Bo-ssam is one of my favourite Korean dishes. It consists of slices of steamed pork wrapped in a vegetable leaf. ‘Ssam’ (쌈) refers to the practice of wrapping food in leaves, laver bread (김) or thinly sliced mooli, etc. This style of eating is popular with sam-kyeop-sal and bulgogi as well as raw fish or meat. A wide variety of leaves are used – chard, beetroot, sesame, lettuce, Chinese cabbage, steamed Chinese cabbage, steamed western cabbage, and numerous others.
Bo-ssam pork is often shoulder, loin or belly pork and the recipes vary greatly. Often a large number of ingredients are used including, beer. The pork has a smooth, almost creamy taste and is accompanied with sweet kimchi – often containing oyster, ssamjang paste, sliced raw garlic, salted shrimp, and an assortment of other side dishes.
Many restaurants serve Bo-ssam for one person and you can assume this if the price is around 6000 Won.
© Nick Elwood 2010. This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.