Ozuké makes: David Chang’s Bo Ssam Recipe

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.


Pork Butt:

  • 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

Ginger-Scallion Sauce:

  • 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

Ssam Sauce:

  • 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)


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Make the ssam sauce. In a medium bowl, combine the chili pastes with the vinegar and oil, and mix well.
  5. Prepare rice, wash lettuce and, if using, shuck the oysters. Put kimchi and sauces into serving bowls.
  6. 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.















California Dreamin.. and eatin…

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 t​he 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.

Can’t beat Burma Superstar for lunch or dinner- check out their line of grab and​ go and
DIY products as well!

Latest super treat was Izakaya Rintaro

​c​ool, ​funk​y 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.

East Bay:
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 C​haat which sells amazing Indian street food snacks, classic dishes and colorful sweets. The cholle bhature is a must.

Urban R​emedy 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, some​very 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 S​ingle T​hread. 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










Booze, Bubbles, and Boshi’s. Two new Ozuké umeboshi cocktails for you to enjoy!


In honor of Willow and Mara’s Ume Success, here are two recipes for cocktails with their fermented fruit. The first cocktail is sweeter, and if you have the CheriBoshi, use those. If not, Umeboshi plums are fabulous.

Ozuke Boulder (as in this is not a Manhattan)

1 tsp agave or honey

3 dashes Angostura Bitters


1 3/4 oz Ume Japanese Plum Sake liquor

1/4 oz Colorado bourbon whisky

1 CheriBoshi or Umeboshi

In a rocks glass, add agave, bitters and some ice.
Pour Ume Sake and whisky over ice in glass.
Drop the Umeboshi in the glass and let it absorb the booze. Eat it last.

Ozuke Royale

¾ oz Plum Wine called Ume Shu (if you can’t find it try sake)

¼  oz Luxardo

Champagne or Prosecco

In a champagne flute, pour in the plum wine and the Luxardo. Tilt and fill with Champagne. Add your ume plum or cheriboshi on top and watch it bubble.

Denver Tidbits: Ozuké umeboshi to liven up the season


‘Tis The Season To Get Toasted

With plans to schmooze and booze your way through the holidays, your hostess skills will be put to the test to come up with creative twists to prolong the party and keep guests from getting so tipsy they break your tinsel. We checked in with Mara King, co-owner of Boulder-based Ozuké, on a suggestion for a lighter version of a festive and flavorful martini. What we got? A yummy cocktail made with Shochu, a Japanese liquor similar to vodka – but lower in alcohol content and calories. The star of this sip is a locally-made gem: sweet umeboshi plums pickled by Ozuké.


1/2 teaspoon superfine sugar and sea salt
Few drops of orange water (or plain ol’ water if you don’t have it)
1 large Ozuké umeboshi plum (or 2 small)
3 oz Shochu
Dash of simple syrup
Dash of lemon juice
Mint or, if available, shiso leaf

Lightly moisten rim of cocktail glass with orange water or water. Mix together sea salt and superfine sugar, place on a flat dish, dip rim of moistened glass in mixture. Fill cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Crush umeboshi under flat side of knife. Add umeboshi and muddle with ice. Add Shochu, simple syrup, lemon juice and some mint or shiso leaf. Shake well and strain. Garnish with mint or shiso leaf. 

Read the original post here

A drink for Safia… and everyone

This drink is in honor of my cocktail hour-loving BFF and her birthday this week.  She is a vodka Martini girl and did turn my gin Martini rule into more of a preference.  Then I tasted the pickled ume plums from Zuké and knew that they were perfect cocktail garnish.  They would also be great in a salad dressing, but that can wait till after cocktail hour.

Safia Sake-tini

1.5 oz of good local Vodka **
1.5 oz of Sake
2 ume plums pickled by Zuké

If you are a stirrer go ahead and ignore the directions.

1)   Measure the Sake and Vodka into a cocktail shaker.  Add the ice.  Large cubes work better as chipped ice makes a slushee.  Shake them up until the spirits get really cold.

2)   Pour into a Martini glass.  Add the ume plums as garnish.  It may take more than two – they are so good I ate a jar of them while developing the recipe.

** For Vodka, I would choose something local and more mellow like Syntax Vodka from Greeley.  Their nice vibe perfectly compliments the Zuké lusciousness.

Easy Beer Cocktails

Even Cocks with Tails Appreciate a Good Beer

Even though my dad was a true blue East Coast American boy and mom a Hong Kong Temple Street original… I must admit that there was a lot of Euro-flavor to my early years.  Stories of boarding school atrocities told in a tight circle when my friends and I would “nick out” at night and congregate in the dark safety of the general’s grave.  (Graves of important people in China were massive concrete affairs with tables and chairs and fruit trees to lounge amidst and hide behind) I heard stories of UK M1 rave culture and listened one walkman ear pod per person to mixed tapes with curious throbbing beats in my early teens.  And above all I would be offered booze at dinners when we had guests long before I was of legal age to drink.  Wine and water or shandies.  A shandy is a very delicious lemon lime soda pop mixed half and half with lager.  Hong Kong beer drinkers were all about either San Miguel or Carlsberg back then, both well refined lagers…  easy to drink but still bitter enough to put one or two hairs on your chest.

Alright, the weather has been warming and I did a hike two days ago above Boulder Res and we forgot to bring enough water.  The only thing I could think of on the way home other than willing the clouds to cover the sun was beer.  There is a thirst quenching quality that beer has which is unparalleled and I also remember from my Hong Kong days another simple beer cocktail that seemed to push that instant refreshing feeling into the golden zone.  Lime and Lager is so simple.  1 oz of Rose’s Lime Cordial in your beer.  The back of my neck is tingling just thinking of the mouth filling, fizzing gulpability.

Of course there are many versions of the Beer Cocktail even though strangely enough it’s not something that we often think of.  Mexico has it’s Michelada, lime juice and hot sauce in your cervesa: yeah!  There’s the Black and Tan of course.  The Snakebite and Black from my UK college years, that’s half lager, half hard cider and a shot of blackcurrant liquor: those were oblivion makers which I suppose is just about right for those years, young, dumb and full of…  you know…  willful pizza mistakes.  My fave from my sushi chefing years was the Chocolate Stout.  Murphy’s Stout with a shot of vanilla vodka and a shot of Godiva Chocolate liqueur.  After a hard night of working my tail off it was nice to have dinner, drink and dessert all in one glass.

This post was inspired by my creation of a brand new beer cocktail tonight.  OK I’ve had two of them and I’m a total lightweight these days hence my loose lipped languid lambic prose.  My beer goggles, the whiff of bacon, beans and my husband’s hard work in the kitchen are making everything look like one of those instagram iphone pictures.  Mangoes and Wit.  Yep I said it.  I made some mango simple syrup for my son’s birthday circle yesterday (hawaiian shave ice treat).  First round… Leftover simple syrup from candying orange peel and mango puree mixed with Left Hand Polestar Pils, and second round with Upslope Belgian Pale Ale.  I’m looking across the table at my husband’s Avery White Rascal but I don’t think I’m going to go there, unless I’ve decided that 7.30pm is my new bed time.

Please comment if you have any other good Beer Cocktails you would like to share with me. Night night 😉