Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bo Ssam

Bo Ssam is almost the same as the Puerco Asada I made a few weeks ago without the latin accents. It’s cooked low and slow in the oven instead of at a high heat. The last  15 minutes, you turn the temperature up to 500 degrees and blast the fat to build up an outer crust. 
Tackle Bo Ssam, a Korean dish, with a pair of chop sticks and serve lettuce, rice and a variety of sauces on the side.
I like the way this was cooked and think that you can use any number of side dishes to change up the ethnicity of the dish.
I found the recipe in the New York Times which is one of my favorite sources for ideas. Makes sense since New York has some of the best restaurants in the world.
David Chang, the chef who owns a rather sizeable restaurant empire in New York and abroad, offers this dish at Momofuku Ssam Bar in New York for $200, where it serves 6 - 10 people and frequently bowls people over with the flavor.
They are not alone as I would put this dish in the top twenty of my all time favorites. Any would be chef with a good butcher and a lot of patience (you have to baste the roast every hour) can create magic with this recipe. There was not a single person at the table Sunday night that didn’t love it. When was the last time you got consensus out of a large group?

Creating the crust at the end is the key. It’s not so much about the color as it is about when the fat starts to bubble. You’ve got to watch it carefully. I poured some of the grease out of the pan before I put it back in the oven to create the crust.
I would definitely make this again for a crowd. It’s so easy, inexpensive and the taste is simply astonishing (credit the dry rub).
It was so good in fact that I ate away at a little corner even before I pulled it out of the oven for good. I was full by the time I put it on the table so maybe that little corner wasn’t so little.
Bon Appetit!
Bo Ssam
Pork Butt:

1 (8- to 10-pound) bone-in pork shoulder or pork butt
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon coarse salt
7 tablespoons light-brown sugar

Ginger—Scallion Sauce


2 ½ Cups thinly sliced scallions, both green and white part
½ cup peeled, minced fresh ginger
¼ C Grapeseed Oil
1 ½ Tsp. light soy sauce
1 small tsp. sherry vinegar
½ tsp. kosher salt

Ssam Sauce


2 Tablespoon fermented bean and chili paste (ssamjang)
1 Tablespoon chili paste (kochujang)
½ Cup sherry vinegar
½ Cup Grapeseed Oil


3 cups white rice
3 heads bibb lettuce, separated, washed and dried
Place pork in a large bowl. 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.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
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.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together remaining tablespoon coarse salt and brown sugar; rub mixture all over pork.
Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees. Return pork to oven until sugar has melted into a crisp crust, 10 to 15 minutes.
Serve hot with kimchi, ginger-scallion sauce, ssam sauce, rice, lettuce, and sea salt.