aug 8, 2020

Bo Ssäm

David Chang’s Bo Ssäm is the most requested special occasion dish in our household. Many birthdays, life milestones and returns from camps and distant travels have been celebrated over the years with this exceptional Korean feast.
A big cut of meat like pork or lamb shoulder roasted to pull-apart perfection over impatient hours is an occasion unto itself. We’ve had many a party around a Bo Ssäm table, wrapping the most delicious sweet/salty pork in gem lettuce leaves with rice and kimchi, heaped high with David’s awesome Ginger Scallion Sauce (we always double the recipe found here). Leftovers become easy meals for days to follow, and those are cherished too.
Here are some of our favorite ways to repurpose Bo Ssäm (or any style of pulled pork, for that matter):
  • On tortillas with quick pickled crunchy veggies (recipe below), cilantro and cotija cheese, with a spritz of lime and as much hot sauce as you can handle
  • Stir fried with minced garlic, quick-scrambled egg and the leftover rice & scallion sauce for killer fried rice
  • Chopped up and added to a simmered pot of beans or lentils for ease and comfort
  • Piled high on a roll with fresh cabbage slaw
  • In a skillet with potatoes and vegetables for a hearty hash, possibly topped with a fried egg
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Quick Pickled Vegetables

Author the Civic Kitchen

Pickled vegetables add bold color, flavor and texture to a variety of dishes. Sliver them into matchsticks for a Bánh Mì sandwich or showy coins for salads, or chunk them in large pieces for snappy crunch on a cheese platter or for snacking straight out of the jar. Sprinkling salt on the vegetables before pickling draws out excess moisture, yielding crisp pickles. The method works well with carrots, beets, daikon* and other radishes, onions, kohlrabi, turnips or even green papaya.

Yield   About 3 cups


1 pound crisp vegetables, cut into your preferred shapes

1½ teaspoons salt

1 cup (8 oz.) rice vinegar (or white or apple cider vinegar)

½ cup (8 oz.) water

⅓ cup (3½ oz.) sugar

Optional additions:

1 bay leaf

4 whole peppercorns

½ jalapeño or 1 Thai chile, sliced thinly into rings

½ to 1 teaspoon whole coriander or pickling spice


Place the cut vegetables in a large colander in the sink or over a bowl. Sprinkle them with 1 teaspoon of the salt and massage for about a minute, then allow them to sit for at least 15 minutes. (Beets will stain other vegetables. If you'd like to maintain the separate colors of various vegetables, salt and let them sit in separate strainers.)
Add the vinegar, water, sugar and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt to a small pot and place it over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved and the liquid is steaming hot.
Rinse the vegetables under cold running water for a few seconds. Drain and squeeze out all extra water. Place in storage container(s)** along with any of the optional chiles or spices. Pour the hot pickling liquid into the container(s), making sure the liquid fully covers the vegetables.
Let the vegetables soak for at least 1 hour before using, or 2 hours for larger shapes. Store refrigerated, covered by the pickling liquid, in an airtight container for up to 1 month.


*Daikon and other radish varieties (and turnips, too!) smell funky when stored airtight for a while. The flavor of the vegetables should be unaffected, but it never hurts to nibble a piece to make sure before including them in a dish.
**A wide-mouth canning jar makes it easier to fish the pickles out of the brine.