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Bossäm With Riesling Ssäm Sauce

The spicy, savory, sour notes of Asian cuisine have long posed a puzzle to sommeliers—how to choose a wine that both complements and stands up to such intense flavors? When it comes to their table-spanning feast of Korean bossäm, Dana Frank and Andrea Slonecker are firm believers in Riesling. “The best match for the umami-rich pork and kimchi were the wines with a bit of residual sugar in them, no matter their origin,” note Frank and Slonecker in their book Wine Food, suggesting producers like Bellwether Wine Cellars, Ovum Wines, and Weingut Keller.

This recipe was inspired by Momofuku’s David Chang, who serves a version where the pork is slow-roasted for hours under a salt-and-sugar crust before guests dive in to build their own wraps. “This is a true feast that involves eating with your fingers, lots of napkins, and flowing, cold, fruity Riesling to keep your palate refreshed.”


  • Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder
  • 1 whole bone-in pork shoulder, about 8 or 9 pounds
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • _________________________
  • Salted Cabbage Leaves
  • 1 head Napa cabbage, 3 or 4 pounds
  • About 5 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • _________________________
  • Riesling Ssäm Sauce
  • 1 bunch scallions, both white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup Riesling
  • 1/3 cup dwenjang (Korean fermented soybean paste)
  • 1/4 cup gochujang (Korean red chili paste)
  • 1 Tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • _________________________
  • On the Side
  • 1 lb. Little Gem or hearts of romaine lettuces, leaves separated, washed and dried
  • Herb sprigs, such as cilantro, mint and shiso
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Sliced red chilies
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Kimchi
  • 4 cups steamed short-grain white rice
  • Tools:roasting pan, small bowl, large platter, large rimmed baking sheet,


Slow-Roasted Pork ShoulderPlace the pork shoulder in a large roasting pan. In a small bowl, stir the salt and sugar. Spread the mixture all over the pork, coating the top, bottom and sides. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to 24

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Remove the pork from the refrigerator and pour off any juices from the bottom of the pan. Roast the pork, fat-side up, until the meat is pull-apart tender and a nice brown crust forms on the exterior, about 6 hours. Once juices have accumulated in the bottom of the pan, after about 1 1/2 hours, begin basting with the pan juices every hour or so.

After removing from the oven, transfer the roast to a large platter, cover loosely with foil, and set aside at room temperature for up to 1 hour before serving.

Salted Cabbage LeavesTrim the bottom of the head of cabbage and separate the leaves. Reserve the larger outer leaves and the smaller innermost leaves for another purpose, such as kimchi. Layer the medium-size leaves on a large rimmed baking sheet, sprinkling each leaf evenly with a generous dusting of salt between each layer. Set aside at room temperature until the leaves are wilted and pliable and have given up some of their liquid, about 2 hours. Rinse the leaves well under cold water to remove excess salt, then pat dry. Wrap the leaves in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

Riesling Ssäm SauceIn a small bowl, whisk the scallions, Riesling, dwenjang, gochujang, vinegar, sesame seeds and sesame oil. The sauce will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

To ServeArrange the salted cabbage leaves, lettuce leaves, and fresh herb sprigs on a large platter. Put the ssäm sauce, sliced cucumbers and chilies, and hoisin sauce in small bowls, and the kimchi and steamed rice in medium bowls. Place the pork shoulder in the center of the table with two large forks for shredding the meat from the bone. Let everyone build their own wraps, filling the salted cabbage and fresh lettuce leaves with shredded meat and accompaniments.

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