Today I was craving Ssam.
Ssam means wrap in Korean.
Korean cuisine can’t describe without “Ssam”, because it’s our everyday meal eating style.
Thinking as kimchi and other side dishes we eat is part of our daily meal.
Ssam is just a part of the side dishes.
It simply requires some actions with your hand to eat but nothing different than other side dishes to us.
The type of vegetables to wrap, sauces, protein, no protein all of those are endless.
There is no rules, but there are few of our all-time favorite combinations.
Steamed green cabbage with rice and gochujang.
Lettuce, Kkatnip, rice, ssamjang and samgyeopsal (pork belly).
Steamed pumpkin leaves with gandoenjang (super thick soybean paste stew).
Everyone has their own personal favorite combination so don’t be hesitate to have your own as well. 🙂
When I go to Korean market, I always looking for Kkatnip, Korean wild sesame leaves.
It’s like basil for Italians and cilantro for Mexicans.
Korean people don’t eat much of herbs, though, we do eat lots of mild fragrance wild rare vegetables that doesn’t even have name for English.
Other than… “Eatable Greens”
I believe spring is one of the most beautiful season of the Korea, and it always begins with abundance of wild vegetables start growing up.
When I was little, I always volunteered to go out there and pull all the spring wild vegetables during the spring time.
Then my mom will cook whatever vegetables I got and it will be on the lunch of dinner table that day. It was such an amazing experience as a kid.
I still adore those times..
This simple lunch table was everything to me and just enough of everything.
Mixed grain rice, simply canned tuna topped with chili &green onions, ssamjang, lettuces and kkatnip.
So easy, simple, comfort yet refreshing.
This is Korean canned tuna, most of Korean canned tuna is in oil.
I just took out form the can and place on a plate.
Then top with copped green onions, sliced serrano pepper (Sometimes jalapeño), sesame oil and sesame seeds.
Ssamjang goes beautifully with tuna, they are so amazing together.
Check out my recipe for ssamjang, it’s the best!
Most of the times, I love cooking mixed grain rice for the nutrition reason. It’s definitely better for you then just white rice.
But it’s quite tricky to cook it right. Especially you are tying to cook on a stove..
What I do is cooking on my electronic pressure rice cooker, which is almost every Korean house holds have.
It cooks fast, so easy to use and most of the time, all the different grains and sometime beans turns out evenly cooked.
If you think about it, regular white rice takes only about 10 to 15 minutes to fully cooked (only the cooking part), but brown rice takes 40 to 50 minutes to fully cooked. Means the water amount has to different too.
Seems very complicated, right?
So when I get request for this mixed grain rice recipe, I’m not so sure (still today) how to approach to you other than, “Purchase this electronic pressure rice cooker!” lol
The link I shared is exactly same one I have. (http://amzn.to/2okxA4D)
I know it’s not cheap, but think that you will use this kind of rice cooker up to 10 years or longer.
In my opinion, they are totally worth it!
As I mentioned, there are no rules for lettuce wrap, so play around and create your own favorite combinations!