Our recipe book reviewer David Parker has road-tested this recipe, which you can read about by clicking here. The original recipe calls for a special steamed bun mixture, but ready-made buns are easily available. If you're making the pickled cabbage, this needs to be prepared one week in advance.
Makes 1 litre
½ savoy cabbage
2 tablespoons sea salt
½ dried long red chilli, seeded
½ teaspoon white peppercorns, crushed
½ fresh long chilli, seeded and thinly sliced
500ml rice wine vinegar
230 grams caster sugar
4-kilogram pork shoulder, bone in and skin on
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons salt
4 lemons, cut into cheeks
To serve: 10 Chinese steamed buns, hot
¼ cup red chilli paste
60 grams white miso paste
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
½ red onion, grated finely
2 garlic cloves grated finely
thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, grated finely
2 spring onions, white part only, sliced thinly
2 long red chillies, diced finely
This roast pork dish is epic. Complete with crackling, steamed bread and an arrangement of pickles and vegetables, it's a complete banquet worthy of any celebration.
Cut the cabbage into large chunks and place it in a colander. Rinse under cold running water, then drain well.
In a large bowl, mix the sea salt through the cabbage, then leave it to cure for 3 hours in a colander set over a large bowl.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Put the dried chillies and peppercorns in a small ovenproof dish and roast them for 2 minutes or until the dried chilli has blackened slightly and the peppercorns are fragrant. Transfer the spices to a mortar and pestle and pound until coarsely ground.
Squeeze the cabbage in your hands to extract all the liquid you can. Discard the liquid and transfer the cabbage to a large bowl. Sprinkle over the spice mixture with the fresh chilli.
Heat the vinegar and sugar in a stainless steeel saucepan over medium heat, and stir until the sugar as dissolved. Bring to the boil and then pour the hot pickling liquid over the cabbage. Mix well so the spices are evenly distributed. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. Leave for at least one week to pickle. Store for 4 weeks in the refrigerator.
To make the ssamjang, mix all the ingredients together and set aside.
With a sharp knife, score the pork skin, or ask your butcher to do this for you.
Place a steamer – large enough to fit the pork – on the stove and bring it to a simmer. Place the pork shoulder in the steamer and cook for 4 hours.
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Remove the pork from the steamer and place it in a large, heavy roasting tin. Rub the oil over the pork skin and sprinkle with the salt. Roast in the oven for 30–45 minutes or until the skin is crisp.
Serve the pork with the steamed bread with the pickled cabbage, ssamjang and lemon cheeks.
Dish's practical cookbook reviewer David Parker road-tested this recipe – find his thoughts here.