Analysis of the Korean Sweet and Sour Pork Controversy


As one of our thoughtful contributors firmly put it this way:

I hope I am not having to share this group with the likes of ‘dippers’. They are really disgusting people, no sense of shame or hygiene, really. – Justin_C

From Ilbe:

The controversy about Sweet and Sour Pork on DC LoL Gallery


A retard’s Sweet and Sour Pork [hereinafter referred to as ‘SSP’] sauce theory on peaceful DC.

They say it’s whatever but those who dip the meat in the sauce when they eat SSP do everything in their own way without principles. They achieve nothing in life and when they hit the age 40, they only blame their surroundings. Therefore, if you don’t want to be like them, pour the sauce on the meat when you eat SSP, mhm. In fact, I was a sauce-dipper and my life was fucked up until I was 25 years old. Ever since I began pouring the sauce, I’ve been on a roll, mhm.

From Ilbe:

Former Pres. Lee Myung-bak wrote on his Facebook:

It’s been a very long time since the last time I was at my old home. I began organizing my study since yesterday. As I unboxed some books and put them on a bookshelf, my memories about these books were refreshed. Half a day passed just like that, and I had Jajangmyeon and SSP with my wife. Swallowing one full bite, we felt the joy of life and smiled at each other. ^(^

And netizens tried to figure out whether the former president is a ‘dipper’ or a ‘pourer’.


From Ilbe:

Understanding the political factions of Joseon through Sweet and Sour Pork

A new Chinese dish SSP was introduced in Joseon. Many officials contemplated and argued about how to eat it. The Eastern faction who claimed the sauce has to be poured on the meat was confronted by the Western faction who insisted that the sauce has to be dipped. The Eastern faction followed the school of Yi Hwang and Cho Shik who briskly poured the sauce whereas the Western faction was led by Yi I who was a timid sauce-dipper.


Pourer Yi Hwang and Dipper Yi I

At first, the sauce-pourer Eastern faction was much bigger than the Western faction. Pouring the sauce was almost becoming the correct way but there were two sub groups within the Eastern faction; the moderate Southern faction asked for other people’s agreement before pouring the sauce while the radical Northern faction poured the sauce ruthlessly as soon as they opened the bowl. During the rule of Prince Gwanghae, the Northern faction pushed out the Southern and Western factions and poured the sauce as they please, which greatly angered the Western faction.


The Westerners were outraged by the Northerners who poured the sauce on SSP without seeking agreement.

One day, the Northerners caused a critical incident where they poured Jjamppong soup instead of SSP sauce! Extremely enraged Westerners revolted and purged the Northerners. Since then, pouring the sauce without agreement was considered an immoral act.


Jjamppong soup was poured on SSP.
This tragic incident caused the Western faction’s coup.

With the Western faction in power, dipping in the sauce became the right way. However, the Southern faction, who claimed SSP’s genuine taste can be experienced only when the sauce is poured on it, did not stop confronting the Western faction. Their continued arguing was escalated to the Yesong Debate.

The Yesong Debate. They fiercely squabbled over whether it is the right manner to dip the meat once or soak it three times in the sauce.

King Sukjong was indecisive between dipper Queen Inhyeon and pourer Jang Hee-bin. The confrontation between the Western and Southern factions were getting extremely acute.

The Western faction in power was then divided into the Old Learning who were light dippers and the Young Learning who were deep soakers. The Old Learning argued that if you deeply soak it in the sauce, there is no difference from pouring the sauce. The Young Learning, who thought pouring isn’t actually such a terrible idea, was friendly with the Southern faction.


The Old Learning’s head Song Si-yeol. He considered the act of soaking SSP deep in the sauce traitorous anti-Confucianist.

As the Old Learning, Young Learning and Southern faction kept fiercely arguing, King Yeongjo suggested ‘half pouring and half dipping’ in his moderation policy. However, the king was partial to the Old Learning and his moderation has gradually faded.

Meanwhile, Crown Prince Sado tried dipping SSP in the original sauce and then soy sauce. Enraged king locked up the prince in a grain chest to death. The ruling Old Learning split between the Byeokpa sympathic to the deceased prince’s trial and the Sipa who denounced his attempt as an insane act.

Sado’s son Jeongjo became the new king and he also implemented the moderation policy in order to promote harmony between different factions. During his reign, Seohak was introduced to Joseon. It encouraged eating SSP without sauce but most noblemen criticized the idea as savagery that should be punished. However, Jeongjo argued that if you make the sauce really tasty, people will eat SSP with the sauce anyway and Seohak will disappear. After Jeongjo’s death, Seohak was illegalized as the school of beasts and those who ate SSP without sauce were oppressed.

As little Sunjo ascended the throne, the Sipa head Kim Jo-sun seized power. Because his favorite Chinese restaurant was in Andong, they had to order Chinese delivery food only from Andong. This regency caused many problems.

Due to the regency, many Chinese restaurants went under and the Empire of Japan, who was watching for a chance, invaded Joseon with Nagasaki Champon…

Comments from Ilbe:


Hey retard, ke ke ke ke ke ke, why don’t you say the WW2 broke out because Hitler poured the sauce on SSP, ke ke ke.


You have to pour the sauce for the real taste, ke ke. Dippers are barbarians, mhm.


Pourer fuckers are fucking barbaric bastards who don’t respect individuality. Socialism worshippers who suppress individual freedom. Jongpuk bitches.


The article convered the Sarimpa too much, ke ke ke ke ke. The Hungupa was doing well in early Joseon. In fact, if they had seized power, Joseon would not have been such a punchbag. Joseon went freaking downhill due to the rule of right [as opposed to the rule of might]. The Hungupa claimed national prowess should be promoted with absolute royal authority.


