I read this article back in 2012 and have followed the recipe multiple times. From an especially paired down version of just lettuce wraps and kimchi to all the sauces and oysters on top… no matter how you shake it – this recipe is a sure win. All you need is plenty of time for preparation and a good group of friends to help you savor the finger licking luxury that results.
Featured in: The Bo Ssam Miracle.
- 1 whole bone-in pork butt or picnic ham (8 to 10 pounds)
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 7 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 ½ cups thinly sliced scallions, both green and white parts
- ½ cup peeled, minced fresh ginger
- ¼ cup neutral oil (like grapeseed)
- 1 ½ teaspoons light soy sauce
- 1 scant teaspoon sherry vinegar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons fermented bean-and-chili paste (ssamjang, available in many Asian markets, and online)
- 1 tablespoon chili paste (kochujang, available in many Asian markets, and online)
- ½ cup sherry vinegar
- ½ cup neutral oil (like grapeseed)
- 2 cups plain white rice, cooked
- 3 heads bibb lettuce, leaves separated, washed and dried
- 1 dozen or more fresh oysters (optional)
- Kimchi (available in many Asian markets, and online)
- Place the pork in a large, shallow bowl. Mix the white sugar and 1 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. Remove pork from refrigerator and discard any juices. Place the pork in a roasting pan and set in the oven and cook for approximately 6 hours, or until it collapses, yielding easily to the tines of a fork. (After the first hour, baste hourly with pan juices.) At this point, you may remove the meat from the oven and allow it to rest for up to an hour.
- Meanwhile, make the ginger-scallion sauce. In a large bowl, combine the scallions with the rest of the ingredients. Mix well and taste, adding salt if needed.
- Make the ssam sauce. In a medium bowl, combine the chili pastes with the vinegar and oil, and mix well.
- Prepare rice, wash lettuce and, if using, shuck the oysters. Put kimchi and sauces into serving bowls.
- When your accompaniments are prepared and you are ready to serve the food, turn oven to 500. 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. Serve hot, with the accompaniments.
Every couple of months I make it out to California to visit accounts, buyers and distributors and I wanted share some gustatory inspiration from the Golden State. Any of you who know me know that I plan all my trips around three things: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Though I love digging into the food of everywhere, the world of California cuisine is one of my favorites and has had the most influence on my cooking.
Here is a briefing of the last trip’s eats:
Tartine Manufactory knocked my socks off. As a recent sourdough maker, I was content to watch the bakers pulling one perfect loaf after another out of their big oven. Great for breakfast - the toasts, coffee and banana bread pudding were delicious and the Heath ceramics factory/showroom is drool worthy.
Sunday Bird/ Boba Guys : Sunday bird is a tasty Korean Style fried chicken place right behind the Boba guys (who make a mean matcha latte) they serve simple fare- kim chi fried rice, chicken sandwich on bao, fried chicken with gochugaru. Yummy. Want to make kim chi fried rice for kids lunches (though SCHOOL IS OUT FOR SUMMER!!) but it is a great, easy, slightly spicy hit.
Latest super treat was Izakaya Rintaro –
cool, funky space in the Mission with incredible food. A friend recommended it after I told her how fond I was of Ippaku, another wonderful spot in the East Bay. Great, unique goyza, fresh vibrant fish, handmade noodles and mochi. Highly recommend.
The scene is here is so vibrant and ever changing that I don’t even pretend to know what the latest and greatest is. I just have old favs.
No trip this was is complete to Berkeley without a visit to Berkeley Bowl. Amazing produce selection, my favorite mint chocolate almonds in little bulk bags and a dizzying array of local California products- especially nut and coconut yogurts, milks and “cheeses.” Also the beloved Vik’s Chaat which sells amazing Indian street food snacks, classic dishes and colorful sweets. The cholle bhature is a must.
Urban Remedy serves fresh juices, nut milks and raw snacks- perfect for taking on the road.
I mostly cook when I am in Napa Valley, as we have family here and the produce is so fresh and amazing that it makes cooking an easy pleasure. There are however, somevery special places to eat/visit while in the Valley. I went for a visit to the Healdsberg SHED, a long time vendor of Ozuké’s cult favorite umeboshi (they even made an ume kombucha from our plums!) and we found Single Thread. These guys are the real deal. They are growing, making and sourcing hyper locally (mostly from their own farm) and making innovative, clean, Japanese inspired, quintessentially Californian, very sexy food. You can also stay here and the lodging looked, well .. perfect.
And.. a quick plug for my cousin’s stunning wines: Onward and Farmstrong - some very special occasion wines and everyday drinkables. So proud of the good work she is doing (mama of 4!!!) best Pét Nat in the country.
Okay, that’s the voracious mama’s guide for this go round, now go #putsomekimchionit
Mara and Willow were invited to share their thoughts on what it takes to run a business in Boulder. Read more here.
To begin you will need a 1/2 gallon sized ball jar, 1 medium cabbage, Fresh Nettle or Dandelion leaves harvested from your neighborhood, local honey, bee pollen and sea salt.
Core and shred the cabbage, salt to taste then spread on a tray or large bowl. (It is so important to salt the cabbage to YOUR taste. I never tell my students fixed amounts of salt, because everyone’s taste is different, you could even completely omit the salt and still have decent results). Pound the cabbage with a wooden hammer (or a rolling pin can work) until the juices start to release and the cabbage softens. Mix with bee-pollen, drizzle honey and sprinkle in cleaned and de-stemmed greens. Place in a wide mouth ball jar and press down with your fist (you can use a cabbage leaf as a top barrier and then press on that) until the veg is submerged in liquid. Cover and leave at room temp for about 5-10 days. Keep pressing your kraut below liquid and release the gas occasionally as it starts to ferment. Kraut should taste tart when it’s ready… if you like it stronger you can leave it longer. When you are satisfied with the taste transfer to cold storage where it will last for up to 12 months.
Our dear friend from Pangea Organics, Joshua Onysko has a penchant for rallying people around good causes. His mission this year was to get a bunch of local businesses to assemble teams of tree planters and together, on Earth Day, we are were going replant an entire hillside that had been scorched by a fire several years before -with 10,000 trees. Yup, 10,000 trees. Ozuké had a small but dedicated group and we were ready to dig.
People working alone or in small groups but together, hands in the soil, giving a little something back to this great revolving planet that gives and gives and gives. As one of the planters said, “team work makes the dream work.” :0