Bo ssäm


  • Serves 6 - 8 people

Juicy slices of pork wrapped up in leaves with an array of beguiling condiments both salty and spicy make up a Korean classic that's one of the great party dishes, writes Tony Tan.

  • 1 small Chinese cabbage, about 1kg, outer leaves removed, quartered
  • 200 gm coarse sea salt
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 2-3 long green chillies, seeds discarded (optional), thinly sliced
  • To serve: shucked oysters
  • Chinese cabbage kimchi (gut juri)
  • 70 gm (¼ cup) coarse sea salt
  • 1 kg Chinese cabbage (about 1 large), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 10 gm glutinous rice flour
  • 15 gm ginger, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp Korean chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp anchovy extract or fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp fermented prawns, finely chopped (see note)
  • 2 tbsp maesil (Korean green plum extract; see note)
  • 2 tbsp konbu water or water
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp roasted sesame seeds, to serve
  • 1 nashi, coarsely grated
  • 5 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • Pork belly
  • 2 kg piece belly pork or shoulder, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes, drained
  • 30 gm ginger, thinly sliced
  • 7-10 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 1 long green chilli, halved lengthways
  • 2 tbsp doenjang or soy sauce (see note)
  • 1 tsp white peppercorns
  • Ssämjang dipping sauce
  • 2 tbsp doenjang (Korean soy bean paste)
  • 2 tbsp gochujang (Korean chilli paste)
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 spring onion, thinly sliced
  • Saeujeot dipping sauce
  • 70 gm preserved shrimp, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Korean chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
01   Place cabbage leaves in a bowl. Stir sea salt into 2 litres warm water until dissolved. Pour over cabbage and set aside until leaves are limp but still have some crunch (at least 4 hours).
02   Rinse cabbage under cold running water (discard brine), squeeze out excess moisture and set aside.
03   For Chinese cabbage kimchi, stir salt and 1 litre warm water until salt dissolves.
04   Pour brine over cabbage in a non-reactive container and set aside for 30 minutes to brine.
05   Meanwhile, place rice flour in a bowl and mix in 125ml cold water until smooth, then transfer to a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and cool completely.
06   Combine 2 tbsp rice flour mixture in a large bowl with ginger, chilli powder, anchovy extract, fermented prawns, maesil, kombu water or water, garlic and sesame seeds.
07   Drain cabbage in colander, rinse under cold running water, drain again and add to bowl along with nashi and spring onion. Mix well to combine and refrigerate until required.
08   For pork belly, combine pork, remaining ingredients and enough cold water to cover in a saucepan, bring to the boil over medium-high heat, skim surface, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until very tender (1½-2 hours).
09   For ssämjang dipping sauce, stir ingredients and 2 tbsp water in a bowl to combine well. For sauejeot dipping sauce, mix ingredients and 1 tbsp water in a separate bowl to combine well. Drain pork, then slice into 2cm-thick pieces. Arrange on a serving plate with, cabbage and lettuce for wrapping, oysters, garlic, chillies, kimchi and dipping sauces.

Note The Chinese cabbage kimchi recipe comes courtesy of Paul Lee of importer Table 181. All the Korean ingredients can be sourced from Korean grocers and online from Melbourne-based Korean food specialist Table 181.










Nov 2013

Nov 2013

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