Ssäm is a Korean dish were cooked ingredients are rolled in lettuce leaves to be eaten. It is a great dish to serve at parties. All you have to do is plate and serve the individual ingredients separately and watch you guests get involved as they build their own rolls by mixing and matching. Make sure to include a number of dipping sauces to add to the flavor dimensions of your dish.
I like using crocodile not for the novelty value, but because it tastes great. But you could use just about any meat for your Ssäm, beef being perhaps the best known and most commonly used.
Being a white meat, crocodile is often compared to chicken or fish, but the truth is, it tastes like neither. It tastes like …. crocodile, off course. The meat, if cooked correctly, has a fine texture and is somewhat sweet. So be gentle with it. It cooks quickly.
One can now buy crocodile meat from a local deli here in Windhoek. It is farmed crocodile, and from younger animals. The meat is from the tail and one can purchase it either on the bone as chops, or deboned as steaks. I remove most of the fat before cooking it, as the fat is quite rich and becomes slightly bitter when charred.
I like serving my crocodile Ssäm with pureed kimchi, Nuoc Cham (Vietnamese dipping sauce made from fish sauce), daikon and carrot pickles, or Naam Jim Khai (Thai sweet chili sauce). But just about any dipping sauce that balances sweet, sour and salty would do.
- 1 large onion, finely sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
- 1 tablespoon ginger, chopped
- ½ cup light soy sauce
- ¼ cup appel juice
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 3 teaspoons palm sugar
- 1 tablespoon mirren
- 1 cup jasmine rice, steamed or boiled
- 500 grams crocodile steaks
- 1 head of lettuce, your favorite kind, washed, drained and leaved