Monday, December 15, 2014

Korean Pork Belly | Bo Ssam (보쌈)

When I was a kid, my mom would devote a day or two each season for kimchi making. On these occasions, she would always make bo ssam, Korean-style boiled pork belly, to eat wrapped up with some cabbage leaves with some of the fresh, new kimchi. We never had bo ssam unless we had spent the day making kimchi.

I don't conduct my own intense sessions of cabbage kimchi making (though I should). And yet, I make bo ssam anyway. But, true to our family tradition, I only make it after I've made a batch of quick kimchi because we need julienned radish kimchi when we eat bo ssam. It's a friggin' easy dish to slap together, but it looks pretty impressive and it's delicious.
Ingredients [serves 4]:
1 lb. pork belly
2 cloves garlic
½ inch piece of fresh ginger
¼ onion
water
+ napa cabbage
+ salted baby shrimp
+ ssamjang
+ oysters
+ gochujang
+ sliced hot peppers
Grab a pot and add in the pork belly, onion, garlic, and ginger. Pour in enough water to cover and then place over a high heat, with the lid on, and bring to a boil.
Once it's boiling, remove the lid, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the pork is tender.
Remove the pork and let it cool slightly. You want it to cool just long enough that you can hold it down with one hand while you slice it.
Arrange the pork slices on a platter around your toppings of choice and serve with a pile of wilted cabbage (salted and rinsed napa cabbage).
The pork is tender and unctuous and super delicious. And to be honest, as a kid, I used to peel off the top fat layer but now that I'm older (and can no longer really afford the calories) I kind of enjoy that weird fatty layer. Oh, the irony.
Here's the recipe page:

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