Hangul: 보쌈; bo-ssam
English Name: Boiled pork wraps
Literal translation: wrapped / packaged
Bossam is a popular pork dish in Korean cuisine and for good reason! The meat boiled in a savory broth of select herbs and spices serves as an appetizing centrepiece amongst a platter of delicious sangchu and jeon often presented to dinners in almost artistic fashion.
Chefs usually boil a cut of meat in garlic, ginger, onions, and doenjang (fermented bean paste) to mask the overpowering taste of pork when preparing bossam. It is also common to toss in a special ingredient to add additional flavor and tenderizing. Recipies online will include anything from fruit like pears and apples, to the hazelnut coffee used in Mangchis receipe.
In a culture full of gochu jang and gochu carru based meals, bossam is usually one of the mildest Korean dishes you’ll encounter. The soft and tender meat is usually eaten with kimchi, green onions, and other vegetables but there’s a tendency to eat the pork with oysters.
Bossam is usually served as the main dish with a combination of different styles of kimchi. Radish, white and freshly made red kimchi are some you’ll see very often. Also, you’ll often see the dish occompanied by a bowl of seoo jot or shimp sause for dipping
The term “bossam” actually has nothing to due with pork or even meat. It may sound a little crazy but per (source), it actually refers to large bags that were used to hold people during…abductions! @.@?
Apparently, the meat and other ingredients resemble these bags when they are combined and rolled up into the cabbage leaves served with the meal.
My first time tasting bossam was at a restaurant in Gangnam right outside of Apkujung.The restaurant served up the meat with with a considerably large spread of sides but the items that stand out in my mind are the red and white kimchi that we wrapped up in the meat. I used to love switching back and forth between the two and then finally mixing them together to enjoy the combination of both.
We went to the restaurant so often that the owners would ask us where we’d been if we hadn’t eaten there for a while and even learned we liked cuts of meat with less fat. Unfortunately I’ve heard that particular restaurant has closed but bossam is a popular dish! There are plenty more awesome places out there! We just have to get out there and look!