Korean Roasted Pork Belly Bossam

Sharing is a common theme underlying all of Korean food. Bossam embodies this convivial sentiment - everyone sharing from the same plate, yet creating a small little bespoke parcel for their own consumption. I have many memories eating this dish while a student in New York. A large group of us would order it and literally pig out. The lettuce leaves and pickles cut the fat nicely and bring a welcomed freshness to the dish.

TOTAL TIME: 3 hr 35 min
Prep: 50 min
Inactive Prep: 15 min
Cook: 2 hr 30 min
 
YIELD: 4 to 6 servings
LEVEL: Intermediate

ingredients

  • 3.3 pounds (1.5 kilograms) pork belly, skin on, boneless
  • COOKING LIQUID:
    • 8 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 7 spring onions or scallions, roughly chopped, roots on
    • 4 1/2-by-1 1/2-inch piece (75 grams) ginger, skin on, roughly sliced
    • 1 onion, peeled and cut into eighths
    • 2 tablespoons dwengjang paste
    PICKLED RADISH (MOO SANG CHE):
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons Korean chili flakes (gochugaru), or to taste
    • 1 small clove garlic, grated
    • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
    RUB:
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated ginger
    • 1 teaspoon Korean chili paste (gochujang)
    BOSSAM SAUCE:
    • 2 tablespoons Korean soybean paste (dwengjang)
    • 2 teaspoons grated onion
    • 2 teaspoons roasted sesame oil
    • 2 teaspoons roasted sesame seeds
    • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
    • Serving suggestions: white rice and lettuce leaves
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    Directions

    For the pork: In a heavy pot, place the pork belly in and all of the ingredients for the cooking liquid and add water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the pork is fully cooked through and very soft, 2 hours.

    Remove the pork belly and place on a baking tray lined with foil to let cool. Discard the poaching liquid. Once cooled enough to handle, carefully cut off the skin of the pork and discard.

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C.

    For the pickled radish: In a medium sized bowl, mix all of the pickling ingredients together and stir to coat the radish well. Cover and chill for 1 hour before serving.

    For the rub: Mix all of the rub ingredients together into a smooth paste and smear generously all over the top of the skin-side of belly. Place the pork in the oven, rub-side up, and roast the pork until the top is nicely caramelized, about 30 minutes. Additionally you can place the pork under the broiler briefly for a little more char.

    For the sauce: Meanwhile, make the bossam sauce by mixing all of the ingredients together well in a small bowl. Set aside.

    Once the pork belly is nicely caramelized on top, let rest for 15 minutes in a warm place. Then transfer the pork to a cutting board and thinly slice into two-bite pieces. Serve the pork with the rice, lettuce leaves, bossam sauce and pickled radish. Try eating the pork in this way: Place a lettuce leaf in your hand. Scoop in a spoonful of rice, top with smear of sauce, piece of pork and finish with some pickled radish. Wrap it all up together and take a bite. You'll love it.

    Notes

    Buy the best quality pork belly you can afford. Heritage breeds yield the best flavor. If your pork belly comes with the ribs on, slice them off and slather with the rub (make extra). Roast until cooked through and caramelized and you'll have the tastiest ribs ever.

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    5

    Newest Ratings and Reviews

    Read all 3 reviews

    • on October 05, 2014

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      Saw the show and so far have made this 3 times...Making it again today trying the Sous-vide process for the pork belly. Will let you know how it turns out.
      We prefer butter lettuce for the yummy delivery system.
      This is an amazing dish and not hard to make...impress your friends by adding this as an Hors d'oeuvre served with ice cold Korean beer.
      Thank you Judy Joo! Since your show started I have dropped my chinese cuisine for Korean and am so glad I did!
      (note: I decant and freeze the braising liquid as a starter for the next preparation)

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    • on September 01, 2014

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      This dish is phenomenal. I saw it prepared on the Korean cooking show and couldn't wait to try it. I've made it three times now and I just can't get enough. I looks like it takes a long time, but it's very little hands on work; it's mostly the cooking time. Which brings me to one discrepancy: the tv show and this recipe (taken from the show) have different cooking times. One says to simmer for one hour and the other says two hours. It will be the bomb as long as it's cooked till tender. Now I'm a Bossam addict.

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    • on June 15, 2014

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      Yummo! Who doesn't like pork belly! This is so tasty. And the bossam sauce is the bomb and so simple. I can't wait to try more recipes. Very flavorful!

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