Friday, July 4, 2014

It’s hip, it’s hop: The Kogi Ssam Wrap

Korea will forever have a special spot in my heart.

It’s one of the three countries my passport got stamped during my first ever overseas trip a decade ago. In that month-long away from home experience, I was able to embraced things that I just see on TV and magazines then. Well, it’s one cool experience to be a foreigner.

I became an instant fan of Kimchi, I had a big crush with Sandara Park before, I like the beat of K-Pop music, and their movies and TV series (Tagalog-dubbed or with English subtitle) bring fresh air in the commercially-polluted local films offered all year round.

A couple of days ago, I was able to taste again, literally and figuratively, Korea during the Kogi Bulgogi’s bloggers event held at their Gateway Mall branch. (They also have branches at Greenhills Promenade, Eastwood Mall and Lucky China Town Mall.

Bloggers were treated to an afternoon of Korean munching and gulping. Among the many yummy delicacies, I spent savouring the plates of Kogi Ssam Wrap.     

Just a little backgrounder:  Ssam, literally meaning "wrapped", refers to a dish in Korean cuisine in which, usually, leafy vegetables are used to wrap a piece of meat such as pork or other filling. It is often accompanied by a condiment known as ssamjang or gochujang and can also be topped with raw or cooked garlic, onion, green pepper, or a banchan (small side dish) such as kimchi. Ssam is usually bite-sized to avoid spilling out the fillings.

In the past, it is believed that on full moon days, people wrapped rice in leaves of cabbage or dried seaweeds. Back then, when rice was often not readily available, it was the precious commodity for commoners. Eating clumps of rice wrapped with fresh greens have been regarded as “eating wrapped luck”. Since then, it has been a culinary custom of eating ssam as a kind of ritual appeal for good fortune. Even today, in terms of its nutritional value, having a meal of ssam can be seen as an act of “eating luck”.

Upon eating, the meat and sides are often wrapped in vegetable leaves such as lettuce (which is a good source of vitamin a, vitamin k and potassium) or sesame (that is rich in dietary fiber and has vitamin a, vitamin c and riboflavin), hence the literal meaning of ssam: "wrapped" or "packaged."

Personally, I find Kogi Ssam Wrap as hip and hop. Hip because it’s like “styling” your wrap with filling, condiments, and raw and/ or cooked veggies before you gobbled it. Well, food taste better when they are good-looking, you know. It is also Hop because you can make it as spicy as you can that it can kick your taste buds to jump a bit with that delicious fiery taste. Plus, it’s like a hop closer to Korea with every wrap.  

There are 4 types of Kogi Ssam Wrap. Each serving/ order are good for sharing:
1. Bo Ssam (with pork, boiled in spices and thinly sliced) – P365
2. Dak Gui ( Dak means chicken in korean while Gui means grilled dishes in Korean cuisine; and Grilled chicken in a chili sauce) - P385
3. Suygogi Gui (Grilled beef) - P420
4. Black Angus (Korean steak. Available at Promenade only) - P795

Try now! Eat any of Kogi Bulgogi’s Ssam Wrap choices and still have a healthy balanced meal as you explore the flavors of Korea!

The experience even gets better if you get to try Kogi Ssam Wrap beside a Korean-looking head-turner.

Wrap battle with with Hana Abello of Photo credit: Ryan San Juan of


stacy | said...

Seriouso ah!

Richard Mamuyac said...

@Stacy... seryoso ba? hehe masarap kasi e :)