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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Not a coffee drinker

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Not a coffee drinker

Coffee smells good but tastes bad. I understand it’s an acquired taste, by why bother? There are so many other delicious drinks to be had.

And if you think I’m alone, check out this quote from a recent Telegraph Article:

“For many it is the first highlight of the day, just when you need it most: the scent of freshly brewed coffee wafting through the house first thing in the morning.

But scientists claim to have solved the mystery of why coffee never tastes as good as it smells.

The act of swallowing the drink sends a burst of aroma up the back of the nose from inside the mouth, activating a “second sense of smell” in the brain that is less receptive to the flavour, causing a completely different and less satisfying sensation.”

Also if anyone is wondering, the above-pictured drink is actually foamed milk, honey, and cinnamon. My drink of choice at any coffee shop.

 

What I ate: Hawley, Pennslyvania

When some people think of vacation, they think of lazy afternoons spent on the beach. My oldest sister decided to treat my other sister and I with a ‘weekend retreat’ for her birthday. Two months later and with much excitement we roadtripped west to Hawley, Pennsylvania and possibly the most luxurious hotel digs I will ever stay.

To give you an idea of the clientele, I came across kayaking photos from Lucky Magazine’s editor in chief while browsing on Instagram.

As may be common with luxury spa resorts tucked into the Poconos, it was an all-inclusive experience. Meaning each day we received 1hr massages gratis at the world-class spa, and could enjoy over 20 activities and classes daily. Meals were included.

Suffice to say – this ended up being one of the best rejuvenating stays I’ve ever had. I worked out about 3 hours per day, tried out every single one of the 5 jacuzzis and whirlpools, swam (aka frantically doggy-paddled) in the heated pool, and fell asleep happy and exhausted.

But before getting too worked up about how awesome the hotel was, I wanted to share some of the lovely meals we had. Without much further ado, here they are:

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The morning view from the dining room. 15 ft floor to ceiling window views to the forest, with the lake peeking from behind the trees.

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A typical breakfast with a yogurt and baked goods buffet as well as complete meal. I had poached eggs over polenta and grilled tomatoes and squash.

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Grilled asparagus.

 

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Beets and baby arugula salad.

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Wedge butter lettuce salad.

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Braised, stuffed artichokes.

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Steak frites.

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Soft shell crab.

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Shrimp and grits.