Chickpeas tossed in ssamjang! I wrapped them in a lettuce leaf with some rice, it’s light and refreshing. This is perfect for lunch on those hot Brooklyn summer days and Farmer’s Almanac predicts a long, hot summer for us this year. Ssam means wrap; jang means paste. It’s used as a spread to put on lettuce leaves to wrap little packets, or just used as a dipping sauce. Ssamjang is made with Korean chili paste, fermented soy bean (doenjang), honey and a few things balance the flavor. I actually used very, very old red miso, so I guess that makes it a semi-ssamjang.
This flavor combination and textures work so well together—sweet, savory and mildly spiced; velvet soft chickpeas; the fresh crunch of Romaine lettuce. You wouldn’t believe that it’s vegan. Here’s a quick recipe for making enough of this kick-ass Korean dipping sauce for the table.
- 4 tbsp doenjang, or substitute with old red miso with 1 tsp lemon
- 4 tbsp Korean chili paste
- 1 tbsp sugar, or honey for non-vegans
- 1 tsp roasted sesame oil
- 1 small clove garlic, crushed and minced
- 1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
- minced scallions (optional)
Now, just toss your cooked chickpeas in some ssamjang and serve with rice and Romaine lettuce leaves. Lunch is served.