This Korean bossam recipe comes from Su Scott's book, Rice Table (£27, Quadrille).

Su says: “My mother’s kitchen was never short of good boiled pork. Her braising liquor was dark and perfumed with cinnamon bark, and the meat tasted as though it had been bathed in fermented bean paste soup. Perfectly crunchy and spicy fillings complemented the tender pork wonderfully, resulting in bold yet balanced flavours that were wrapped in soft cabbage leaves with layers of heat and roundness bleeding out to burst in the mouth.”

This is a recipe that Su shared as part of her guide to South Korean cuisine. Check it out to learn about the deep, complex flavours of this country, including Su's recipes for Korean king oyster mushrooms with doenjang butter sauce and Korean spicy radish salad. Afterwards, check out more Korean recipes.


  • 2 tbsp soft dark brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp blackstrap molasses
  • 3 tbsp sake
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp doenjang
  • 1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
  • ½ onion, skin left on
  • ½ apple, cored with skin left on
  • 100g leek, halved lengthways
  • 40g garlic cloves, lightly crushed
  • 15g ginger, roughly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1kg pork belly, skin left on and cut into 5cm-wide strips
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • blanched white cabbage or seasonal leaves, for wrapping
  • ssamjang sauce and spicy radish salad, to serve


  • STEP 1

    Whisk together the sugar, molasses, sake, soy, doenjang and 1 litre of water in a heavy-based pan or stockpot with a lid. Add all the remaining ingredients, except the pork and cinnamon. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 mins over a medium heat, partially covered with the lid.

  • STEP 2

    Carefully submerge the pork belly into the poaching liquid and add the cinnamon stick. Reduce the heat and simmer very gently for 1 hr 15 mins until the meat is cooked through but not completely falling apart. Turn off the heat and let the pork rest in the pan for 15 mins.

  • STEP 3

    Remove the pork from the pan and ensure the meat has cooled down enough to touch. Discard the poaching liquid. Cut the meat into 5mm slices then transfer to a large platter.

  • STEP 4

    If you are planning on serving later, cover the meat before slicing and refrigerate until needed. When ready to serve, slice as above, then steam for a few minutes to reheat.

  • STEP 5

    Serve the pork with seasonal leaves to wrap, ssamjang sauce on the side and spicy radish salad.

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