut

jangjorim, tangsuyuk, cutlet

Dwitdarisal: Fresh Ham

Contains low fat and is a vividly colored part

ham, bossam, jangjorim,

Samgyeopsal: Pork Belly

Layered with flesh and fat. Juicy

barbeque, bacon, bulgogi, bossam

Galbi: Spare Ribs

Flesh with a bit of fat. Chewy and savory

barbeque, jjim

Apdarisal: Picnic shoulder

Consists of mostly flesh. A Bit tough

bulgogi, jjigae, bossam




1. Dwaeji Galbi


Dwaeji galbi is barbequed pork ribs marinated in a sweet combination of soy sauce, fruit puree, and other spices. This succulent and savory dish is a cheaper, but no less tasty, alternative to sogalbi (marinated beef rib barbeque), and is a popular menu item for all types of gatherings.


Where to eat:


- Suwon is famous for sogalbi (beef), Chuncheon is famous for dakgalbi (chicken), and finally the mecca of dweji galbi is Mapo in Seoul. Many restaurants with long histories are located in the Dwaeji Galbi Alley in Mapo, so if you’re in Seoul, do not miss the chance to taste authentic dwaegi galbi here.



2. Samgyupsal


The direct translation of samgyeopsal is ‘three layered meat’, meaning the three visible layers of meat and fat. It is undoubtedly the most popular food for friendly gatherings or any other dine-outs. Surveys show that the average Korean adult eats samgyeopsal once every four days.


Where to eat?


- You can find Korean barbeque restaurants serving samgyupsal anywhere. It’s also easy to cook at home, as grilling samgyeopsal doesn’t require a lot of skill. However you might have a hard time getting rid of the smell and grease afterwards



3. Bossam 


(Photo from Won-Halmeoni- Advert)
Bossam is a dish of sliced steamed pork served with various sides. For this dish the sides play as important a role as the meat, and will determine the taste of the dish. The basic sides that come with bossam are salted cabbage, kimchi and saewoojut (salted shrimp sauce). Other side dishes using seasonal ingredients such as oysters or squid are also served depending on the restaurant.


Where to eat?


- There are bossam restaurants everywhere, whether they’re franchises, in the food courts of department stores, or at traditional markets. If you visit the Bossam Alley near Jongno 3-ga station in Seoul, famous for gul-bossam (oyster bossam), you will be amazed by the generous amount of food you can get for an incredibly reasonable price.



4. Jokbal


(Photo from Korea Tourism Organization)
Jokbal is a traditional pork dish that Koreans enjoy both as a meal and as a side dish to munch on during drinking sessions. The main ingredient is pig trotters (feet), braised in traditional alcohol and other spices.

The front trotter is chewier as its muscles are more developed. But if you want your meat to be soft, eat the back trotter. Koreans usually prefer the taste of front trotter, although it’s more expensive.


Where to eat?


- There are a lot of franchises and restaurants specializing in jokbal in Korea. But the three major jokbal restaurants in Seoul are ‘Manjok Ohyang Jokbal’ near City Hall, ‘Seongsu Jokbal’ in Seongsu-dong, and ‘Yeongdong Jokbal’ in Yangjae. There are also many other famous restaurants located in Jangchung-dong Jokbal Alley and Gongdeok-dong Jokbal Alley



5. Sundae


(Photo by Korea Tourism Organization)
Sundae is a Korean style blood sausage generally made by steaming a pig's intestines and stuffing it with dangmyun (glass noodles) and pig’s blood. The thought of eating blood and pig intestines might sound exotic and even horrifying to some people, but it’s a very popular food in Korea.

It is one of Korea’s most popular snacks, alongside tteokbokki (stir-fried rice cake) and twigim (deep fried vegetables or seafood), all of which can be found at any street food vendor. There are also many restaurants specializing in sundae soup or stir-fried sundae.


Where to eat?


- You can find sundae at any street food vendor or snack house (bunsikjip), while sundaeguk restaurants are also quite common, usually around offices. But if you are in Seoul and want to try stir-fried sundae, definitely go to ‘Sundae Town’ in Sillim. It’s a building several stories tall filled with nothing but stir-fried sundae restaurants.



6. Gamjatang


Gamjatang is a slightly spicy, boiling hot stew of pork back bone, perilla leaves, perilla seed powder, cabbage, potatoes, and a few other ingredients. It’s very nutritious, making it perfect for recovering stamina.

Koreans often eat this dish to cure hangovers, but ironically it is also a popular food to have a few drinks over. Although 'gamja' is the Korean word for potato, the spinal cord included in the bone used to be called ‘gamja’, and this is where the dish got its name, not from potatoes.


Where to eat?


- There are plenty of gamjatang restaurants in any neighborhood you go to. However, there’s a famous gamjatang alley in Eungamdong in the northwestern part of Seoul that’s well known for this dish.





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