Bo Ssam // Slow Roasted Korean Pork

Who doesn’t love a slow roasted / fall of the bone / caramelized pork butt?? What’s not to love! If you’ve never heard of Bo Ssam… well I’m about to change your life. For real. No joking here.

Bo Ssam Recipe from (@whatsgabycookin)

It’s the star of the show. The main event. The Bo Ssam is what makes the Bo Ssam party special. It’s a big ass piece of pork that’s roasted for hours and hours and then you can rip it apart and assemble anything you want. This time around I served it up with a variety of sauces and some guacamole because it makes sense. It gets some white rice, some kimchi, and then you can mix and match until your hearts content. I really wish I could eat like this on a daily basis – and I would if it didn’t take so long to make slow roasted pork – but whatever. Special occasions will have to do!

And by special occasions I mean every weekend for the foreseeable future! It’s a dinner that will impress any guests and I think you should make it all IMMEDIATELY! And check out the whole collab with Williams-Sonoma here!

Bo Ssam Recipe from (@whatsgabycookin) Bo Ssam Recipe from (@whatsgabycookin)

Bo Ssam

Yield: Serves 8+

Bo Ssam


    For the Pork
  • 1 whole bone-in pork butt (8 to 10 pounds)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 7 tablespoons brown sugar
  • For the Ginger Scallion Sauce
  • 2 ½ cups thinly sliced scallions, both green and white parts
  • ½ cup peeled, minced fresh ginger
  • ¼ cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 scant teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • For the Ssam Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fermented bean-and-chili paste (ssamjang, 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 grapeseed oil
  • For the Korean BBQ Sauce
  • ¼ cup kochujang (Korean Chile Paste)
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons peeled and minced ginger
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • To Serve
  • Butter Lettuce Cups
  • Store bought Kimchi
  • 1 recipe Gaby's Guacamole
  • 1 recipe Gaby's Pico de Gallo
  • Cooked White Rice


    For the Pork
  1. Place the pork in a large, shallow bowl. Mix the white sugar and 1 cup of the salt together in another bowl, then rub the mixture all over the meat. Cover it with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
  2. When you're ready to cook, heat oven to 300 degrees F. Remove pork from refrigerator and discard any juices. 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. When you are ready to serve the food, turn oven to 500. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining tablespoon of salt with the brown sugar. Rub this mixture all over the cooked pork. Place in oven for approximately 10 to 15 minutes, or until a dark caramel crust has developed on the meat. Serve hot, with the sauces and dips and guacamole. Create lettuce wraps with pieces of the pork and whatever desired toppings you want. Serve alongside white rice, kimchi and the duo of salads.
  4. For the Ginger Scallion Sauce
  5. In a large bowl, combine the scallions with the rest of the ingredients. Mix well and taste, adding salt if needed.
  6. For the Ssam Sauce
  7. In a medium bowl, combine the chili pastes with the vinegar and oil, and mix well.
  8. For the Korean BBQ Sauce
  9. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.

Pork / Ginger Scallion / Ssam Sauce from David Chang via New York Times

Photo by Matt Armendariz / Food Styling by Adam Pearson / Recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking

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    1. I haven’t ever made it in a slow cooker but I’d venture to guess you cook it for 8+ hours on low – and then finish it in the oven with the rub to crisp up the outside

  1. Hi! Excited to make this…love your recipes! Couple questions before I start…do I cover the meat in the oven? Also, do I use light or dark brown sugar for the pork? Thanks!

    1. no need to cover!! and light or dark brown sugar both work!! darker sugar will give you a more complex flavor but either is great!

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