Bo Ssam // Slow Roasted Korean Pork


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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 David Chang masterpiece and one that I will forever be grateful for Matt and Adam introducing me to. It’s a giant 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

5 from 3 votes


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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

For 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.

For the Ssam Sauce

  • In a medium bowl, combine the chili pastes with the vinegar and oil, and mix well.

For the Korean BBQ Sauce

  • 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 /

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Recipe Rating


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  2. Licy

    How would you recommend modifying to make this in the slow cooker?

    • Gaby

      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

  3. Ellyn Dratch

    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!

    • Gaby

      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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  5. Jane

    Love all your recipes! Am wondering if less salt can be used on the roast. Thanks!

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  7. Trudy Black

    Do you rinse the sugar and salt off the pork after taking it out of the refrigerator?

  8. Linda

    Question for a Traeger newbie…
    Would directions be the same, but just set temp to 300? Do you think the smoker will change to flavor-my smoked turkey tastes SO different from oven roasted. Thanks!

    • Gaby

      I’m not a traeger pro yet so I don’t know for sure!! But I think it would be fantastic

    • Heather

      I did this on the Traeger and it was fantastic! I did the last step on 500 in the oven, though, just to get that crispiness!

  9. Carro

    Looks delicious and can’t wait to try. Any suggestions for replacement instead of sherry vinegar. In Middle East and sherry, white and red wine vinegars not available. Thanks.

  10. Roxanne

    I LOVE this recipe! I was looking for something easy and didn’t require a lot of work once my guests arrived. I also made the sesame noodle salad, which was also delicious. This is my new go to dish for a dinner party. Thank you!!

  11. Carrie

    Gabi, you reference a duo of salads to serve this alongside in your recipe, but which salads are those? Thanks so much, can’t wait to try this!!

  12. Debra Daly

    The roast looks killer! And the dishes are so beautiful? Can you give me a source for them? Thanks! Debra

  13. Sarah S

    Hi GABY!!! Can I use a different oil? Which would you recommend? 🙂 SO EXCITED TO MAKE THIS.

  14. Mary Jane Spurlock

    5 stars
    I invited my grown kids over for my birthday and as a treat to myself, I made this. It was such a huge hit that we made it again for Thanksgiving. The juicy and crispy meat combined with the incredible sauces…mmmm! What more can I say? It’s definitely on our celebration rotation!

  15. Erica

    Could you make this with a boneless pork butt that is only about 2lb? Or will it only work with a bone in cut that’s bigger?

    • Gaby

      best to do bone in – but you could do it smaller, cooking time would need to be reduced

  16. Lisa Burnard

    This looks AMAZING but we don’t eat pork. Could I do this same thing with a shoulder of lamb?

    • Gaby

      haven’t tested it with lamb but worth a try in my opinion!

  17. Joan Klosterman

    5 stars
    Gaby this sounds wonderful! Ther’s just two of us so bought a 4lb roast. Should I halve the salt/sugar rub? Would cooking time be halved also? Thanks for all of your great recipes and for being so responsive!

    • Gaby

      you can halve the salt/sugar rub! and you’ll just need to keep your eyes on baking time. Once it easily starts to fall apart, you’re golden

  18. Ana

    Just made this (pork, sauces, rice and the herby salad) for my teen sons and hubby. I judge recipes by how much my family love them. Coming together over the table is the most important thing did me and food plays such an integral part of that. Thank you. I feel a little weepy at how much they loved it. Another way for us to come together!

  19. Ana

    5 stars
    This was delicious! Bringing my teen sons to the table and eating together is a huge joy in my life so I’m always looking for special recipes. The whole family loved this. The house smelt amazing for hours as it cooked, it was an interactive meal so we spent longer around the table together and there were leftovers. Win, win, win!

  20. Courtney

    Hi! If I want to make two nine pound roasts in the oven at the same time how would the cooking time vary? Still 6 hours for 2 9lb roasts?

    • Gaby

      it would def take longer! I haven’t tested it with 2 roasts in the oven at the same time – but you’d want to cook until they are falling apart.