Ssam Jang

Ssamjang is a common Korean condiment served with many types of grilled, boiled, or stir fried meats. There are many different variations ranging from sweet and mild to salty and very hot, from a thin almost liquid paste to a thick almost solid paste. This is a basic version to get you started. Feel free to adjust quantities and ingredients until you arrive at the taste and texture you like best.

Ingredients

2

tablespoons

soybean paste (Korean-doenjang/Japanese-Miso)

1/2

cup

gochujang (Korean chili paste) **

1

each

fresh red chili pepper

1

each

fresh green chili pepper

4

cloves

garlic

2

each

green/spring onion

1

tablespoon

sesame seeds

1

tablespoon

sesame oil

1

tablespoon

soy sauce

water as needed

Optional

1

teaspoon

sugar

1

teaspoon

rice wine

Substitutes/Additions

Asian chives for green onions

Shallots for green onions

Green or young garlic (similar in appearance to green onions)

coarse ground black pepper

Meal Suggestion

Any Korean grilled or stir fried meat dish like Bulgogi

4

bunches

red leaf lettuce (or other large leaf vegetable)

“sticky” rice

6

cloves

garlic

5

fresh jalapeño peppers

Procedure

Directions

  1. Finely chop (mince) the garlic, chili peppers, and green onion.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, add all Ssam jang ingredients and mix well.
  3. Add a small amount of water if needed to maintain a mixable paste.
  4. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
  5. Separate lettuce leaves, rinse, and drain. Gently pat dry and place on a serving plate.
  6. Thin slice the garlic and peppers, and place in separate small dishes.
  7. Serve with a grilled meat or fish main dish and one bowl of rice for each diner.

How to Eat

  1. Take one lettuce leaf and place in the palm of one hand, add a small spoonful of rice, a piece meat from the meat dish, slice of pepper and garlic, a piece of kimchi, and a dab of the Ssam jang. Close the leaf into a ball and eat the whole roll in one bite. A little practice may be needed to get that “one mouth full” size right.
  2. May also be used as a dip for steamed or grilled firm vegetables like asparagus, carrot, bok choy, celery, etc.  Also can go great along with roast chicken.

Images

Ssamjang
Wrap with a dollop of ssamjang
Pork belly, rice, enoki mushroom and ssamjang on a lettuce leaf