Mmmm, pork.
January 26, 2015 9:27 PM   Subscribe

I have a birthday coming up, and I will be making the glory that is bo ssam in celebration this weekend. But I'm stymied on the rest of the meal.

We'll end up full from the glorious amounts of pork that we're going consume, but I'd like to have something out for folks to munch on while people are arriving and I'm futzing with the last high temperature bake part of the recipe. I'm also looking for a dessert idea.

So, Metafilter: what are one or two (preferably make ahead) starters that you'd serve with a bo ssam, and what would you serve for dessert? I'm leaning towards coconut milk panna cotta there, but suggestions are vastly appreciated. Thank you!

(My guests can and will eat just about anything; I'm gluten intolerant but a strong enough cook that adapting recipes and making substitutions isn't a problem.)
posted by joycehealy to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I've done that recipe, and honestly it's such a stunner that any starter/dessert should be pretty low-key or else it's all gonna be kind of overwhelming. Something like assorted pickled stuff would probably be a good starter, maybe with some nice bread. For dessert, I'd just do a really nice sorbet. Trust me, anything more intense or rich is gonna be too much with the food coma that people are gonna be in after that pork (especially if you're doing the lettuce, rice, sauces, and whatnot on the side).
posted by Itaxpica at 10:11 PM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: We have never had a starter when I have made this recipe. We barely even have banchan (Korean condiment/side dishes) Just rice and leafy lettuce, kimchi and gochujang and the big hunk of pork in the middle of the table.

One time I had red bean ice cream in the freezer but we were so full nobody wanted any.

It is so impressive you really don't need anything else!
posted by Swisstine at 10:14 PM on January 26, 2015 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Lightly pickled cabbage, kimchi, cucumber salad, pickled green beans, lettuce wraps... I like crispy green things and pickled things before a luscious pork meal like this.

I think coconut milk panna cotta sounds like and excellent choice! Or you could go full-Chang and pick a dessert recipe from the Momofuku Milk Bar. Those are all pretty fiddly, though, so the panna cotta would be lower-effort... but then again, it is your birthday, so!
posted by rhiannonstone at 10:42 PM on January 26, 2015

Best answer: Pickled things go so well with pork.. I'm going to have to give my vote to something light and pickled.
posted by DriftingLotus at 11:44 PM on January 26, 2015

Best answer: You may want to put in more consideration for a drink or a palate cleanser. This type of rich centerpiece food needs a balance and contrast of flavors, not an onslaught of decadence. Perhaps something astringent, like a grapefruit soda/cooler/mimosa?

I know for really rich Asian food, sometimes just having extremely high quality tea to drink before, during, and after is wonderful. Fresh fruit such as oranges and melons are also what is served after.
posted by yueliang at 2:11 AM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Coconut panna cotta is a good choice. With pork and all the kim chi, you're going to want something light and cool.

One of my favorite Asian desserts is almond flavored agar agar with fruit in it. It's kind of like Jell-o, you can buy it in Asian groceries, if you don't want to use a pre-packaged mix. I would make almond cookies (stick a whole almond into the top for authenticity) to accompany.

Another option would be these yummy sounding Honeydew Ice Pops.

As for nibblies, salty and pickled is the way to go. One of the restaurants here abouts sets the table with dishes of Spanish peanuts and lightly pickled strips of daikon, carrot and cucumber. Again, keep it light.

Head out to one of the Korean groceries in your area and see if they have prepared pickles. Or dress the veggies yourself with rice vinegar and salt.

Oh! Rice/Shrimp crackers! The kind that stick to your tongue and melt in your mouth. H-Mart has a little stall where they're made fresh on site, but they're also sold pre-made in bags. I love these things!

Sounds yummy, I'm going to try the recipe myself!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:29 AM on January 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

I am also going to make bo ssam this weekend! I've never had much accompaniment to it, but pickles sound good before. For dessert, I'm making a basil-orange granita (recipe), which I think will be a light and refreshing finish. Coconut milk might still be too heavy after all that delicious, fatty pork.
posted by Maecenas at 6:31 AM on January 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

Best answer: We're making bo ssam too this weekend. In previous years, we offered guests pre-bo ssam snacks, and the first year, they were enthusiastically partaken of. The second year, the sentiment was that everyone wanted to save stomach space for bo ssam.
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:18 AM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: agreed that if you do all the fixins--kim chi, flash pickled cukes or something similar, rice, lettuce for wrapping, the multiple homemade condiments/sauces, whatnot--it's pretty much the meal and all i'd make besides is something refreshing as a closer maybe (and i mean as simple as cut up fresh melon or tropical or similar fruit, or lychees on ice maybe, etc.). it's a pretty huge spread when all is said and done, with tons of textures and flavor highlights. serving a proper side dish or even a starter that's at all involved feels like overkill, but that's just me.
posted by ifjuly at 9:57 AM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I was also going to suggest lightly pickled vegetables, probably carrots and daikon.
posted by juliapangolin at 10:02 AM on January 27, 2015

For dessert, how about grapefruit and campari granita?
posted by biscuits at 11:27 AM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

We has Bo Ssam for dinner tonight! I ran to H-mart and got what I needed.

YUM! Husbunny scarfed his up so fast I thought he was an aardvark.

So easy too!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:47 PM on January 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

Bo Ssam is not my thing at all, but it's normally served with special kimchi with oysters or tiny shrimpies...
posted by Joseph Gurl at 12:29 AM on January 29, 2015

Response by poster: Thank you everyone! I keep meaning to come back here and update about how it went, but it's been a busy week. I took the points about it being a heavy meal to heart, and in the end went with no starters, and sides of pickled cucumbers, radishes, and carrots (I'd never pickled radishes before, and they were so good.) I also stir fried some zucchini at the last minute, just to have something else green on the table. We cut up a pineapple for dessert (we never even got to the watermelon), and a friend brought some GF brownies he'd made for those of us who wanted something a little more desserty. It was perfect.

The point about something astringent was well taken; I brought home a variety of sodas from our local pan-Asian-Hispanic market, and the ginger beer and lime Jarrito's went very well.

I wanted shrimp crackers, but ran out of patience for standing in the Super G trying to find ones I can eat. I also kind of ran out of steam, but I will be raiding Ruthless Bunny's list the next time we do this (and there will be a next time). Also, biscuits, that granita looks amazing, and I think we're going to try it for our lonely hearts Valentine's this coming weekend.

I <3 Metafilter. :)
posted by joycehealy at 7:41 AM on February 6, 2015 [4 favorites]

« Older Give more than four dates for chemistry to develop...   |   The Possibility of an Island Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.