Bo Ssäm

image_1 by you.

This is David Chang's take on the Korean dish, Bo Ssam, which is traditionally steamed pork wrapped in a leaf and served with a condiment known as ssamjang and topped with kimchee.

I've never had the dish but if it's anything like this it's seriously good!

David Chang is the chef/owner of Momofuku, which is an award winning Asian restaurant in New York City. I was steered towards this recipe by Josie on her One Kitchen, Two dogs and a Girl blog. She used the pork as a sandwich filling but after looking at other blogs featuring the recipe I decided to make the whole shebang as it is featured in the restaurant and in Chang's Momofuku  cookbook. I had a gift certificate and a coupon so I went ahead and bought the book and it's fantastic!

Instead of steamed pork this is a rubbed pork butt roasted low and slow (mine took about 10 hours) until it is easily shredded with a fork.. It is then served in a lettuce leaf with rice, kimchee, a ginger scallion sauce, Changs version of ssamjang and topped with oysters.

Oysters? On pork?  I admit my first reaction was not positive. I wavered on them because it sounded weird and I hate shucking oysters. Or at least I did many years ago when I worked in a restaurant that served platters of oysters and I would literally shuck hundreds in a night. But I decided to suck it up and bought a few oysters. I did not think they added a "wow factor" to the finished dish so you can skip the oysters. Unless you like a bit of slime in your pork.

I do suggest you plan a LOT of time for the pork. I thought mine would be done in 6-7 hours but it took much longer. The benefit of that is you have plenty of time to make the sides.

The ginger scallion sauce is to die for. It's not really a "sauce" as I define it though. Too chunky. It's also featured in the book served on ramen and apparently that dish is very popular. I will try that soon!

I also used store bought kimchee from the Asian grocery.
Anyway, we LOVED this dish! Loved it!

Bo Ssäm
adapted from Momofuku

Serves 6 to 10.

1 (8- to 10-pound) bone-in pork shoulder or pork butt

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon coarse salt

7 tablespoons light-brown sugar

12 oysters, shucked, for serving

1 cup Napa Cabbage Kimchi, for serving

1 cup Napa Cabbage Kimchi, pureed, for serving

1 cup Ginger-Scallion Sauce, for serving (see recipe here)

1 cup Ssam Sauce, for serving (recipe follows)

2 cups steamed short-grain white rice, for serving

3 to 4 heads Bibb lettuce, leaves separated, washed well, and spun dry

Sea salt

1. Place pork in a large bowl or roasting pan. In a medium bowl, mix together granulated sugar and 1 cup coarse salt. Rub sugar mixture all over pork and cover bowl with plastic wrap; transfer to refrigerator for at least 6 hours and up to overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

3.Transfer pork to a large roasting pan, discarding any accumulated juices (or drain accumulated juices from roasting pan that pork is in). Transfer roasting pan to oven and cook, basting every hour with rendered fat in roasting pan, until meat is tender and easily shredded with a fork, about 6 hours.

4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together remaining tablespoon coarse salt and brown sugar. Rub mixture all over pork.

5. Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees. Return pork to oven until sugar has melted into a crisp crust, about 10 to 15 minutes.

6. Serve hot with oysters, kimchi, ginger-scallion sauce, ssam sauce, rice, lettuce, and sea salt.

Ginger-Scallion Sauce
Makes about 3 cups.

2 1/2 cups thinly sliced scallions (from 1 to 2 large bunches)

1/2 cup finely minced peeled fresh ginger

1/4 cup grapeseed oil

1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce

3/4 teaspoons sherry-wine vinegar

3/4 teaspoons coarse salt

Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl; let stand 15 to 20 minutes before using. Sauce may be kept covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Ssam Sauce

Note-I didn't have the Korean chili pastes so I mixed Sriraccha with the vinegar and oil to taste.

Makes 1 cup

1 tablespoon ssamjang (soybean and chile-pepper paste)

1 1/2 teaspoons kochujang (Korean chile-pepper paste)

1/4 cup sherry-wine vinegar

1/4 cup grapeseed oil

Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Sauce may be kept covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.