Most people know that I’m a big fan of spicy food. Stuff with some kick but not enough to incinerate your tasty buds hot. (You won’t catch me eating ghost chile anything) I like having something to spicy up my sandwiches, wraps and stir fry on hand. However finding something that fits this bill is a bit tough. Spicy green tomatillo salsa is good on tacos and sandwiches but a no go for stir fry.
Ultimately, my quest for a multi purpose condiment led me to ssamjang. If you don’t know what this is its the tasty stuff that often gets served on the side with Korean barbecue especially if you get grilled beef or pork belly. Its salty and spicy and IMHO delightfully delicious. One of our grocery stores carried a version of it for a while, but it isn’t available anymore. Which led me to look for it on Amazon and be unsatisfied with the version I purchased. The store bought kind was a little sweeter than what I’d had the Korean restaurant we go to. The kind that seemed closer to what got in a restaurant only came in mass quantities and I wasn’t willing to have 2 years worth.
So figured “how hard could it be to make?” The answer was um, hard to prepare but required internet searching for a proper recipe and amazoning some key ingredients. After locating a recipe, I ordered the pertinent ingredients: doenjang and gochujang, from Amazon and got to work. The recipe makes a goodly amount and though the recipe say it can be stored for 10 days, I’ve stored it in a Tupperware in the fridge for a month. I also mince my onions because it’s easier to put everything that needs to be chopped into the mini food processor and pulse.
As the recipe author points out, the ratios can vary so if you like it sweeter use more honey or if you want it less salty use less doenjang. Personally, I’m a big fan of the ratios as written. I use 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons in my stir fry or spread a tablespoon on my wrap. It adds possible variety to my lunch time cooking which is always a plus. I’m hoping in the near future to make some of my own Korean barbecue and I’ll have this condiment ready to go!