close up of pork belly, spicy radish salad and pickled cabbages in black plate
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Bossam - Korean Pork Belly Wrap

Bossam refers to this perfect package created by wrapping unctuous pork belly, spicy and refreshing kimchi radish salad in crunchy pickled cabbage leaves. Great as a one dish meal but also great for parties, you just can't stop eating it, especially if you are a pork and kimchi lover.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Korean
Keyword bossam
KoreanCategory Ssam
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 840kcal
Author JinJoo Lee

Ingredients

Pickled Cabbage Leaves

  • 9 cups water
  • 1.5 cup Korean sea salt (cheonilyeom) for kimchi

Pork

  • 2 lb pork belly or pork butt, shoulder
  • 8 cups water
  • 1.5 Tbsp Doenjang (Korean Soy Bean Paste) or miso
  • 3 piecs fresh ginger 1 pc = 2 grams
  • 2 tsp coffee beans

Kimchi Radish Salad (or Stuffing)

  • 1 lb radish korean or daikon
  • 4 Tbsp red chili powder (gochukaru)
  • 1.5 Tbsp fermented salted shrimp saewoojeot
  • 1.5 Tbsp anchovy sauce myeolchi aekjeot
  • 3 Tbsp garlic chopped
  • 0.5 tsp ginger grated
  • 1.5 Tbsp sugar
  • 0.5 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds roasted
  • 2 green onions sliced
  • 2 oz minari (water dropwart) (optional)

Instructions

For Pickling Cabbage Leaves:

  • Mix water and Korean cheonilyeom sea salt to make brine.
  • Cut head of napa cabbage to loosen leaves to total about 1/2 of the cabbage. You can also just cut cabbage in half and use one side.
  • Immerse cabbage leaves in brine made in 1 and let it pickle for 1 1/2 hrs or until cabbage is soft and shriveled. You don't need to fully pickle the leaves like for kimchi - I kind of like it a little less pickled with a little crunch left but it's up to you.
  • Drain cabbage for 10-15 minutes until fully drained. If you are not going to use right away, refrigerate up to 3 days and use later.
  • When serving, cut cabbage into 1/2 lengthwise to make it easier to eat.

For Pork:

  • In a pot add water, add doenjang, fresh ginger and bring to boil.
  • Add pork and cook on medium heat for about 30 minutes(for 1 lb) until it becomes tender enough for a fork to go in easily. You may need to cook longer up to an hour if you are increasing the amount of pork.
  • Take pork out of the pot and let it cool for few minutes and then loosely cover with wrap or foil until it cools enough for you to slice. Reason for covering is so that it doesn't dry out while cooling. If you can, it's yummiest when you eat the pork while it's warm.

For Radish Kimchi Salad/Stuffing (Kimchi sok):

  • Julienne radish - either with knife or use a mandoline.
  • Cut green onions and minari (water dropwart) if you have it.
  • In a small bowl, make seasoning paste by mixing Korean red chili powder, saewoojeot, anchovy sauce, chopped garlic, chopped ginger, sugar, salt except for sesame seeds.
  • Add kimchi seasoning paste to bowl with radish and coat radish evenly with the paste. It may feel like it's too dry at first but radish juice will soon make it very wet.
  • Add green onions and minari and mix again. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top when serving.
  • *** If you want to add oysters, you need to increase salt level by adding more seasoning.
  • Serve bossam all in one plate with pork belly slices on one side, cabbage leaves and spicy radish salad on the other side. You can of course serve all of them separately too.

Notes

** It's hard to get the nutritional facts accurate for this dish because the brine and the Doenjang water used for cooking pork will not be all consumed.
Additional items to serve with Bossam
Tips for making Perfect Bossam
  • Best Pork Cut - Pork belly is the authentic and traditional cut to use but you can also use pork shoulder or butt. It will be less fatty which you may like better or not.
  • Fresh Oysters - you can add fresh oysters to your radish salad but be sure to increase the amount of seasoning because it can become too bland after oysters are added
  • Pickling Cabbages - when pickling cabbages, it's better if you pickle it a little less than you would for Kimchi. It should be still a bit crunchy and feel that it may break when you try to bend it (as opposed to cabbage fully bending). See my Kimchi post for more info.
  • Use Korean sea salt (cheonilyeom) to pickle cabbages for best result. Using just any salt will make the cabbage bitter. Cheonilyeom is Korean sea salt that has been aged for 3 years to remove the bittern. Read more about it here.
  • Reserve some of the pork broth to use for drizzling the pork if the pork gets too dry before serving.
  • It's best when pork is still warm so try to time it when it's still warm.
  • Storage and Reheating - pork tastes best when it's freshly cooked but you can store in the fridge and reheat in a pan or in microwave. Personally, I prefer reheating by frying in a pan (no oil, on medium heat).

Nutrition

Calories: 840kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 81g | Saturated Fat: 29g | Cholesterol: 114mg | Sodium: 881mg | Potassium: 616mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1675IU | Vitamin C: 14.3mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 2.3mg