Herb Samgyupsal (Korean Grilled Pork Belly)


I accepted samgyupsal (grilled pork belly, aka thick bacon) into my late-night diet of soju and beer outings while living in Seoul. The best thing about samgyupsal is that there is little or no marinating involved. You just need to cut it into bite-size pieces and cook it on the stovetop. Enjoy with a variety of lettuce varieties (red leaf lettuce, Boston bibb, frisee) and rice.

Prep Time:
25 mins
Cook Time:
17 mins
Additional Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
57 mins
6 servings


  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed

  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 2 pounds pork belly strips

  • 1 cup chopped kimchi

  • 1 bulb garlic, cloves separated and peeled

  • 3 scallions (pajori), chopped

Ssamjang Dipping Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons doenjang (Korean soybean paste)

  • 2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste), or more to taste

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 ½ teaspoons sesame seeds

  • 1 teaspoon rice wine

  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar


  1. Mix thyme, dill, rosemary, and garlic powder together in a small bowl. Rub over both sides of each pork belly strip. Let stand at room temperature, about 15 minutes.

  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook pork belly strips until well browned, about 7 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving some grease in the skillet. Cut strips into bite-sized pieces.

  3. Saute kimchi, garlic cloves, and scallions in the reserved grease over medium-high heat until starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate.

  4. Mix doenjang, gochujang, sesame oil, minced garlic, sesame seeds, rice wine, and brown sugar in a bowl to make ssamjang sauce.

  5. Serve pork belly strips with kimchi, garlic, scallions, and ssamjang sauce.

Cook's Notes:

Substitute fresh herbs for the dried if preferred.

Substitute honey for the brown sugar if desired.

If you are pressed for time, you can skip the herb rub and buy ready-made ssamjang sauce sold at the Korean market. This will cut prep and cooking time in half.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

349 Calories
24g Fat
12g Carbs
21g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 349
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 7g 37%
Cholesterol 55mg 18%
Sodium 1594mg 69%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 21g
Vitamin C 18mg 92%
Calcium 72mg 6%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 425mg 9%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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