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Three Pounds of Ssam Jang

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Three Pounds of Ssam Jang

PayOrPlay | May 10, 2004 04:04 PM

After a lovely Mother's Day outing spent with our 2-1/2 year old railroad baron in training, riding the model trains in LA's Griffith Park (thanks to Chino Wayne, we now have many more such places to visit in the coming months), we headed back home via the gigantic Koreatown Galleria Market, in order to pick up a big platter of sashimi and other goodies for a tasty low-cal dinner.

Our son was getting rather "tired" by this time so we hurried a bit through the market and my wife ended up taking the groceries through the checkout line while I waited in a long line for some freshly cut ponytail kim chi. And so it was only when we got home, deposited PayorPlay Jr. in his bedroom for his long-delayed nap, and started to unpack our feast that I found a large green plastic container, containing 1.4 Kg (3.08 lbs.) of Jinmi brand Ssam Jang (seasoned soy bean paste with a healthy dose of red pepper).

"Did you actually buy this?" I asked, happy that we'd have some bean paste for the sashimi but wondering about the size of the container.

"No, I thought you did," she responded. "I thought it looked awfully big but I assumed you wanted it for something."

Well, you can figure it out--our son had evidently grabbed this big pot off the shelf and neither of us noticed until it was too late. At least it was only five bucks.

So now we are the proud owners of a whole bunch o' Ssam Jang, and it is indeed pretty darn tasty, but folks, I gotta tell you, even after spreading it liberally on hunks of the sashimi (remarkably good for a supermarket, by the way--sliced right in front of us) and using more of it to make an impromptu hwe do bap out of the leftovers for lunch today--

I think I must still have 2 pounds 15 3/4 oz. left. (According the the nutritional information, one "serving size" is 1 tsp. and there are 280 of them in the vat.) I'm not even sure how long it is supposed to last or whether it has to be refrigerated (the label contains no such info, at least not in English).

I did find one mention on the Net that characterizes this as "Korean catsup" and I guess we can use it this way, but . . . if anyone has any ideas about how to use 3 pounds of hot Korean bean paste in a non-Korean kitchen, we'd sure be grateful.

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