Archive for August, 2015

Ssamjang Coleslaw (Trust Me!)

Ssamjang Coleslaw (Trust Me!)

Every now and again, you happen across a combination of flavours that is just so delicious you honestly wonder how you made it this far in life with them.  So if you are looking for the extra something to jazz up your palate, look no further than the magnificent Ssamjang.

Ssamjang 600

It is the traditional dipping sauce that most often accompanies Bulgogi but its uses should really know no bounds.  This would be fantastic mixed with a bit of mayo or as a sauce for wings.  I have used it both in its traditional form and them as a dressing for coleslaw and can highly recommend both.

Hot Pepper Paste

The ingredients for Ssamjang are not complicated but may not be available in every grocery store.  The good news is that gives you an excuse to foray deeper into your Asian markets (or order online in a pinch) to get these two essential components of Korean Hot Pepper Paste and Fermented Bean Paste.  They come in these petite tubs and seem to be standard according to colour, so even if you can’t read the labels just get a red one and a tan one.

Soybean Paste

I make quite a lot of vegetarian food and these are both brilliant additions to bring a deep, rich Unami dimension to many meatless foods. They are not terrible expensive and will make you very happy.

Ssamjang ingredients 600

Once you have procured your Hot Pepper Paste and Fermented Soy Bean Paste just add some honey, sesame oil, sesame seeds and garlic.

Ssamjang mixed 600

Mix thoroughly and transfer to a serving dish, garnishing with more sesame seeds.

Bulgogi traditional 600

Place along side a bowl of Basmati rice, lettuce leaves, sliced vegetable and fresh cooked Bulgogi for a traditional Korean treat,

Burrito 600

or mix up with a bit of rice wine vinegar and vegetable oil for a western wrap.  Both are delicious and a great way to try using new ingredients.

Enjoy!

 

Ssamjang Coleslaw (Trust Me!)

Ingredients

  • Traditional Ssamjang:
  • 30 ml/ 2 Tablespoons Fermented Soybean Paste (Doenjang)
  • 15 ml/ 1 Tablespoon Hot Pepper Paste (Gochujang)
  • 15 ml/ 1 Tablespoon Honey (or Golden Syrup)
  • 1 clove/ 5 ml/ 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 2.5 ml/ 1/2 teaspoons Sesame Seeds
  • For Coleslaw, make traditional Ssamjang and add:
  • 15 ml/ 1 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 50 ml/ 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 head of cabbage
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1/4 white onion, finely shredded

Instructions

  1. Make up the traditional recipe for Ssamjang.
  2. Add the rice wine vinegar & vegetable oil for coleslaw and mix well.
  3. In a large bowl place shredded cabbage, julienned carrot and sliced onion.
  4. Pour the coleslaw dressing over the vegetable mix.
  5. Toss to combine and refrigerate until ready to use.
  6. Warning: Will be totally addictive and will having you make on a regular basis!
http://albaliving.com/2015/08/ssamjang-coleslaw-trust-me/

Bulgogi (Korean Beef BBQ)

Bulgogi (Korean Beef BBQ)

Ok, so after a summer of shockingly bad weather it’s time to try to BBQ.  (Don’t worry if it doesn’t last as this works just as well indoor in a fry pan.)

So to get your taste buds going again, here is my version of the super yummy Korean Beef BBQ or Bulgogi.

Bulgogi traditional 600

Traditionally, it is served in series of components that each individual packs and wraps in a lettuce leaf.  I will show you both this, the legit way and my jazzed up Western version for lazy sods.

The marinade for the beef (or mushrooms if vegetarian, or both if you are me) is very simple.  I will be a stickler on two points however. You must, and I mean must use a pear in your marinade.  Its acidity helps to break down the meat to make it incredibly tender and also adds just the right amount of sticky sweetness.  The other point is that you MUST puree the pear (by fair means or foul) to get it to do its magic.

Bulgogie marinade 600

So just chuck the ingredients into a container suitable for a blender or stick blender and blitz away.

Bulgogi 600

Pour the mariande over your goodies to be grilled and mix thoroughly. Cover and chill until you are ready to cook.  Try to ensure that you have at least 30 minutes but even better several hours to marinate for best results.

Ssamjang 600

Now, while your beef or mushrooms are marinading you can whip up the most divine dipping sauce known as Ssamjang.  It it what is usually served with Bulgogi and perfectly balances the flavours.  For real, this stuff is crazy good so don’t be afraid to make loads!

Bulgogi traditional 600

When it comes close to cooking time arrange the Ssamjang, a bowl of basmati rice, a platter of washed lettuce leaves and some freshly sliced vegetable such as onion and carrot.  Fry or BBQ the meat in batches and present to your family and guests to make their own parcel.

A note of caution: apparently the making of a parcel for another person is seen as a very intimate act, particularly between the sexes.  It is fine for a parent to make one for a child or elderly relative, but under no circumstance should you make one up for another adult unless you are expressly trying to express romantic intent! (Top Tip.)

Burrito 600

And while the wee lettuce wraps are a delicious delight, they are a faff.  So, as I can never leave well enough alone I mixed the Ssamjang with a touch of rice wine vinegar and vegetable oil and used it as a dressing to make a Korean inspired coleslaw.

Now you can pack way more good stuff into a burrito and sidestep the whole social morass of lettuce parcel construction. 🙂

Welcome back BBQ Season, we have all missed you terribly!

Bulgogi (Korean BBQ) with Ssamjang Coleslaw

Bulgogi (Korean BBQ) with Ssamjang Coleslaw

Ingredients

  • 500 grams/ 1 pound beef, thinly sliced
  • 250 grams/ 1/2 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 30 ml/ 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2.5 ml/ 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely crushed
  • 10 grams/ 1/4 cup spring onions (scallions), sliced
  • 1 small pear, de seeded & diced
  • 75 ml/ 5 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 30 ml/ 2 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 30 ml/ 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 30 ml/ 2 Tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 30 ml/ 2 Tablespoons ginger, minced

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl place the beef, mushrooms, sesame seeds & spring onions (scallions).
  2. In a blender or a container for a stick blender place pear, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger & garlic.
  3. Blend until smooth and pour over the contents of the bowl. Mix to combine, cover and refrigerator for 30 minutes to 24 hours.
  4. To cook: heat a large skillet or a BBQ with a vegetable basket until very hot with a small amount of vegetable oil. Working in small batches, add the meat and mushroom mixture to pan allowing to cook for 2-3 minutes before turning and 2-3 minutes more on the second side.
  5. Transfer cooked Bulgogi to a large bowl or platter before adding the next batch to pan.
  6. Repeat in small batches until complete.
  7. Serve with Ssamjang, fresh vegetable and rice.
  8. (Can also be served in a tortilla wrap with my ssamjang coleslaw).
  9. Enjoy!
http://albaliving.com/2015/08/bulgogi-korean-beef-bbq/

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