Sunday, March 7, 2010

Momofuku inspired ssam

Finally back to the cooking! I finally used a gift card from the end of my last internship and put it toward a big ticket item: the Momofuku cookbook

In truth, I've never eaten at a Momofuku restaurant. But after just an initial flip through of the book (which is full of recipes, and also the well-written back story of the chain), I think I'm going to have to make it a destination on my next NYC trip. 

I made ssam tonight - which is the feature of one of Chang's restaurants, and one of the items we made on the grill at mine and Jake's recent trip to Hee Been. Being, as previously discussed, one of the worst Korean's in the world, I couldn't actually explain the differences between bossam and ssamgyapsal - in my eyes, they are both sliced pork belly wrapped in lettuce leaves and served in doengjang or ssamjang and grilled garlic. The term "ssam," as best I know, simply returns to the "wrap" portion of the dish.

Following the direction from the Momofuku book, I prepared the sliced pork belly with salt and sugar. I gave it a few cracks of pepper for good measure.

Pork belly acts a bit like giant slices of bacon. It gets crackly and delicious when tossed on a screaming hot grill pan. The pork belly I bought came with the skin still on. I sliced it off, and threw it into the freezer with my many "for stock" odds and ends.

Most Korean restaurants serve thinly sliced raw garlic with their barbecue dishes. It can be a little intense, so it's common at table-top grilling places for people to throw the garlic on the griddle, like I did here. The garlic grills in the excess fat from the pork, and turns brown and sweet.

Ssam pork, grilled garlic, ssamjang (seasoned soybean paste) and lettuce for wrapping. Layer everything inside the lettuce and pop it into your mouth! 

Dreaming? of my future meal-to-be at one of the Momofuku restaurants. 

PS - if anyone can actually explain the difference between bossam and ssamgyapsal, PLEASE do so in the comments! I'm dying to hear the truth on this! 

1 comment:

  1. We should go to Momofuku Ssam Bar next time you swing through NY!