Momofuku Bo Ssam

February 20, 2014

Ms. J does not love meat. She eats chicken and turkey, likes well-done salmon, and passes on most everything else. Or so I used to think!

A few years ago I fell into the momofuku ambit. Momofuku means lucky peach, and it’s also a restaurant group, started and led by David Chang. (Learn more at momofuku.) I have not dined at any of its 12 locations in New York City, Toronto, and Sydney. I have, however, made two of the highly touted momofuku dishes at home.

We’ll skip Crack Pie for now. It’s a variation on Chess pie, a southern favorite; alas, it’s more complicated, sweeter, and one very fine pie.

Right now, we’re focusing on momofuku bo ssam recipe, aka pork! The link takes you to the New York Times adaptation of David Chang’s recipe. We’re talking very easy here! Pork gets left overnight in a Kosher salt and sugar rub. It slow roasts for most of a day, after which—with accompaniments—you eat. And what you’re eating is some of the most tasty, succulent pork you’ll ever taste.

With the recommended accompaniments you’r eating a traditional Korean meal:  rice, Bibb or Boston lettuce, oysters and a ginger-scallion sauce. Here’s a picture, along with some more information about the experience:  momofuku bo ssam article.

Alas, I tinker, and I have found the pork shoulder very versatile. It plays Asian, but it can do Mexican, barbecue, or just about anything else. So, here’s a plate of pork from a dinner for my six-seasons running as champions trivia team, the Emperor Penguins.


For our July 4th dinner last year, I served the pork with an assortment of roasted vegetables and a green salad. Tres Americaine!


So, back to Ms. J. I first made the ssam pork as the main course for a dinner buffet for eight people. I also made some boneless teriyaki chicken breasts for Ms. J, for she does not eat meat. Right? So I put dinner out on the counter, mostly as you see it here, albeit with the chicken and with different sides. We let the six other guests serve themselves. (No one touched the chicken, and the pork was mostly gone.) Still, I saw the hunk of pork I wanted, and I really wanted it.

I stepped back to make room for Ms. J. She approached the buffet, said “wow,” speared the hunk of pork, took some bits of the veggies and sat done. She, also, ignored the chicken!

Ms. J swears she left the platter with plenty of fine pieces of pork. We have agreed to remember differently, although we both acknowledge that no one touched a chicken breast.

Note:  The recipe calls for serving the pork uncut or pulled. I pull it, getting rid of the bone and fat, and warm it up before serving. (My friends tell me there are clean and dirty people in the world, that everyone is one or the other, and I’m clean.) If you follow my approach, you need to use care in the reheating process, to make sure the pork does not dry out.

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