Roast Turkey Breast Ssam With Squash Ssamjang and Jujube Date Relish Dish

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik]

We’re putting a Korean spin on the traditional Thanksgiving roasted turkey with gravy and cranberry sauce by serving it ssam-style. Ssam equates as “to cover,” and explains a Korean method of dining that includes covering numerous leafy greens around meat, dressings, banchan, and kimchi. It’s an exceptionally interactive method to consume– best for the vacations, when you’re down to bump elbows and double-dip around your friends and family.

While ssam is typically made with steamed pork (bossam) or grilled meats, it works completely with our Korean Thanksgiving supper. For the turkey breast, we dry-brine it for a minimum of 12 hours, then slather it in a cinnamon substance butter that showers and seasons the skin as it roasts to an abundant golden brown.

The dressings for this ssam– honeynut squash ssamjang and sweet jujube relish– substitute the traditional Thanskgiving gravy and cranberry sauce. Ssamjang is the dressing served with ssam and Korean barbecue, a thick spread that’s sweet, salted, spicy, garlicky, mouthwatering, and intense. Classically made up of doenjang, gochujang, garlic, sesame, and rice syrup, my variation likewise integrates roasted honeynut squash, which includes a sweet earthiness and integrates a traditional fall taste. This sauce will keep for as much as a week in the refrigerator, and it’s a fantastic dressing to have on hand to include depth to a pot of bean soup or as a spread on a ham and cheese sandwich.

The relish includes jujubes, which are a range of date typical to lots of Asian foods. They’re drier and less sweet than more typical date ranges. When rehydrated in hot water and softened, they handle the texture and taste of baked green apples, with a minor butterscotch undertone. The jujubes are prepared with the turkey up until those sweet, fruity tastes handle a much deeper caramelized note, and after that they’re mixed with all of the buttery, cinnamon-spiced roasting juices to produce a relish that offsets the leanness of the turkey breast.

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