I can't wait to make this Momofuku Ssam's recipe from David Chang's amazing new Momofuku cookbook. We caught up with him last week and he promised us this recipe. Cook's tip: take the printed recipe to an Asian foods store, since this guy isn't shy about using ingredients you may not have sitting on your counter. But that's the magic.
What's the history of this recipe? Dave writes: There’s a branch of the Grand Sichuan on St. Mark’s Place in the East Village, just a few blocks from our restaurants. I eat there a lot. A lot. Fish with noodle hot pot, braised chile beef, house special pork, dan dan noodles—there’s lots of good stuff on that menu.
After one of many meals there with the crew from Ssäm Bar, I goaded them into doing something like the oily, spicy food we were eating so much of. I think I had about this much input on the dish: “Use some Sichuan peppercorns, lots of red peppers, and make it really oily. It’ll be banging.” Tien and Tim Maslow did their thing with it.
Ma po tofu was their point of departure. They melded it with a dish from the first late-night menu—rice cakes with a kinda-sorta-but-not-really Asian pork Bolognese sauce. The result isn’t Sichuan or Korean or Bolognese or anything, but it is very Momofuku. And banging.
Spicy pork sausage and rice cakes
1⁄2 cup grapeseed or other
3 large yellow onions, cut in half and thinly sliced
21⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 pound ground pork
2 very loosely packed cups
(11⁄2 ounces) dried red chiles
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons toban djan (jarred Chinese fermented bean and chile sauce) or ssämjang (the Korean analogue to toban djan)
1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
1 tablespoon kochukaru (Korean chile powder)
6 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon usukuchi (light
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups sliced or coarsely chopped Chinese vegetables, such as Chinese broccoli or bok choy
8 long cylindrical rice sticks, cut into 1-inch lengths
8 ounces silken tofu, drained
1 cup sl