This funny looking word is a salty umami bomb. It's made specifically made for a Korean dish called Ssam, which is basically meat and kimchi wrapped in lettuce. Just like with most homecooking, every family makes it differently, with theirs being the best of course. Traditionally the wraps are supposed to be bite sized, which is why my favorite memory of this dish is watching my family excitedly stuff as much as possible into their lettuce bundle, and try to shove it all into their face at one time. This is probably why I can't make a small burrito or spring roll to save my life.
This dip is simple to make, and uses every day Korean ingredients. Let's dive in.
When I am using it for lettuce wraps, I like to put it together with a little bit of rice, thin pork belly, mushrooms, kimchi and the dip on top, wrapped in a red lettuce leaf. And if you're really down to party, a slice of raw garlic on top for good measure. Totally date night food.
Ssamjang - Korean Dip
Makes about 1 cup
½ cup doenjang
3 Tablespoons gochujang
3-5 green onions
2 garlic cloves
1 Tablespoon sesame seed oil
1 Tablespoon fish sauce
1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon gochugaru
Pinch of sesame seeds
- Mince the garlic cloves and rough chop all of the green onions into small pieces.
- In a bowl, mix the doenjang, gochujang, sesame seed oil, fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, gochugaru and sesame seeds together.
- Fold in the the garlic and green onions into the dip until evenly incorporated. Garnish with more sesame seeds or green onions.
- This can be made ahead, and kept in the fridge for more than a week.
- Serve at room temperature.