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, topped with heaps of 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 a killer fried rice
  • Chopped up and simmered in a 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 bright color, flavor and texture to a huge variety of dishes. Sliver them into matchsticks for a Bánh Mì sandwich or showy coins for salads, or leave them in larger pieces for snappy crunch on a cheese platter or straight out of the jar for snacks. Sprinkling salt on the vegetables before pickling draws out excess moisture, creating crisper 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 shape

1½ teaspoons salt

1 cup (8 oz.) rice vinegar (or substitute 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 - so if you'd like to keep the colors separated, salt and let them sit in separate strainers.)
Add the vinegar, water, sugar, the remaining ½ teaspoon salt to a small pot and warm over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved and the liquid is hot.
Rinse the vegetables under cold running water for a minute. Drain and squeeze out all extra water. Place in the container(s)** you plan to store them in 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.
Marinate the vegetables for at least 1 hour before using, or 2 hours for larger shapes. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 month.


*Daikon, other varieties of radish, and turnips smell funky when stored in a container for a while. The taste 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.