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Bo Ssäm {Korean Pork Roast Lettuce Wraps} and Ginger Scallion Sauce Make Ahead Mondays

There is something unbelievable in taking such simple ingredients and turning them into such a sublime dish; salty, sweet, succulent roast pork with a caramelized crust that's almost like pork candy. Pull hunks of the pork off and serve them on lettuce leaves with hot cooked rice, kimchi, and Ginger Scallion Sauce. It is, in a word, perfection. Gently adapted from and with many thanks to David Chang of Momofuku Ssäm Bar.
Author Rebecca Lindamood


For the Bo Ssäm:

  • Bone-in Pork Shoulder or Butt Roast *See Notes, between 4-11 pounds .
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon kosher salt divided
  • 1 cup raw sugar or sucanat
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

For the Ginger Scallion Sauce:

  • 3 bunches green onions scallions, root ends trimmed then sliced thinly
  • 5 inch piece of fresh ginger root peeled and minced or finely grated
  • 1/2 cup canola or grapeseed oil
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce

To Serve:

  • Red or Green Leaf Lettuce removed from core, washed and dried thoroughly
  • hot fresh, cooked short or medium grain rice
  • kimchi
  • Ginger Scallion Sauce


The Night Before Cooking:

  • Combine 1 cup of kosher salt with the cup of raw sugar or sucanat and rub all over the pork roast. Place it in a snug fitting, high-sided roasting pan, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

To Make the Ginger Scallion Sauce:

  • Mix all of the ingredients together, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 days before serving.

To Cook the Bo Ssäm:

  • Preheat oven to 300°F with a rack in the center.
  • Pour off any liquid and excess salt/sugar that pooled under and around the pork and be sure that the pork roast is fat side up in the roasting pan. Place the pan -uncovered- in the oven and let roast for between 4 and 7 hours, basting about every hour or so with the fat that has pooled under it. You don't need to sweat this too much, if you miss an hour it won't be the end of your delicious roast. If you have a smaller roast, it will take less time to cook to the stage where it is so tender it almost falls apart when you move it. That is the goal. By the same token, if you have a larger roast, it will take longer. When you baste it, move it around a bit with tongs and see if it is yielding. When it reaches that stage of tenderness, remove the pan from the oven. Move the roast to a rimmed, small baking sheet and tent lightly with foil. Let it rest at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes OR wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at this point. You can keep the roast refrigerated for up to 3 days after the primary cook.

About an Hour Before Serving:

  • If you refrigerated the roast, let it rest at room temperature 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 500°F. If your oven doesn't go that high, preheat the broiler to HIGH. Use a fork to mix together the brown sugar and remaining tablespoon of kosher salt. Uncover the roast, sprinkle the brown sugar/salt mixture over the top and lightly press it into the meat with your hands. Put the roast in the hot oven. Watch it carefully because the sugar likes to burn easily. Remove the roast when the sugar has melted and caramelized into a sticky, dark crust on top of the pork. It may have some charred areas... this is fine!
  • Let the pork rest on the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring to a serving platter.
  • Serve hot, warm, or room temperature with as many of the suggested accompaniments as you possibly can!


*If your pork roast comes with the skin on it (you lucky duck!) use a sharp knife to cut the skin away from the fat layer, leaving the fat intact.