Samgyeopsal in the Seattle WeeklyFriday, June 19, 2009
So while I was in Seattle, I was asked by Jonathon Kauffman about samgyeopsal. Now I didn't know that I would be quoted. Thanks Jon! Here's the article and hit the link for the rest.
DanBeyond Bulgogi: Korean Pig Is What’s Worth Eating Leave the beef to barbecue neophytes. By Jonathan Kauffman
Koreans believe that if you dream of a pig, you'll get rich in the morning," Dan Gray of the blog Seoul Eats recently told me. Unfortunately, this isn't specific enough to help me interpret my dream journal. Must it be a live pig, or is roast pork sufficiently auspicious? Will grilled pork belly do, or can it be braised pig knuckle? If so, my lottery winnings must be in the mail.
Most of the best-known Korean dishes in America contain beef: bulgogi, kalbi (short ribs), japchae, bibimbap, even many kinds of kimbap (Korean sushi) and soondubu (soft-tofu stews). But anyone who thinks kalbi is the ne plus ultra of Korean cuisine should sit down for a meal of samgyeopsal, or uncured pork belly.
Samgyeopsal actually means "three-layer meat," referring to the striations of pink and white in its quarter-inch-thick slices. It's a Playskool painted-wood version of bacon, dauntingly solid in its raw state. Gray, who has lived and dined in Seoul for the past five years, says heavily marbled pork is so prized there that lean pork loin, for which we in the U.S. pay premium prices, is much cheaper than fattier cuts like the belly. And in Korea, pigs are still bred to pack on the pounds—just as they were in Western countries when lard was the primary cooking fat.