H20pe for Haiti and Bo Ssam from Momofuku

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I can’t imagine that there is anyone left in this world that hasn’t heard of the devastating recent events in Haiti.  On January 12, the small Caribbean county was hit by a catastrophic 7.0 earthquake.  By January 24, at least 52 aftershocks measuring 4.5 or greater had been recorded. As of February 12, an estimated three million people were affected by the quake.  The Haitian Government reports that between 217,000 and 230,000 people have been identified as dead, an estimated 300,000 injured, and an estimated 1,000,000 are homeless.  It is also estimated that 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings have collapsed or been severely damaged. As you can imagine, the current living conditions in Haiti are deplorable!   In the aftermath, many countries have responded to appeals for humanitarian aid, pledging funds and dispatching rescue and medical teams, engineers and support personnel.  In addition, numerous church groups, charitable organizations and private citizens have stepped in to help as well, including the food blogging community.  Determined not to stand idly by, BloggerAid-Changing the Face of Famine has decided to run an online raffle to raise funds for the relief effort in Haiti.  This relief effort is called H2Ope for Haiti.


H20pe for Haiti was devised as a way for BA-CFF to raise funds to supply much needed water to Haiti through Concern Worldwide. This non-governmental international humanitarian organization founded in 1968 works around the world to reduce suffering and work towards the ultimate elimination of extreme poverty in the world’s poorest countries. Concern Worldwide has been a presence in Haiti since 1994 and had over 100 staff members on the ground when the earthquake struck.  Despite losing several team members in the tragedy, they have been quick to act with distribution of supplies, including 135,000 liters of water per day.

To implement this fundraiser, BA-CFF is running an online raffle, with prizes donated by participating food bloggers (like me).  The money raised will be paid directly into a Justgiving page.  Justgiving is the United Kingdom parent of Firstgiving, the site used in the Menu for Hope events.  Every dollar raised gets paid directly into the charity’s account, to be applied exclusively to the Haiti relief effort as agreed by Concern Worldwide.  Justgiving makes it really easy to donate in that that they accept credit cards, debit cards and Paypal as payment methods.


My raffle item for this fundraiser is a copy of David Chang’s bestselling cookbook, Momofuku (PRIZE CODE: HFH12).  It’s no secret that I have fallen in love with this book.  I’ve written about it here and here.  And now, for the price of a $10.00 raffle ticket, you can have the chance to win one for yourself.  H20pe for Haiti’s list of fabulous raffle prizes and instructions for donating can be found on Jeanne’s site at Cook Sister, and at BA-CFF’s Justgiving page, found at http://www.justgiving.com/h2ope4haiti. I hope you’ll consider participating.


Now, as an added incentive to donate, and because I love you guys, I have another Momofuku dish to share with you.  This one is really going to knock your ever lovin’ socks off because it features pork!  And, not just any old pork either. Nosiree!  I’m talking about a big old hunk of pork butt cooked low and slow for hours and hours, until it’s gorgeously caramelized and falling off the bone tender. I’m talking about the pork in David Chang’s Bo Ssäm!


Bo Ssäm is a popular dish in Korean cuisine in which steamed pork and various accompaniments are wrapped in leafy greens such as lettuce or sesame leaf. The word ssäm literally means “wrapped”.  It is often served with a thick, spicy paste known as ssämjang and several small side dishes or banchan such as kimchi.

In Chang’s version, the pork is coated with a sugar and salt dry rub and roasted low and slow, barbecue-style, for many hours, until it can just be pulled from the bone with a fork.  The rest of his bo ssäm “package” includes his version of ssämjang, raw oysters, Ginger-Scallion Sauce, rice and kimchi. I wasn’t originally convinced about the oysters, but then I read several accounts of how magical they are with the pulled pork. Still, I wasn’t about to deal with shucking fresh oysters in my kitchen. I’m the Accident Prawn, remember?  Oyster shuckers and me are a dangerous combination!


Luckily, I live in Florida, and the one thing I can always find here are freshly shucked oysters, neatly stored in plastic containers.  I figured that was the best way to go.

I didn’t make my own kimchi either. {{{hanging my head in shame}}}.  Instead, I bought some at a local Asian market.  The owner is Korean and she makes several kinds of kimchi fresh from scratch every day.  It is really good, too!  I knew that any kimchi I could whip up wouldn’t be nearly as good as hers, so I took that shortcut too.  The thing is, that by taking little shortcuts like this, a time and labor intensive meal like bo ssäm doesn’t seem so daunting.  Thus, you might be more likely to actually try it at home.  And, while it is always admirable to make each component of every dish yourself, it isn’t always necessary.  I’m not talking Semi-Homemade here.  I’m just saying that outsourcing a few things sometimes isn’t the end of the world.


As far as recipes go, Chang’s pulled pork isn’t difficult at all to prepare.  The hardest part is waiting for the pig to cook.  But, this also gives you lots of time to prepare the side dishes and sauces.  It also gives you lots of time to do the laundry, water your plants, pay some bills or take a little nap. (I skipped right on over to that last one!)  And, I have to tell you, people, that this pork is so very juicy and succulent – utterly amazing!  A total foodgasm if there ever was one!

Presenting, the naked pork:


Here’s what it looked like wearing its salt and sugar rub:


Here it is at the halfway mark:


And, here it is out of the oven and all ready to jump on your plate:


Oh, baby!


