Recipe: Slow-Cooked Korean Pork in Lettuce Wraps (Bo Ssam)

Anthony Hoy Fong, a New Zealander of Chinese descent, is living his dream as a chef and food consultant in New York. He’s madly busy running his restaurant The Twenty which serves ‘dive bar’ classics like the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich but when he’s home with his wife, fellow foodie Kai Mathey, and their young kids, he likes to cook dishes that reflect his Asian roots.

Here he shares one of his favourites – pork wraps Korean style. Don’t be scared off by the eight or so hours this meal takes to prepare: most of that time, the pork is just roasting slowly slowly in the oven, so it’s fall-off-the-bone succulent.

Bo Ssam (Korean Pork Lettuce Wraps)

Recipe by Anthony Hoy Fong, Photo Matthew Williams

The great thing about Bo Ssam for entertaining or getting dinner on the table any night of the week is that you can cook everything well ahead of time. The cooking does take a while, but it’s only the oven doing the work. When it’s time to eat, just put it all out on the table for guests to each assemble their own wraps however they want – there’s no wrong way to eat it.


3-4kg whole pork shoulder, bone-in, skin removed
2 cloves garlic, minced
tablespoon sugar
tablespoons sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 cup chilli-garlic sauce

Chilli sauce

½ cup chilli-garlic sauce
teaspoon toasted sesame oil
¾ cup chicken stock
tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic
1 small red chilli, stemmed and seeded

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Coriander sauce

2 bunches coriander, minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
1/3 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 lime, juiced


2 cups steamed white or brown rice
1 capsicum or mild large chilli, julienned
½ white onion, peeled and julienned
2 spring onions, finely
1 large head fancy lettuce


To prepare the pork, combine garlic, sugar, salt, pepper and chilli-garlic sauce and mix well. Rub all over pork then place in a roasting pan and cook for 8 hours at 150°C. (Alternatively, you can place pork shoulder in a slow cooker with 2cm of water in the base and cook overnight. When done, transfer pork to a roasting pan and brown under the grill for 7-8 minutes).

Prepare chilli sauce: combine ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Prepare coriander sauce: in a bowl combine all ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

When pork is done the meat should be very tender so that the bone can be removed with little resistance. To serve, place whole pork shoulder in the middle of table with sauces, rice and accompaniments alongside. To assemble take a lettuce leaf and stuff with pork, rice, sauces and fresh accompaniments as desired. Serves 4-6

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NZ Life and Leisure This article first appeared in NZ Life & Leisure Magazine.
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