Ssäm is a classic korean dish meaning 'wrap', popularised by David Chang with his Momofuku ssäm bar in New York. At the ssäm bar you can order a whole pork shoulder for 6-10 people the day before.
Instead of a whole pork shoulder, this recipe is for bulgogi beef ssäm - the most popular in Korea. Because the meat is sliced so finely and marinated, more economical cuts can be used and it takes just minutes to cook just before serving. Alternatively, replace the beef with tofu. Ssämjang - literally 'ssäm paste' adds a beautiful fermented depth and slight chilli warmth to make the dish unforgettable.
Ingredients Serves: 4
- 250g stewing steak, very finely sliced (placing the meat in the freezer for a couple of hours beforehand can help) or
- Tofu cut into 1cm cubes
Ssämjang dipping sauce
- Warm cooked rice (above)
- Ssamjang dipping sauce (above)
- Lettuce, romaine or bibb, separated into leaves
- Kimchi (optional)
- Mix together the marinade ingredients: soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and sesame seeds. Pour over the beef or tofu, and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Cook the rice in a rice cooker or according to instructions on the packet.
- Mix together the ingredients for the ssamjang dipping sauce.
- When the marinade is ready, prepare a very hot pan and add beef or tofu together with the liquid marinade. Toss until coloured on all sides – just a couple of minutes. Lift out onto a platter.
- Serve the hot beef or tofu, dipping sauce, warm rice, and lettuce leaves at the table. Use individual lettuce leaves to make small wraps with all the ingredients. Eat with homemade kimchi on the side.
After a stage as a chef at a London Michelin-starred restaurant Nicola became obsessed with seeking the best flavours from around the world. She started Sous Chef in 2012, and is always sharing her knowledge of ingredients and writing recipes to showcase those products. Learning from the products, Sous Chef's suppliers and her travels, Nicola has written the majority of the recipes on the Sous Chef website, all of which are big on flavour.