This is one of our most requested potluck items and a winner with our Farmer's Market attendees! After all it includes one of Firefly Farms' Picnic or Boston Butt roasts cooking for nearly 6 hours until it is so juicy and tender that a fork brushing against it will easily shred the meat. Combined with fresh ingredients to make lettuce wraps and you have a delicious morsel that will make you want to go back even past the point of being sated. So if you like slow roasted pork, ginger, scallions, rice, hot sauces, and lettuce wraps this is the perfect recipe for you!
Is this good? Grown men have wept for joy at first bite.
The pork takes a long time to cook, but it's totally hands-off cooking. This recipe begs for spice, but the sides make it optional.
We didn't have half the accompaniments and it was still fantastic. You cannot lose!
This is hand food. Along with plenty of napkins you may want:
Ssam Sauce - See below.
Ginger-Scallion Sauce - You make this.
Ssamjang bean-and-chili paste
Sriracha - Available everywhere. It is sooooo.... good.
Pickled Watermelon Rind - If you plan in advance you can make Momofuku's Pickled Watermelon Rind and other pickles by following this link: Momofuku's Pickles
Fresh cilantro - Wonderful for those of us who like it!
Serves 6 to 10
INGREDIENTS FOR BO SSAM
1 whole Firefly Farms bone-in pork butt or picnic ham (8 to 10 pounds)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon kosher salt(Do not substitute regular salt! It will be too salty to eat. The salt in the original recipe is Diamond kosher salt which can be used in the 1:1 ratio. If using Morton, go closer to 1/2 cup per cup of sugar; if using table salt, somewhere around 1/3 is more suitable.)
7 tablespoons brown sugar
Ginger-Scallion Sauce Recipe
If you make this a day ahead, it allows the flavors to blend.
2½ cups thinly sliced scallions, both green and white parts (I know this sounds like a lot of scallions and ginger. You will want that much. Maybe more. It is that tasty. Some folks serve it as a side dish.)
½ cup peeled, minced fresh ginger (Peeling bigger roots is easier. Try using a grater for smaller roots.)
¼ cup neutral oil (like grapeseed oil)
1½ teaspoons light soy sauce (I used full strength Golden Mountain. Light is not necessary.)
1 scant teaspoon sherry vinegar
½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
Ssam Sauce Recipe
2 tablespoons fermented bean-and-chili paste (ssamjang or gochujang, 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 oil)
2 cups plain white rice, cooked
3 heads bibb lettuce, leaves separated, washed and dried (These are your "wraps" for the meat.)
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 (really) rub the mixture all over the meat. This is dry brining. Cover it with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight. We did overnight.
2. When you’re ready to cook, heat oven to 300 F. Remove pork from refrigerator and discard any juices. [Note from The Bitten Word: At this point, also discard any excess salt and sugar that's on the pork. Just wipe it away with your hands.] 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, if you didn't make it yesterday, 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. 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 F. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining tablespoon of salt with the brown sugar. Rub this mixture all over the cooked pork. (Do not build it up on the meat. This is not cinnamon toast.) 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. Allow me to quote the Times: What is necessary: close attention to the final disposition of the pork itself, when you return it to the oven to build its crust. “Once that last bit of sugar and salt is on there and the meat is back in a hot oven,” Chang says, “you want to watch it carefully. You’re not looking for a color so much as for the moment when the fat and the skin begins to fluff up a little. It’s not so much about the sugar caramelizing as it is about the fat starting to bubble.” When that happens — Chang calls it the soufflé effect — you are ready to go.
This is a communal dish. You are making a Korean lettuce wrap to eat with your hands. Please put the meat on the table with its supporting cast. Fork pieces of the meat off and place them on the lettuce leaves. Add the accompaniments. Enjoy the different textures and flavors. Prepare to be amazed.