ROASTED PORK BELLY LETTUCE WRAPS (BOSSAM)
Sharing is a common theme underlying all of Korean food. Bossam embodies this convivial sentiment – everyone sharing from the same plate, yet creating a small bespoke parcel for their own consumption. The lettuce leaves and pickles cut the fat nicely and bring a welcome freshness to the dish. If your pork belly comes with the ribs on, cut them off and slather with some doenjang-honey-ginger-gochujang paste (make extra). Roast until cooked through and caramelized and you’ll have the tastiest ribs ever.
- 4 tbsp doenjang (Korean soya bean paste)
- 1 (1.3–1.5 kg/3–31⁄2 lb) boneless skin-on pork belly
- 1 onion, cut into eighths
- 8 cloves garlic, crushed
- 7 spring onions, roughly chopped
- 6 thick slices unpeeled fresh ginger
- 2 tbsp honey
- 11⁄2 tbsp grated peeled fresh ginger
- 1 tsp gochujang (Korean chilli paste)
- In a large, wide, heavy-based saucepan, whisk together 2 tablespoons of the soya bean paste and 240 ml (8 fl oz) water until smooth. Add the pork belly, skin-side up, the onion, garlic, spring onions, sliced ginger and enough water to cover the pork.
- Bring to the boil over a high heat and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 2 hours until the pork is cooked through and very soft. Transfer the pork belly to a baking sheet lined with foil and leave to cool. Discard the cooking liquid. When the pork is cool enough to handle, remove the skin (but not the fat) and discard.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons soya bean paste, honey, grated ginger and chilli paste until smooth and then smear the paste all over the top (skin side) of the pork belly. Roast the pork for 30 minutes until the top is nicely caramelized. You can also grill the pork briefly for a little more char, if you like.
- Leave the pork to rest in a warm place for about 15 minutes. Transfer to a chopping board and thinly slice into two-bite pieces. Serve the pork on a platter with the lettuce, perilla leaves (if using), rice, sauce and pickled radish on the side. To assemble, put a lettuce leaf in one hand and top with a perilla leaf (if using), a spoonful of rice, a smear of sauce, a piece of pork and some pickled radish. Wrap the lettuce around the ingredients and take a bite. You’ll love it.