This was what I made for holiday potluck this year and it was a hit! It’s from the Momofuku cookbook (John also made the brussels sprouts from that book with success). A lot of things make it great for entertaining: it’s relatively simple (if time consuming), the meat is cheap and it makes a TON (we’ve been living on leftover pork for days: tacos, bibimbap, pozole…). You need to plan ahead to make it though. I made the sauces the night before (bought the kimchi), then cured it overnight and cooked it the next day, starting just after lunchtime. I made a couple of slight adjustments based on suggestions from friends who had tackled the recipe before.
For the pork
1 whole bone-in pork butt or picnic ham (8 to 10 pounds; I used about 9 and change)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon kosher salt (I used closer to a half cup here based on recommendations)
7 tablespoons brown sugar
For the ginger scallion sauce
2 ½ cups thinly sliced scallions, both green and white parts
½ cup peeled, minced fresh ginger
¼ cup neutral oil (like grapeseed)
1 ½ teaspoons light soy sauce
1 scant teaspoon sherry vinegar (I subbed cider vinegar because I was out of it)
½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
For the ssam sauce
2 tablespoons fermented bean-and-chili paste
1 tablespoon Korean chili paste (kochujang)
½ cup sherry vinegar
½ cup neutral oil (like grapeseed)
2 cups plain white rice, cooked
3 heads bibb lettuce, leaves separated, washed and dried (I did half lettuce, half cabbage
1 dozen or more fresh oysters (optional; we did not take this option)
Kimchi (got some from the farmer’s market)
Place the pork in a large, shallow bowl. Mix the white sugar and 1 cup (or half cup if adapting) of the salt together in another bowl, then rub the mixture all over the meat. Cover it with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
When you’re ready to cook, heat oven to 300. Remove pork from refrigerator and discard any juices. Rinse pork (this is not in the recipe but should be, and I’m glad a friend told me to do this). Place the pork in a roasting pan and set in the oven and cook for approximately 6 hours, or until it collapses. After the first hour, baste hourly with pan juices (I remembered to do this like, three times total) At this point, you may remove the meat from the oven and allow it to rest for up to an hour.
In a large bowl, combine the scallions with the rest of the ingredients. Mix well and taste, adding salt if needed.
Make the ssam sauce. In a medium bowl, combine the chili pastes with the vinegar and oil, and mix well.
Prepare rice, wash lettuce. Put kimchi and sauces into serving bowls.
When ready to serve, turn oven to 500. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining tablespoon of salt with the brown sugar. Rub this mixture all over the cooked pork. Place in oven for approximately 10 to 15 minutes (keep an eye on this to prevent burning; mine was just under 10 minutes), or until a dark caramel crust has developed on the meat. Serve hot, with the accompaniments.