David Chang’s Bo Ssam

After reading about David Chang’s bo ssam dish in the Nytimes, I knew I had to try it. Tender, rich, and packed with intense flavor, bo ssam is a slow-roasted pork dish of Korean origin that is available only with a reservation at one of Chang’s NYC restaurants. It was a long wait (almost 3 whole years), but lo and behold the opportunity finally came up and I jumped at the chance.

R. was shooting a music video for one of the songs on his newest album and needed me to play a number of important roles: 1) make up artist 2) stage manager 3) cook 4) host 5) actor/dancer.

So in typical form, I proceeded to punch and kick my way into awesome-dom by making this bo ssam dish. Not only was it easy, delicious, and inexpensive, but the hands-free slow roasting also freed up time so I could prep make-up, keep track of all the actors on set, and keep everyone fed and happy.

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So without further ado, the recipe as I’ve edited it from the original on the nytimes:

Ingredients:

  • 1 bone-in pork shoulder (8-10 lbs)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup salt
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 heads bibb lettuce (for serving)
  • plain rice (for serving)
  • chopped kimchi (for serving)

Directions:

Score the pork shoulder all over in a cross-hatch pattern all over, being sure to cut through the skin to the fatty layer underneath. Place the pork shoulder into a heavy duty plastic freezer bag and dump in all the salt and sugar. Seal the bag and shake, rubbing the salt and sugar mixture into the meat through the bag. Let it rest in the fridge overnight.

When you’re ready to cook, heat the oven to 300º F and place the pork in a deep roasting dish lined with aluminum foil. Cover the top with the remaining brown sugar, pressing into the skin, and let the pork roast for AT LEAST 6 hours, basting regularly.

After 6 hours, test the meat with a fork. If the meat falls easily away from the bone with gentle pressure, it is done. Take the meat out of the oven and let it rest at least 20 minutes. Shred into chunks, and toss with any remaining pan juices.

While the meat cools, consider preparing the ginger – scallion sauce. While David Chang provides his own recipe, I just made it the way my grandma did. Start your ginger – scallion sauce by sautéing finely diced garlic in a shallow saucepan heated with a splash of grapeseed oil. As it starts to brown, add julienned ginger. Mix it up a bit and finally, add a large handful of thinly sliced green onions. The mixture will cook down quickly so take it off the fire and add 2 tsp light soy sauce. The sauce is ready to use immediately.

To eat, each person serves him/herself by taking a piece of washed bibb lettuce and spooning on some roasted pork. Drizzle on the ginger – scallion sauce, roll it up like a taco, and enjoy! IMG_5137

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