Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Recipe: Chickpea Ssamjang for Lunch!

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.

You’ll need:
  • 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)
If you have the more rustic doenjang or red miso with whole beans, mash it on a cutting board with the flat side of a knife until to you get a smooth texture. In a small bowl, mix all ingredients together until you have a smooth, thick paste; store refrigerated in a closed container and serve cold. Add water if you need before serving.

Now, just toss your cooked chickpeas in some ssamjang and serve with rice and Romaine lettuce leaves. Lunch is served.

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