The Ultmate Guide To Korean BBQ Meat Cuts & Parts

All The Essential Meat Cuts And What To Order For The Ultimate Korean BBQ Experience! Samgyeopsal? Pork Cheek?

3 years ago

Korean BBQ, samgyeopsal on a grill

Korean cuisine offers a variety of dishes. One thing that many people associate it with is the sizzling sound of barbecue grills

But Korean BBQ is more than grilled pork belly (samgyeopsal). What other cuts can be found on Korean BBQ menus? Which one is your favorite?


Long strip of samgyeopsal pork on a grill

Samgyeopsal (삼겹살), or pork belly, is the most popular cut to use for BBQ in South Korea. There are countless of BBQ restaurants across the country, and most of them will have samgyeopsal on their menus. 

Offering both juiciness and lean meat, many foreigners nowadays associate Korean cuisine with the dish. 

The price varies depending on where the pork was produced. Samgyeopsal made from domestic pork is said to be the best, and also costs a little bit more.


Moksal cut on the grill, Korean BBQ

Moksal (목살), which is meat obtained from the neck, is another beloved pork cut to put on the grill.

It requires more attention than samgyeopsal. If you grill it for too long, it will turn chewy and hard to eat. 

Less fatty and meatier than samgyeopsal, you should definitely try moksal too! 


Hanjeongsal cut sizzling on a Korean BBQ

Do you think the moksal cut is too chewy? Try hangjeongsal (한정살)! Also obtained from the neck, this cut is more tender and rare (and more expensive) than moksal. 

But you better keep your eyes on it when cooking. Similar to moksal, it doesn't taste good if you leave it on the grill for too long.


Pork rind dipped in soy flour is a popular BBQ item in Korea

Many Koreans' favorite on the BBQ menu is the pork rind (돼지껍데기)! 

Be careful not to burn yourself as it is likely to pop and crackle on the grill. 

When you have pork rind in Korea, make sure to dip it in soy flour. It's a fantastic combination of flavors! 

Who else can't have enough of the chewy and collagen-rich cut?


Chadol-bagi, thinly shaved beef brisket, is popular for Korean BBQ

Chadol-bagi (차돌박이) is thinly shaved beef brisket and is another popular cut to put on the grill in Korea. Soft and tender, it is cooked quickly on the grill. 

It is usually not marinated but served with sesame oil with salt and pepper to dip the juicy meat in. 


 Marinated ribs (galbi) on the grill

Galbi (갈비) is the Korean word for ribs. You can get either pork or beef ribs in Korean restaurants.

Ribs are often boneless and sweetly marinated, although the marinade will vary depending on the restaurant. 

Galbi is quick to grill as it isn't frozen, and it is the favorite barbecue item for many people.


Sirloin stake, called deungsim in Korea, is a delicious cut

One of the most popular beef cuts is deungshim (등심), or sirloin. Unlike galbi, it is usually not marinated. It is soft and fatty, and will almost melt in your mouth.

Keep an eye out for deungshim on the menu next time you go to a Korean BBQ restaurant. You won't regret it! 


Marinated duck, ori-gui, on the table in South Korea

Next, we have the ori-gui (오리구이), which is roasted or grilled duck, a dish that is getting increasingly popular.

 It is usually marinated in a sweet and savory sauce. 

With its strong meat flavor and texture, it bears resemblance to the moksal pork cut. 


Daechang, beef large intestines, is fatty and irresistable

Daechang (대창) is the name for beef large intestines. Juicy and chewy, Koreans love the cut. Put it on the sizzling grill to see it reveal its fat layers.

Sinful and irresistible once you get a taste for it, you should definitely give it a try!  


Gopchang on the grill table, chewy and with a strong taste

Gopchang (곱창) is the name for small intestines, either from pork or beef. 

It is less fatty than daechang, although it is still quite rich. It also has a chewier texture and a stronger taste and smell. Koreans like to pair it with perilla leaves and hot gochujang sauce.


Makchang and chili pepper, a great Korean BBQ combination

Makchang (막창) is a cut either from the cow's fourth intestine or the last intestine of a pig.

 Although it is less fatty than daechang, it is still quite juicy. It is slightly more chewy than gopchang and also a bit more expensive. 

We recommend beef makchang as it is less fatty than the one from pork, and personally, we find it both lighter and more delicious.  


Hanwoo cuts put on the grill for Korean BBQ

Japan has Wagyu beef, and Korea has Hanwoo beef! 

Hanwoo is a native Korean cattle breed that needs to be certified in order to claim the name. 

It is much different from other beef that you find in the country, both in terms of taste and price. 

Although it is a bit pricey, beef lovers will want to try it out!


Tenderloin parts on the grill with onion for Korean BBQ

Anshim (안심) is the Korean word for tenderloin. It has it all: texture, juiciness and great meat flavor.

The restaurant staff will usually help you cut it into perfect mouth-sized pieces while removing tendon.  


Chuck tail flap, a rare BBQ treat

The chuck tail flap, also known as salchisal (살치살), is another rare and precious beef cut. It is usually a very thin and flavorful steak with a fine texture. 

Pork Cheek

Pork cheek is soft, tender and expensive

Lastly, we need to include pork cheek meat, the most expensive pork cut. Called 가브리살 (gabeuri-sal) in Korean, it is softer and more tender than other pork cuts on the list. It will easily burn, so make sure to keep your eyes on the grill!  

Do you like Korean BBQ? What is your favorite cut to put on the grill?

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