Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Ssamjang Summer

Ssamjang lunch! Tong dak (fried chicken nuggets) wrapped in lettuce with a schmear of ssamjang in each bite

Take a dip! The sauce is fine.
Ssamjang (“wrap paste”) is an amber ambrosia that’s used for assembling a ssam dish of grilled meat and rice folded into packets of crisp lettuce or fresh sesame leaves. Made with Korean chili paste and soybean pastes, it’s blended with honey, sugar, roasted sesame oil, garlic and ginger to create the perfect balance of sweet, savory and tangy flavors with just enough heat to sweat the brow. I mainly use it for dipping sauce, but as the grill chef at the Memorial Day BBQ at Freddy’s Bar I added ssmajang to the summer lexicon of sauces. I brought a small jar for basting burgers, salmon, hot dogs, kielbasa, veggie burgers—instant hit! It worked well as a spread for cheese pupusas and beer-soaked roasted corn too. Can you imagine a fried oyster po-boy drizzled with ssamjang and aioli? How about smoking a nice slab of brisket with ssamjang and peach preserves?

I’m selling my vegan kimchee and 8 oz. jars of gluten-free ssamjang on the Sunday afternoons of June 1 and July 13 at the Gluten-free EatUP! Kimcheelicious Sanjang Suace is sweet, hot and tangy, made with all-natural ingredients with just a kiss of white rum—and of course it’s gluten-free. Swing on by, there’s a whole host of gluten-free vendors to meet. I’ll have free tastings from 1 to 5 PM. Try the chickpea ssmajang! Here’s more info on purchasing Kimcheelicious jarred foods.

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