Passion for Pork

Bo Ssam

Bo Ssam

Adapted from Chef David Chang of Momofuku's recipe, originally printed in the New York Times


Pork Butt
  • 1 bone-in pork butt, about 8-10 lb/3.5-4.5 kg (or 1 boneless pork butt, about 4-5 lb/1.8-2.3 kg)
  • 1 cup (250 mL) white sugar
  • ½ cup + 1 Tbsp (140 mL) kosher salt, divided (do not use table salt as it is too fine/salty)
  • ½ cup (125 mL) brown sugar
Ginger-Scallion Sauce
  • 2½ cups (625 mL) chopped green onion
  • ½ cup (125 mL) minced fresh ginger (OK to mince in food processor)
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) canola oil, or other neutral oil
  • 1½ tsp (7 mL) light soy sauce
  • 1 scant tsp (5 mL) sherry vinegar, or seasoned rice vinegar
  • Salt, to taste
Ssam sauce
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) ssamjang (Korean fermented bean paste)
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) gochujang (Korean chili paste)
  • ½ cup (125 mL) sherry vinegar, or seasoned rice vinegar
  • ½ cup (125 mL) canola oil, or other neutral oil
  • 2 cups plain white rice, cooked
  • 2 heads bibb (butter) lettuce, leaves separated, washed and dried
  • 1 package perilla, washed and dried
  • Kimchi
  • Ssamjang
  • Gochujang


Pork Butt

Place the pork in a large, shallow bowl. Mix the white sugar and ½ cup of the salt together in another bowl, then rub the mixture all over the meat. Cover it with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, or overnight.

When you’re ready to cook, heat oven to 300°F. Remove pork from refrigerator and discard any juices. Place the pork in a roasting pan and set in the oven and cook, basting hourly with pan juices, until it collapses and yields easily to the tines of a fork, about 6 hours. (It took about 8 hours to cook 16 lb of boneless pork.) At this point, you may remove the meat from the oven and allow it to rest for up to an hour.

Ginger-Scallion Sauce

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well and taste, adding salt if needed.

Ssam sauce

In a medium bowl, combine the chili pastes with the vinegar and oil, and mix well.


Prepare rice, wash lettuce and perilla. Put kimchi and sauces into serving bowls.


Preheat oven to 500°F (we found we had to set it to broil). In a small bowl, stir together the remaining tablespoon of salt with the brown sugar. Rub this mixture all over the cooked pork. Place in oven for approximately 10 to 15 minutes, or until a dark caramel crust has developed on the meat. (The sugar should “foam” when it is ready.) Serve hot, with the accompaniments.

Prep Time: 360 Minutes
Cooking Time: 360 Minutes
Total Time: 720 Minutes

Approximately 6-10 Servings

Tags: korea | pulled pork |