And, as if it could possibly get any better, get this.   This whole meal, which feeds at least eight people, cost me about $36.45 to make – including the oysters and the store-bought kimchi!  Can you believe it?  That gorgeous ten pound pork shoulder only set me back $16.50!  Momofuku Ssäm Bar charges $180.00 for this “dining experience”, which rounds out to about $22.50 per person for eight people, not including tax and tip.  I was able to do it for $4.55 per person.  Sure, the ambiance in my dining room probably isn’t as cool as Momofuku’s, but who cares!  The point is that you can create this fabulous feast in your own home for a fraction of what it costs to go out.  My cost was about 20% of what I would have paid at ANY restaurant, which leaves a nice chunk of change left over for Mama to get herself a new pair of shoes!

Trust me, people!  You need this book! Seriously! You do!















21 responses to H20pe for Haiti and Bo Ssam from Momofuku

  1. On February 23, 2010 at 1:14pm, Maria said...

    I haven’t had a chance to get this book yet. Great prize for a great cause! I love the photos, looks like a fun meal to prepare and eat:)

    • On February 23, 2010 at 7:36pm, Susan said...

      Thanks, Maria. We’ve eaten it for 3 nights and we still have some leftovers!

  2. On February 23, 2010 at 1:18pm, Joie de vivre said...

    I’m so glad you’re participating in the raffle! What a wonderful cause. Your pork look AMAZING!

  3. On February 23, 2010 at 1:35pm, Rosa said...

    That looks mighty scrumptious! An awesome dish!



  4. On February 23, 2010 at 3:05pm, Kitchen Monki Dan said...

    Looks fabulous! I made Bo Ssam for this past Christmas dinner at the in-laws instead of the usual Turkey. Everyone was amazed at how succulent the meat was… and since my mother-in-law is Korean, she had some freshly made kimchi on hand…. the Ginger Scallion sauce is top notch.

    • On February 23, 2010 at 7:38pm, Susan said...

      I couldn’t believe it either! Plus, the flavor of the meat is enhanced, not hidden by the condiments. :)

  5. On February 23, 2010 at 4:12pm, Rachel (S[d]OC) said...

    The pork alone looks fantastic. I could eat that whole pan full (never mind it feeding 8, those 8 people obviously don’t include me).

    I would not ever condemn you for not making kimchee. You are so not Sandra Lee for buying some nice quality stuff. You would only be Sandra Lee if you bought sauerkraut and added hot peppers and said it was a good substitute for kimchee (or is that Rachael Ray who does that?) Ditto for buying the pre-shucked oysters, although if it were me buying them, I wouldn’t use them at all. 😀

    • On February 23, 2010 at 7:39pm, Susan said...

      Hahahahahahahaha! Touche! 😀

  6. On February 23, 2010 at 4:23pm, LizAnderson said...

    I love beef and chicken, but for total foodgasams I go for the piggy every time! Beautiful pictures. I’ve got to find something to wipe my chin now…..

  7. On February 23, 2010 at 4:58pm, bellini valli said...

    I am hearing more and more abiout this cookbook out there in the blogosphere Susan. Thank you for your kind participation in H2Ope for Haiti as well and for getting the word out. As Jeanne says, “Although each person’s donation may be small, even single drops of water will eventually fill a swimming pool.”

    • On February 23, 2010 at 7:40pm, Susan said...

      My pleasure, Val! Hope we raise a ton of money! :)

  8. On February 23, 2010 at 5:50pm, Joan Nova said...

    You really are enjoying that book! And making delicious looking stuff!

  9. On February 24, 2010 at 1:07am, nina said...

    It is only you that can make a pork butt look that incredibly delicious!!! Awesome stuff!!

  10. On February 24, 2010 at 2:26am, Manggy said...

    Honestly, I think I’d rather sit at your dining table than in Momofuku 😉 We all know you’re an awesome cook. Aw, you remembered accident prawn!
    Thanks for participating in this raffle for a very important cause. I can attest to the fact that the book is indeed very good :)

  11. On February 24, 2010 at 12:54pm, Melissa said...

    And… I almost bought this book when I was home in Canada for Christmas vacation #2 (in February). However, the price of books in Canada, compared to the US, is attrocious. Yet, the more I see you posting from this book, the more I know that I will, SOON, buy it and revel in all its glory. (And, I just aquired 28 lbs of locally grown pork. mmm).

  12. On February 24, 2010 at 9:31pm, MaryBeth said...

    WOW…look at all of this flavor, I have never had anything like this before but I am sure willing to try it.

  13. On February 25, 2010 at 7:45am, Mike said...

    I’ve had this book for a while now, but I still haven’t made anything. I intended to, but the recipes seem so daunting. But the book is still a great read! Anyway, thanks for sharing your success. The bo ssam looks great!

  14. On February 25, 2010 at 7:31pm, Mary said...

    I have this book but I haven’t made anything yet. That looks amazing. Thanks for this great/detailed post.

  15. On February 25, 2010 at 9:25pm, The Duo Dishes said...

    Much success with your fundraising efforts! It’s great to see the food community continue to raise money for Haiti relief.

  16. On February 26, 2010 at 9:13pm, Josie said...

    I bought a pork butt so I could make this. It is marinating in the sugar/salt right now, and I plan to eat it tomorrow – looks so yummy! Thanks for posting :)

  17. On March 06, 2010 at 3:20pm, Marie said...

    That glorious huge pan of pork is to die for!!!

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Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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