Refreshing approach to history, ke ke. Those factions ruined the country. Confucianists, ke ke. Damn, the reason was SSP, ke ke. Honestly, if Myocheong during Goryeo or Jung Do-jeon during Joseon had stayed in power, we would not have been humilated by Japan. They were caring freaking too much about courtesy and the Confucian scriptures while ignoring science.


I was reminded of the Joseon factions when someone coined ‘pourer vs. dipper Yesong Debate’ and this guy twisted it like this, ke ke ke. Very creative. The real Yesong Debate wasn’t that stupid. Ostensively, it was about for how many years you should wear mourning clothes for the king, which sounds retarded, but it was in fact about whether to acknowledge him as a legitimate king or not. If it was Europe, China, Japan, etc, they would have fought in arms but it was finished as a debate in Joseon. It was regretful that Andong Kim clan won in the end though.


Now that I think about it, our history is full of factionism, ke ke. Is it a Kimchi racial or a human racial?


Just get a little dish for everyone and problem solved, bishes. End it now, ke ke ke.


Pourer bitches are worth 1000 won while dippers are worth 5000 won.


The one who was in keyboard battle with Yi Hwang was not Yi I but Ki Dae-seung. The age difference between Yi Hwang and Yi I was like 30 years. Ki Dae-seung and Yi Hwang had polite keyboard battle.

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  • Your Sexy Cousin Rex

    I just eat them

  • Cleo

    so the dippers lacked trust ?

  • Yu Bum Suk

    I’ve only seen Koreans pour it, though I wouldn’t be adverse to dipping myself (I’m in the southeast).

    • commander

      The growing number of people is a follower of the dipping tenets.

  • commander

    The article interspersed with historical twists.
    The dipping versus pouring emerges problematic when one group of two or more is divided over how to eat SSP after it is delivered.

    The amount of sauce that comes with delivered SSP is an indication of the Chinese support for sauce pourers.

    So we need to know which way the Chinese prefer. The article’s author needs to give it a more thought.

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    Huh and I thought the pizza wars in America were odd…

    • the other guy


      • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

        Deep dish style as opposed to flat style.

        • lonetrey / Dan

          New York City style pizza vs. Chicago style pizza!

          I love NYC pizza :D

  • Next time I’ll dip and then pour, just to irritate both sides

  • basicx

    I dip them. If you pour it on the pork it’ll get too soggy after awhile. Especially if you take it back home and eat it the next day. Also if you dip it, you get to choose how much sauce you want. Nothing worse than eating a huge glob of sauce.

    • Donya

      mahahahaha only Americans will take their food back home hahahahahahahaha

      • What’s so funny about that?

      • lonetrey / Dan

        Darn right extra/leftover food should be taken home! No need to waste food for no reason!

        … also, Chinese people take food back all the time. o_O

  • elizabeth

    The things that humans fuss over.

  • kpopwillneverstop

    I got so fucking lost within this article.

  • jon776

    Dippers are subhuman and should be exterminated.

  • holdingrabbits

    I thought this was an April Fool’s post…

  • commander

    The relatively small number of replies to the posting shows the difficutly of non-Koreans understanding the comical mix of the way SSP is eaten and factional strife between bureaucrats of different regional origins that plagued the mid- and late Choseon dynasty.

    • chucky3176

      They just don’t understand Korean’s humor. And vice versa, Koreans don’t understand American’s humor.

      • the other guy

        I thought it was quite funny.

      • I personally laughed my ass off. My girlfriend (a Korean), not so much.

  • mr.wiener

    Any one remember the part from Swift’s “Guiliver’s travels” Where the native were arguing whether you open a hard boiled egg from the pointy top or the fat end?

  • Eh.. I don’t even like SSP. But would i get bashed when I dip my dumplings/gyouza/mandu/whatever in some type of sauce…? Because uh… I like dipping it.

    • chucky3176

      Why would you get bashed? Koreans always dip the dumplings in a mixture of soysauce and vinegar.

      • I dunnoooo because dipping the sauce here obviously seems like a problem ;_; So I dunno if this apples only to this sauce or all sauces. Some things I like to dip, some things I pour and depending on the type of sauce… I may not like excess of it so.. I might dip.

      • the other guy

        I think that is a universal thing among “dumpling cultures”…

  • the other guy

    I have one question, but before making it I would urge the Korean fundamentalists not bash me… As I have never eaten Korean SSP before I would like to know if this dish is related in anyway to the Chinese Guo Bao Rou ?

    • hun

      If only you read the entire article you would have known that it even said it was introduced by the chinese and that the koreans were unsure of how to eat it.

      • the other guy

        Right, but it did not mention anything about guo bao rou. China has so many dishes that it is almost impossible to keep count. I know of some SSP variations… That is why I ask, is it anything like guo bao rou?

        Cuz if it is, then pouring is the way to go…

        • Noir12

          SSP descends from Guo Bao Rou, but they’ve diverged to a point where they don’t taste alike. It mostly has to do with the sauce which makes Korean SSP sweeter in comparison to Guo Bao Rou. But what makes SSP a continued candidate for its two methods of consumption is probably the thin shape (similar to chicken fingers) and how it usually arrives with the sauce in a separate vessel for your pouring-or-dipping pleasure.

          • the other guy

            Thank you Nori12!! This was a constructive answer… ;)

  • G$

    IS THERE ANYWAY THAT KOREABANG AND RELATED SITES COULD USE ADVERTISEMENTS THAT DON’T HAVE AUDIO???? IT’S EXTREMELY ANNOYING WHEN I’M DOING SOMETHING ELSE, open a few koreabang pages to look at once I finish what I’m doing THEN have to shut them all down or search through each one trying to figure out which and where is the one disrupting my work.

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