- 3-pound piece of boneless pork shoulder
- ¼ cup kosher salt
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
- 6 onions, thinly sliced (about 8 very loosely-packed cups)
- 8 cups kimchi, preferably a mix of radish and Napa cabbage, store bought or homemade
- 8 cups broth, either chicken or vegetable
- 6 tablespoons mirin*
- 1 cup sliced rice cakes
- Sliced scallions, greens and whites
- Julienned carrots
*If you can’t find or do not have mirin, you can substitute with 6 tablespoons of any dry white wine or rice vinegar, plus 3 teaspoons of sugar.
Prepare the pork shoulder. Put the pork shoulder in a roasting pan or other oven-safe vessel that holds it snugly. Mix salt and sugar in a small bowl and rub all over the meat, discarding any excess. Cover the container with plastic wrap and put it into the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, but no longer than 24.
Heat oven to 250°F. Discard any liquid that accumulated in the container. Put the pork shoulder in the oven and cook for 6 hours, basting it with the rendered fat and pan juices every hour. Take it out of the oven and let it rest for 30 minutes, then shred the meat.
While meat rests, prepare the stew. If you are using leftover bo ssäm, skip to this step.
Heat 2 tablespoons of neutral oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until it’s very hot, but not smoking. Add the onions—they will be piled up high—and let them cook undisturbed for 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully toss the onions and, while doing so, season them with the salt.
Continue to cook the onions for approximately 15 minutes, tossing every 3 or 4 minutes, until the onions are softer and have significantly reduced in volume. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook for another 35 to 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until they are deep in color.
Add kimchi and broth and turn up heat to medium-high. Let the flavors mingle and integrate for 5 to 6 minutes after the broth comes to a simmer. Skim off any impurities.
Add the shredded pork to the pot and stir to incorporate and warm it through. Add the mirin and a few grinds of black pepper. Taste the soup, and add salt if needed. The sweetness of the mirin can tame the sourness of the kimchi, so add more mirin if you feel you need to reel in the kimchi flavor. When the mix is right, add the rice cakes.
Once the rice cakes are warmed through―probably no more than 30 seconds―portion the soup into bowls. top each with sliced scallions and julienned carrots.