Bossam (Korean Pork Belly)

Photographer: Kate
Serves 4-6

This recipe is an accompaniment to the kimchi I made last month. Bossam, is a Korean dish, made from pork belly, which, as I mentioned in my previous post, at the moment it is pretty much all I want to eat.

There are two key steps to this recipe, first you boil the pork slowly in a delicious broth and then you grill it, with a special rub on the top.

The beauty of this dish, is unless you eat Korean food on a regular basis, the flavours of this recipe will actually amaze you – seriously delicious and certainly not ‘same old, same old’.

Preparation wise; it is actually quite straightforward, don’t be put off by the ingredients list! You can easily have everything chopped and sliced in advance and have the pork simmering in a pot, before transferring to the grill for the last portion of the cooking time.  All the ingredients were really easy to find, but I went to the local Korean supermarket for the soy bean paste and chilli paste.

Have you ever cooked Bossam before? Do you have any other favourite Korean recipes to share? We would love to hear from you.


1kg pork belly (skin on, but boneless)

Poaching liquid
6 cloves of crushed garlic
6 large spring onions, roughly chopped (including top and roots)
3.5 x 2 inches root ginger, roughly sliced
1 x white onion, roughly chopped
Enough water to cover the pork belly

2 tbsp dwengjang (Korean soy bean paste)
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp grated root ginger
1 tsp gochujang (Korean chilli paste)

2 tbsp dwenjang ( Korean soybean paste)
1 tsp grated onion
3 tsp roasted sesame seeds
2 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp grated white onion

To serve
Lettuce leaves


1. In a heavy pot, place the pork and all the ‘poaching liquid’ ingredients. Put a lid on the pot and simmer for 2 hours or until the pork is cooked through and very soft.
2. Meanwhile, make up the ‘rub’ for the pork; by thoroughly mixing all the ingredients together into a paste, and refrigerate until needed.
3.The ‘sauce’ can also be made up in advance by roasting the sesame seeds and then mixing all the ingredients together. Refrigerated until needed (side note; The sauce will be quite thick – it needs to be thick to stay in the lettuce leaves).
4. Once the pork belly is cooked through, remove it from the poaching liquid* and place on a lined baking tray.
5. Carefully remove the skin from the pork and discard for this recipe.
6. Generously spread the rub all over the pork belly and grill on a low-medium setting for 20-30 minutes, or until the top is caramelised.
7. Once the pork is sufficiently caramelized, remove from the grill and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
8. While the pork is resting, remove the sauce from the refrigerator, and wash the lettuce leaves.
9. Cut the pork into small, thin slices and serve with the sauce, lettuce leaves and kimchi for ultimate satisfaction.
*This liquid makes the most beautiful, fragrant stock – sieve and freeze it in snap bags if you don’t have anything to use it for straight away.