Mmmm, midway through cooking

This is my last (at least for a long while) David Chang recipe. I think even Mr.S. was getting a bit worried with my recent obsession with the Momofuku cookbook (although he wasn't fussing too much when he was shoving the cooked results into his mouth). Maybe it's Chang's love for all things pork, but I'm kind diggin' on him right now. Anyhow, this particular recipe is for the pulled pork that they use in their pork bo ssam dish at Momofuku. When I happened to mention to my friend Melanie that I was going to attempt this recipe, she referenced Chang's "Let's put pork in every f-----g dish," line in Treme. I hadn't seen it so of course when I got home I had to look it up...hilarious. If you haven't checked it out, you can catch a clip of it here: David Chang on Treme.

This recipe yielded the best tasting pulled pork I've ever made or tasted at any friend's house or restaurant. The pork has to sit overnight, but it's worth it. The inside is nice and tender and the outside has this amazing salty-sweet lacquer. It's like a bit of meatopia in your mouth.

Pulled Pork Momofuku-Style (Adapted from “Momofuku,” by David Chang and Peter Meehan)


4 lb. boneless pork shoulder

1/2 cup Kosher salt (don't sub in table salt, it'll come out way too salty)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar

fresh ground black pepper


1. The night before: In a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar, the salt and the ground pepper. Rub the mixture all over the pork shoulder, making sure you get the crevices. Put it in a pan, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

2. The next day: Heat your oven to 300 degrees F. Transfer the pork out of the pan and discard the juices and any excess sugar/salt mixture. You can either place the pork in a roasting pan or a cast iron skillet. Place in the oven and cook for 5-6 hours. Baste the shoulder with the fat in the pan every hour, after the first 3 hours.

3. Remove the pork from the oven, drain off the fat. Let it rest for up to an hour.

4. Ok now, open the windows to your house because there's going to be some sizzling and smoking going on....Crank the oven up to 500 degrees F. Stir together 1/2 tablespoon of salt with 3 1/2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Press the brown sugar into the top of the pork shoulder, make it into a nice even layer. Return the pork to the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until a nice crunchy lacquer forms. Keep an eye on it though so it doesn't burn.

5. Take the pork out and let it rest for a half hour.  Then use two forks to shred it up. You can use it in all kinds of dishes - tacos, sandwiches, pulled pork hash, pork ragù....

6. By the way, the crispy, cooked skin on this sucker is oh so heavenly!

Time to dig in!
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9 Responses
  1. Foodiewife Says:

    A certain person you met, named Craig, is craaaaaazy for pulled pork. We have perfected the art of slow grilling, with smoke, a fabulous pulled pork. But, this version sounds really, really good. I love the idea of brown sugar in and on just about anything. I'm making this one. Count on it. I will definitely let you know how it turns out.

  2. Ally Says:

    Debby, if you like super crispy skin on the outside (my fav part) and moist meat inside...this is the way to go. Bet Craig would love it!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    How is it reheated? I am thinking of doing pulled pork for my son's grad party and I need to do enough for 80 (glutton for punishment here!) so I would need to do it in advance. Wonder how it would be say 1-2 days later? Thanks much

  4. Ally Says:

    I'm not sure how it would be 2 days later but we ate the leftovers the next day and it tasted fine. It was a bit softer the next day. I like my pork a bit crunchier so I think for me, next time I would reheat it in a pan on the stove instead of the would give it more of a vaca frita texture.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I love pulled pork ,It's one of our best sellers,I'm always looking for a twist from the way we make it. :)

  6. At $2.10 a pound for the Boston cut I thought why not.
    Use the iron skillet method,came out just as you said,it's very good and quick. Have added this style of pulled pork to my inventory.

  7. dave Says:

    im thinking about cooking the shoulder and keeping it in the fridge for a few days so that i can do the final step with the brown sugar at my leisure.

    have you tried anything like this?

  8. Ally Says:

    Dave, I haven't tried it. I'm not sure what other's experiences have been but I've found that the cooked pulled pork gets a bit dry and stringy after a day or two in the fridge.

  9. dave Says:

    I was actually planning to do it the night before and maybe char/smoke the living hell out of it on the grill. I'll let you know how it turns out. Thanks for the response!

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