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What Is Bossam?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 30 October 2016
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Bossam is a kind of Korean food that consists of steamed pork wrapped in vegetables. A few traditional Korean sauces and garnishes also go along with this dish. Koreans eat this dish on its own, or with various kinds of alcoholic drinks.

One of the major elements often included in bossam is a kind of fermented cabbage that Koreans call kimchi. This highly flavored food can provide a good supplementary flavor and texture for the bossam dish. Some cooks describe kimchi as slightly sweet and spicy. It is a major component of what Koreans eat with a variety of traditional dishes, many of them revolving around seafood or other natural foods unique to the Koreas.

Another common condiment served with bossam is shrimp sauce. These sauces are often made with dried shrimp and a combination of spices that often provide a hot, vinegar taste. These sauces complement the bland flavor of the steamed pork. These shrimp elements can be made in various ways, some with heavier consistencies, or with more or less of certain sugars and other flavorings. For example, some shrimp sauces will not be as hot as others, where a milder variety can make the entire dish seem more cosmopolitan or reduced for a more diverse audience.

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In addition to kimchi and shrimp sauce or paste, a variety of other condiments also accompany many kinds of bossam. These include raw garlic, varieties of Korean peppers, and a sauce called ssamjang that also includes garlic and additional spices. Garlic, a superfood with many vitamins and essential health elements, provides a strong component for this and other similar Korean dishes.

All of the secondary elements combine to make bossam a significantly flavored dish. The kimchi and other items also provide a bright color. Cooks can decide how much pork fat to include in the dish considering the health value and overall presentation of the food. Much of the challenge of the dish involves steaming the pork correctly to prevent overcooking.

Bossam can be presented in various ways. Some versions are served with all items together in one bowl, while others neatly separate the condiments and sauces in various concavities of a bowl or box. In Korea, bossam can be ordered as a restaurant food or for delivery. This food is also served in restaurants in other parts of the world where Korean cuisine is enjoyed.

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