Until AFF Korea, I've never cooked any Korean dishes at home before because hubby didn't like it previously and so I didn't bother to look up any recipes. And I always thought that Korean cuisine is very difficult and tedious, looking at how kimchi is prepared, the amount of banchan side dishes that come with each meal etc. So this month has been a eye-opener for me, to learn that some Korean dishes are not as hard as I deemed.
Anyways, as I was browsing through the submissions for AFF Korea, I saw this dish Bossam submitted by Kelly Siew Cooks and I was immediately inspired! This is very similar to the grilled meat lettuce wrap except that the pork belly is boiled in brine water. I'm really curious about whether the taste would be as good because grill pork belly has this tantalising charred taste and smell.
And oh, eaten with lettuce, kimchi and Ssamjang (Korean spicy dipping sauce), the taste was explosive! I couldn't stop myself from stuffing one wrap into my mouth after another. It wasn't very graceful looking, but hey who cares when it was soooo yummy!
Update: Hubby gave thumbs up to the Bossam too. He liked the Ssamjang as well! Between the 2 of us, we finished all the pork belly :p I forgot to count how many slices of pork belly there were, I think maybe 15-20? I think I ate 5 wraps as my lunch and another 5 for dinner; hubby ate the rest. I know that was a lot but we ate very little rice and drank some soup only (cooked ABC soup and drink mainly the soup), and I removed some of the skin and fats as well. #excuses :p haha.
Ingredients are simple and method totally easy. Basically just bring doenjang, salt, scallion, garlic, black pepper, bay leaf, ginger, instant coffee, onion and water to boil for 5 mins. Add the pork belly and boil for 20 mins at medium heat, then turn to low heat and simmer for another 50 mins. That's it. The pork belly turned tender and absorbed all the flavours.
Boiled pork wraps with spicy dipping sauce (Bossam보쌈, Ssamjang 쌈장)
(recipe reference from Korean Bapsang, Kelly Siew Cooks, Maangchi)
Steps for cooking meat
- 700g fresh pork belly
- 1/2 medium onion
- 2 white parts of scallions (I use China scallion)
- 6 garlic cloves
- 3 slices ginger
- 1/2 tsp whole black peppers
- 1 tbsp doenjang (fermented soybean paste)
- 1/2 tsp instant coffee powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 bay leave
- 7 cups water
Ingredients for wrap
- Place all the brine ingredients except pork belly into a pot, pour about 7 cups of water and bring to boil over medium high heat for 5 mins.
- Add pork belly and boil for 20 mins, uncovered.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for 50 mins, covered.
- After 50 mins, the meat will become very tender. Turn off the heat and cool the meat in the cooking liquid to keep the meat moist.
- Cut the pork belly into thin slices for the Bossam wrap.
- Keep any leftover meat in the cooking liquid. Boil the meat in the liquid to reheat. This prevents the meat from drying out.
Steps for Bossam
- Green and red coral lettuce (or any other salad leaves of your choice)
- Boiled pork belly, sliced
- Kimchi (I bought home-made kimchi from a shop at Square 2, shop is located next to Solmart)
- Ssamjang (store-bought or homemade - see below for recipe)
- Take a lettuce leaf. Place sliced pork belly on top. Add small piece of kimchi and half teaspoon of Ssamjang.
- Wrap up like parcel or whichever way the ingredients are secured.
- Pop the whole wrap into the mouth (sometimes I can only manage half coz the wrap is too big) and enjoy!
I saw Ssamjang sold in tubs just like Gochujang and Doenjang at the Korean supermarkets. But after looking at the recipe by Maangchi, I decided to make it myself since it's easy peasy! It's basically just a mixture of ingredients required, no cooking needed! It's fresher than store-bought and more delicious!
Ssamjang 쌈장 Korean spicy dipping sauce(recipe from Maangchi)
- 1/4 cup doenjang (fermented soybean paste)
- 1 tbsp gochujang (hot pepper paste)
- 1 stalk spring onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
- 2 tsp honey
- 2 tsp sesame seeds, lighted toasted
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- Place all the ingredients into a bowl, stir with a spoon till well mixed.
- Enjoy with Bossam or grilled meats.