Korean marinated pork and ssamjang sauce come together in a fresh tortilla to make a culinary fusion taco.
It’s Springing! OK, it’s really Summer. My favorite time of the year might be those weeks you can go into your garden and shop for dinner. Buttercrunch lettuce did really well this year. I love the crunchy texture and it’s great for tacos when you need a little something extra.
This time I made a simple taco with a little shortcut, the food processor. I cubed a pork roast then pulsed it in the food processor a few times until the meat was minced but not ground. This is a nice technique if you are ever concerned your meat might be tough. After marinating overnight with some classic Korean ingredients, I stir fried the meat in a hot skillet and served it with some fresh tortillas, onions, cilantro and a ssamjang sour cream sauce. Mr. Craftiness approved, my official recipe tester.
Ssamjang is a beautiful and pungent condiment common in Korean cooking. I tamed this strong sidekick with sour cream to better suit the flavorful marinated pork in this recipe. Made with fermented soybean paste called doenjang, ssamjang is very distinctive in it’s many layers of flavor. It is sweetened with honey, sugar or rice syrup, spiced with gochujang or Korean pepper flakes. It is rounded off with sesame oil, garlic and scallions. Ssam means wrap and jang means paste so you often see this condiment rolled up with some savory stuffings inside a lettuce leaf. I love to use this in other cuisine such as tacos. If you find a new use for this under utilized sauce, leave a comment, I would love to see what you come up with.
- 1 pear, seeded and roughly chopped
- 1/2 onion, roughly chopped
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 Tbs minced ginger
- 1/4 cup light soy sauce
- 2 Tbs sugar
- 3 Tbs toasted sesame oil, divided
- 1.5 lbs beef chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/4 cup doenjang (fermented soy bean paste)
- 1 Tbs gochujang
- 2 scallions, sliced thin
- 1 Tbs honey or rice syrup
- 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 12 fresh flour tortillas (you can find them in the refrigerated section), cook according to package directions.
- 1 head of Romaine lettuce
- For the marinade place first seven ingredients in a food processor and process until a smooth marinade if formed.
- Place beef in marinade and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Drain marinade from beef and stir fry beef in a hot skillet or cook under a broiler until cooked through.
- For the sauce, place next six ingredients in a bowl and stir together.
- Assemble tacos with the cooked meat, lettuce and sauce.