And while I’m on the subject, I think the ultimate Super Bowl party food is Bo Ssäm, Korean pulled pork served in lettuce wraps with quick-pickles, kimchi, ssamjang sauce, and rice, made famous at Momofuku Ssäm Bar.* It’s very easy to prepare and serve — the most time-consuming part is slicing veggies and fruits for the pickles — and it’s such a succulent combination of flavors and textures that your friends will hoist you on their shoulder like the mothereffin’ MVP.
Here’s David Chang’s recipe, which is more or less what I follow. I learned how to make it from our dear friend and former roommate Akiko, who once worked at Ssäm Bar. She skips the oysters (they’re really not necessary, especially at home) and replaces them with quick pickles of thinly sliced Asian pear, cucumber, jicama, radish, fennel, red onion … whatever looks good. Pickles cut the salt and fat of the pork beautifully. I like to have four varieties for guests to choose from, about a cup or two of each pickle.
Here’s a recipe for pickling juice. I would double it and add 1 teaspoon dashi soup stock granules OR one 20 cm square piece of kombu seaweed, as per Akiko’s directions. Let steep in the fridge overnight. I definitely do not make my own kimchi, though I do make my own variation of Ssäm Sauce — you can use store-bought ssamjang or skip it altogether, whatever you like. Chang’s ginger scallion sauce would also be good.
And for vegetarians, simply marinade and roast or grill tofu in ssamjang or similar. With all those delicious garnishes, they’re not missing out on too much.
Serve the bo ssäm with Crunch Berry Snack Mix (which I adapted into a junk food popcorn mix) to complete the Momofuku domination.
* They’re now charging $200++ for the meal. Highway robbery. This is poor people’s food at its very best. Make it yourself — and save your money for the whole rotisserie duck, which is worth the price.