KARMAN REVIEWS - SSAMJANG SEASONED SOYBEAN PASTE
Ssamjang is a popular Korean soybean paste that consists of a flavorful blend of doenjang, gochujang, fine peppers, onions, sesame seeds, and sesame oil. Since its main ingredient is doenjang, it has a rich umami flavor. This great-tasting paste makes for a wonderful complement to veggies and a great addition for soups. It has an incredible flavor -- a blend of sweet, salty, and spice. This Ssamjang has a mild spicy level, nothing too hot. The name Ssamjang comes from Ssam meaning “wrapped” and jang meaning “paste.” Putting these words together means “wrapping paste,” because of its popular usage in lettuce wraps.
This paste is often used as a dipping sauce for veggies and as a compliment for Korean barbeque. It also accompanies bulgogi, galbi, and pork belly. Some choose to use it in their soups and noodles. You don’t need to cook with it and can use it as-is. This particular soybean paste also combines garlic, onions, leeks, and ginger for a unique taste. Its texture is a bit chunky, with bits of finely chopped onions and peppers that make for a satisfying crunch. The rich flavor of this Ssamjang can be smoothed out by adding a small amount of water to a portion of the paste, if you prefer a milder taste.
After opening the Ssamjang paste, please note that with time, the coloring of this thick paste can darken. This is normal and does not affect nutritional value nor the shelf life, which is about one year from the date of manufacturing. Serving size is 1 tsp and there are about 83 servings per container. Each serving contains only 10 calories and 7% of your daily value of sodium. This is a low-fat food and doesn’t contain much sugar either (2% daily value per serving).
Upon opening the Ssamjang paste, you will find a small oxygen absorbing pack stuck to the top of the seal. This should not be eaten but can be promptly discarded after opening. You can choose to keep the plastic seal partially attached to the lid to seal in freshness after every use. You can store this paste on your pantry shelves until you open it, after which it should be kept in the refrigerator.
When using the paste, you can simply put some on a plate and dip some veggies like carrots, cucumbers, or lettuce and eat it this way. You could also make lettuce wraps and add a small dollop of the paste in the lettuce wrap with some meat and chopped carrots. If you are making noodles or fried rice, add a couple tablespoons of this Ssamjang to give your meal a bit of a kick. Be sure to add only a small amount to start off since it is pretty salty, then you can add more if you want more flavor.
We hope you enjoy this mild Ssamjang to add flavor to all your meals. Let us know which meals you think go best with this paste! We’d love to hear how you use it to enhance your foods.