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BG Recipes: Lela Rose’s Bo Ssam

BGs 2009 FNO Top Chef shares her favorite recipe

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I’m looking forward to everyone getting back into town to start the fall. We love to have many dinners to welcome people back and get a chance to catch up. This is a perfect dish to do that with as it is a crowd pleaser, easy to serve, and looks like much more effort than it actually requires. — Lela Rose

*click through album for printable recipe & preview of Lela’s Fall Collection*

Pork Butt (Bo Ssam)

  • 1 whole bone-in pork butt or picnic ham (8 to 10 pounds)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 7 tablespoons brown sugar


Ginger-Scallion Sauce

  • 2½ cups thinly sliced scallions, both green and white parts
  • ½ cup peeled, minced fresh ginger
  • ¼ cup grapeseed oil
  • 1½ teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 1 scant teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste


Cucumber Kimchi

  • 3 large cucumbers 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 scallions, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
  • 2”piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Korean chile powder (or crushed red pepper)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce



  • Ginger scallion noodles
  • 3 heads bibb lettuce, leaves separated, and displayed pretty in a bowl
  • 1 dozen or more fresh oysters  (optional)
  • Cucumber Kimchi
  • Ginger scallion sauce
  • Siracha or Ssam Sauce


1. Place the pork in a large, shallow bowl. Mix the white sugar and 1/2 cup of the salt together in another bowl, then rub the mixture all over the meat. Cover it with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, or overnight.

2. When you’re ready to cook, heat oven to 300. Remove pork from refrigerator and discard any juices. Place the pork in a roasting pan and set in the oven and cook for approximately 6 hours, or until it collapses, yielding easily to the tines of a fork. (After the first hour, baste hourly with pan juices.) At this point, you may remove the meat from the oven and allow it to rest for up to an hour.

3. Meanwhile, make the ginger-scallion sauce. In a large bowl, combine the scallions with the rest of the ingredients. Mix well and taste, adding salt if needed.

4. Make the cucumber kimchi. Cut cucumbers in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and then cut lengthwise into long strips crosswise. Place in a medium bowl and mix thoroughly with salt. Let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, combine garlic, scallions, ginger, vinegar, chile powder, sugar and fish sauce in a medium bowl. Drain the liquid from the cucumbers. Stir the cucumbers into the vinegar mixture Cover and refrigerate before serving.

5. Prepare noodles, wash lettuce and, shuck the oysters. Put kimchi and sauces into serving bowls.

6. When your accompaniments are prepared and you are ready to serve the food, turn oven to 500. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining tablespoon of salt with the brown sugar. Rub this mixture all over the cooked pork. Place in oven for approximately 10 to 15 minutes, or until a dark caramel crust has developed on the meat. Serve family style with the accompaniments.