David Chang - these days he's everywhere. He spoke at Google, quite eloquently using the "F" bomb on more than one occasion, but let's say it was elegantly used. He's been hounded by Martha Stewart, who begs him for recipes and eats at his Milk Bar in NYC. He has a very interesting and colorful cookbook "Momofuku" which is highly entertaining, and also contains his favorite curse word as well.
And he took a traditional Korean dish - bossam, which is basically stewed pork belly which you wrap with a various number of condiments, and turned it on its head...I loved some of the ideas he had - using a pork butt instead of the pork belly, and roasting it low and slow to get almost a pulled pork idea. I thought he departed a bit too much from the original so I brought it closer to my version - more Korean, less Momofuku, but nonetheless super delicious. I bring back the salted cabbage, the radish filling, the traditional ssam jang, and even the shrimp in brine.
I don't have great pictures of this...mainly because my house church clobbered it before I had a chance to photograph it...and for that I am truly sorry. I will say that based on the consumption, this is a dish well worth your time and effort - for it is really special and everyone enjoys it. Even the kids in our house church group took the time to rip off tasty pieces of "sweet meat" as they called it and chomped it down. Everyone ate a huge amount and I was left with very little at the end. All in all a wonderfully great meal...and worth the time it sits in your oven.
1 whole 8 to 10 pound boneless pork shoulder (also called pork butt)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon kosher salt
7 tablespoons light brown sugar
1. Put the pork shoulder in a roasting pan, ideally one that holds it snugly.Mix together the granulated sugar and 1 cup of the salt in a bowl, then ru bthe mixture into the meat. Discard any excess salt-sugar mixture. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and put it into the fridge for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
2. Heat the oven to 300 F. Remove the pork from the refrigerator and discard any juices that have accumulated. Put the pork in the oven and cook for 6 hours, basting with any pork juices, and watching carefully to make sure that it isn't getting too brown. If it seems to be getting too brown, then cover with aluminum foil to protect it from over browning. After 6 hours, the pork should be tender and yielding - it should offer no resistance to the blade of a knife and you should be able to easily pull meat apart. Depending on your schedule, you can serve the pork right away or let it rest and mellow out at room temperature for up to an hour.
3. When ready to serve - all the other condiments are made, turn the oven to 500 F. Stir together the remaining 1 tablespoon salt and 7 tablespoons of brown sugar and rub the mixture all over the pork. Put it into the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until sugar has melted into a crisp, sweet crust.
4. Serve bossam whole and hot, surrounded with the accompaniments.Ssam Jang (My homemade version and not David Changs - feel free to buy prepackaged...but this does taste so much better)Accompaniments
1/4 cup Korean red chili pepper paste (gochujang 고추장)
1/2 cup Korean soybean paste (doenjang 된장)
1/2 cup chopped green onion/scallion
2 tablespoons sesame seed
2 tablespoons sesame oil
3 cloves of garlic crushed
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Set aside until needed.
Ginger Sauce (not traditional - David Chang does a version, and I used mine)
1/2 cup finely chopped ginger (in a mini prep food processor for the finer chop)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (grape seed, canola, safflower, corn are all fine choices)
3 tablespoons scallions, finely chopped
2 teaspoons salt
pepper to taste
Combine the ingredients together. Allow to sit for 30 minutes to allow flavors to develop.
Pickled Radish (Moochae 무채) (this was not included in David Chang's version, but I think this is one of the things that makes bossam so yummy)
1 medium Korean radish (moo 무), peeled and julienne (I love my Japanese Mandolin for this)
2 teaspoons fine chili powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger (optional - but with pork, the ginger flavor is very nice)
Using a disposable glove, mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Chill and set aside, up to 3 hours, until needed.
Napa cabbage, salted and wilted (David Chang also did not use this, but I love the cabbage against the pork and radish as it is traditionally served...I made it)
** this requires at least 4 hours - so do it when you put in the pork
2 heads of napa cabbage, cut into quarters
1/2 cup of kosher salt
Using a fairly liberal hand, sprinkle salt in between individual leaves of the cabbage. Make sure to get salt on every single leaf, as this is essential to the wilting process. As all the salt will be rinsed off later, be liberal and free. Set aside for at least 4 hours. Check to see that the leaves are wilted and then rinse in cold water and drain in a colander until ready to serve.
Salted Shrimp (brined shrimp - saewoojut 새우젓 - this is definitely a traditional accompaniment)
With a spoon, take out a nice heaping spoonful, juices and all to serve as an additional dipping condiment.
Just a nice big bowl so people can add this to their wraps if they desireTo serve
Surround the pork with all the accompaniments. Have people decide how they want to wrap the pork in the cabbage - a little bit of radish, a bit of ginger sauce, some ssamjang and then into their mouths...enjoy!