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Ingredient of the Week: Korean Seasoned Soy Bean Paste

Bibigo's ssamjang: ready-to-eat
Bibigo's ssamjang: ready-to-eat
Photo by John Suh

Last week, we brought you gochujang, a red pepper paste used in Korean cuisine. This week, we give you ssamjang, a Korean seasoned dipping paste that uses gochujang as an ingredient.

What is it?

Ssamjang is a thick and spicy dipping paste that consists of doenjang (fermented soy bean paste), gochujang, sesame oil, onion, garlic, scallions, and sometimes brown sugar and/or sesame seeds.

How do I use it?

Ssam is Korean for "wrap," and jang means "paste." Thus ssamjang serves as a condiment for wraps. Typically, a piece of lettuce, perilla leaf, or flat rice cake is wrapped around pickled vegetables and grilled meat before it's dipped in the ssamjang and eaten. Rice can also be added to the wrap.

For some fusion cuisine, ssamjang can be mixed with mayonnaise and spread on sandwiches for a little Korean kick.

Where can I find it?

Ready-made versions of this seasoned soy bean paste can be found at Super H-Mart. The Bibigo brand of ssamjang can also be ordered online at CJ Foods and will run you only $4.99 for 17.6 ounces.

Recipe: Slow-Roasted Pork Wraps Known as bo ssam, this version of the Korean slow-roasted pork wrap is brought to you by Momofuku's David Chang and Martha Stewart. Pork shoulder or butt is rubbed in brown sugar and salt, cooked in the oven for six hours, caramelized, and then served with kim chi (pickled Napa cabbage), rice, lettuce, and, of course, ssamjang.

What do you do with your ssamjang?



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