The Korea Herald


Bossam (boiled pork wraps)

By Korea Herald

Published : Feb. 28, 2014 - 19:29

    • Link copied

Bossam (boiled pork wraps). (Korean Bapsang) Bossam (boiled pork wraps). (Korean Bapsang)
Bossam is a boiled pork dish. The meat is boiled in a flavorful brine until tender and served thinly sliced. At the table, each person wraps the meat in salted napa cabbage leaves along with radish salad (musaengchae, or muchae) and saewujeot (salted shrimp). Sometimes, fresh garlic slices, chili pepper slices or fresh oysters are added. Salted napa cabbage is traditional, but you can also use lettuce or perilla leaves to make wraps. Or, enjoy it simply wrapped in a piece of well-fermented kimchi with some saewujeot.

Pork belly (samgyupsal) and Boston butt (moksal) are the most commonly used cuts for this dish. You can also use picnic shoulder (apdarisal). Korean cooks add a variety of ingredients to the boiling liquid to eliminate the smell of pork and flavor the meat. The addition of doenjang is not surprising because pork and doenjang go very well together in dishes like doenjang jjigae. Coffee is commonly used as well. You will hardly taste the doenjang or coffee when you try the boiled meat. They simply enhance the natural flavor of the pork. The result is a rich, but subtly flavored, deliciously moist meat!


● For the wraps:

● Tender inner parts of 1 napa cabbage, salted (or red or green leaf lettuce)

● Musaengchae (radish salad) ― see recipe below.

● Saeujeot (salted shrimp)

For the meat:

● 1 kg whole fresh pork belly, cut about 8 centimeters in width

● 10 cups water

● 1/2 medium onion

● 2-3 white parts of large scallions

● 7-8 plump garlic cloves

● 1 inch piece of ginger, sliced

● 1 teaspoon whole black peppers

● 1 1/2 tablespoons doenjang (fermented soybean paste)

● 1 teaspoon instant coffee (or a cup of brewed coffee)

● 1 teaspoon salt

● 2 bay leaves

Dissolve 1/2 cup of coarse salt in 4 cups of water, and soak the cabbage leaves until softened, for 2 to 4 hours. Rinse, and drain well.

Bring the water and all the remaining ingredients, except the pork belly, to a boil over medium-high heat, and continue to boil for 5 minutes.

Add the pork belly and boil for 20 minutes, uncovered. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, covered, until the meat is very tender, 40 to 50 minutes. Turn the heat off, and cool the meat in the cooking liquid. This will keep the meat moist.

Thinly slice the meat and serve with the salted cabbage (or lettuce), saewujeot and musaengchae.

Keep any leftover meat in the cooking liquid. Boil the meat in the liquid to reheat. This prevents the meat from drying out.

Musaengchae (radish salad)


● 400 grams mu (Korean radish)

● 1 teaspoon salt

● 2 scallions, finely chopped

● 2-3 tablespoons gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes) ― add to taste

● 2 teaspoons minced garlic

● 1 teaspoon myulchiaekjeot (fish sauce)

● 1 teaspoon saeu jeot (salted shrimp)

● 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

● 1/2 teaspoon sugar ― add to taste

Clean the radish, and cut into matchstick size. Sprinkle the salt over the radish and toss well. Let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes until the radish sticks have softened and released some liquid. Drain (or gently squeeze out) excess liquid. Do not rinse. Add all the remaining ingredients. Mix well by hand. Taste and add more salted shrimp or fish sauce if necessary.

By Ro Hyo-sun

For more recipes visit