Samgyupsal-guyi & Ssamjang (삼겹살 구이 & 쌈장): Roasted Pork Belly & Lettuce Wrap

[Samgyupsal: pork belly, Guyi: roasted, sautéed or grilled, ssam: wrap, vegetable wrap, jang: sauce]

You can transfer your home into a Korean restaurant by simply grilling some pork belly and by having the right Korean condiments. Samgyupsal-guyi (삼겹살구이)means grilled (guyi) pork belly (samgyupsal). It can be cooked on a barbeque grill, indoor grill, charcoal fire or on a skillet as I did today. Ssam means a vegetable wrap made of any variety of lettuces, fresh or cooked, but classically consists of red leaf lettuce and perilla leaves (깻잎, often called sesame leaves). One essential condiment for a perfect ssam is ssamjang, which is a combination of the trinity of Korean cooking ingredients, duenjang (된장), gochujang (고추장)and gochugaru (고추가루). I impress my friends with homemade ssamjang, which is extremely easy to make although packaged ssamjang is easily found in Korean supermarkets. Needless to say, home-made ssamjan makes a world of difference. Any other condiments are up to you, but please do serve kimchi!


  • 1 lb. (about 500g) port belly, sliced against the grain
  • 1 head of red leaf lettuce
  • Perilla leaves (깻잎), about 20
  • Kimchi

Ingredients for Ssamjang (쌈장):

  • 4 tbsp. duenjang (된장, soybean paste)
  • 2 tbsp. gochujang (고추장, red pepper paste)
  • 1 tbsp. gochugaru (고추가루, red pepper powder)
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. maesilchung (매실청, Korean apricot syrup) – optional
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. roasted sesame seeds

Ingredients for  manul-jang (마늘장)  or Roasted garlic (optional):

  • Garlic, about 1 head, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. salt

–        Place thinly sliced garlic into a very small cast-iron skillet, sprinkle salt and sesame oil and cook over low heat until the garlic become golden brown and crispy.

Ingredients for Saewoojut (새우젓, Salted shrimp) dipping sauce for pork (per serving)

  • 1 tsp. Saewoojut (새우젓, Salted shrimp)
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • Sprinkle of gochugaru (고추가루, red pepper powder)

–       In a small bowl, place the saewoojut, pour sesame oil on top and sprinkle a tiny bit of gochgaru

Ingredients for salted sesame oil: a great alternative to the saewoojut dipping sauce

  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 pinch of pepper
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil

–       In a small bowl, pour sesame oil on top of the salt and pepper

  1. Wash the red leaf lettuce and perilla leaves individually and soak in cool water. This helps to liven the leaves.
  2. Mix ingredients for ssamjang. (I like to make a lot at a time and store it in the refrigerator, which lasts for several weeks. If you plan to store it for a long time, omit the sesame oil and sesame seeds initially and these two ingredients right before serving.)
  3. Grill the pork belly. When it is half cooked, cut it into bite size pieces with cooking scissors.
  4. When the meat is thoroughly cooked and crispy, make a delicious ssam and enjoy!

I like to place a perilla leaf on top of a red lettuce leaf, then add a little rice, pork dipped into one of the sauces, a slice of roasted garlic, kimchi and a bit of ssamjang.

5 thoughts on “Samgyupsal-guyi & Ssamjang (삼겹살 구이 & 쌈장): Roasted Pork Belly & Lettuce Wrap

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