Ssam Jang

André Baranowski

I can't imagine life without ** ssam jang**, the spicy-sweet, dark red paste that's always served with the Korean leaf-wrapped foods called ssam. When I was a kid in Korea, we'd eat the condiment—made of soybean paste, red peppers, scallions, toasted sesame seeds, and sesame oil—with rice wrapped in a perilla or chrysanthemum leaf from our garden. Now, at my home in California, we use ssam jang for everything from serving with barbecued meat to flavoring soups. —_So Yong Park, Los Altos, California _