Photos by Ana Gambuto
A SUCKER FOR A WRAP. ESPECIALLY A LETTUCE WRAP. With a Korean mom, I grew up wrapping barbecue meat into lettuce with a sweet spicy sauce. It was one of my favorite things. I no longer eat beef but it doesn’t mean my affinity for wrapping as left. So I got creative! Ssambap is a classic Korean dish that involves lettuce, herbs, spicy gochujang sauce and many stuffings (often lots of veg) that is one of my faves for entertaining with friends or family. And everyone loves a DIY. The ingredients below are just a jumping off point. Feel free to get creative with your fave veggies and herbs!
Mother in Law Gochujang, 2 tbsp
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon white miso
4 tbsp water
2 scallions, finely chopped
4 cups shitake mushrooms
1 cup of mung bean sprouts
1 Avocado, sliced
2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 Daikon radish, peeled and thinly sliced
1 roasted Japanese yam
Toasted Sesame oil
1 small head of napa cabbage
1 head of green leaf lettuce
1 cup of short grain white or brown rice
Place 1 cup of rice with 2 cups of water in a large pot, bring to a boil, then simmer until rice is cooked, about 30 minutes. Set aside. While rice is cooking, roast the Japanese yam whole, at 450 degrees for about 45 minutes.
Using a mandolin, thinly slice carrots, radish and cucumber. If you don’t have a mandolin, can totally simply slice! Separate cabbage leaves and green leaf lettuce and lightly rinse and pat dry with a dish towel. Set aside for wrapping.
In medium sized pot, boil water, blanch mung bean sprouts for 4 minutes. Strain and cool. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil and sea salt. Set aside.
In a medium sized pan, add a little avocado oil, add sliced mushrooms and a little water. Saute until browned. Add tamari and a few drops of sesame oil to taste. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine spicy sauce in ingredients. Whisk well. Set aside.
On a large board, start assembling your Ssam Bap ingredients! Let guest make their own and have fun!