I remember being in culinary school 10 years ago, and Momofuku was all the rage. Momofuku is a world renowned restaurant from the creative mind of David Chang that opened in 2004. By the time I was in college in 2008, it was all any of my chef friends could talk about. Though I have been to many countries in the world, I have never been to North or South Korea (David Chang is American, his father is from North Korea and his mother is from South Korea). I have also never been to Momofuku. However, I think that my love for Korean food was probably sparked back in culinary school, when Momofuku was all the buzz around campus. Everyone wanted to make the four hour drive to New York City to try David Chang’s ramen (which is not Korean by the way). I think that’s why I like his food so much. It’s all fusion, which is also how I like to cook.
If you’ve been following the blog at all, you will have noticed a strong Asian influence in my cooking. This dish has actually been on my mind for sometime. It just so happens that when I recently started reading the Momofuku cookbook from cover to cover, I saw this dish in there. Perhaps, being the creative genius that I am, I made this dish up on my own and it was pure coincidence that it was also in the Momofuku cookbook. More likely, I saw this dish in the cookbook years ago and just recently thought to make something similar.
David Chang uses ground pork in his dish; obviously we won’t be doing that here. There are also a few other variations to this recipe, but mine is certainly reminiscent of his, and it would not be right to not fully acknowledge that here. The Beyond Sausage mimics the flavor and texture of the pork so well that I think that you would be hard pressed to find someone who can tell the difference. Maybe if you knew David Chang he could… Anyway, this dish is a perfect nod to my love of Korean cuisine; as well as to one of the first big chefs I started following when I started this journey many years ago.
- In a large non-stick pan, heat 1 tbsp sesame oil on medium high heat. Add the Beyond Sausage, breaking it up with a spatula. Cook until the crumbles are golden brown. Move the crumbles to a small bowl and place them aside for later. Wipe the pan clean.
- While the sausage is cooking, mix the ssamjang, soy sauce, brown sugar, red pepper flakes , and water.
- Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add the rice cakes and cook for about 2 minutes until warmed through. Drain the water and rinse the cakes with cold water. Drizzle with 1-2 tsp sesame oil to keep them from sticking.
- In the non-stick pan, heat the remaining sesame oil on medium heat. Add the garlic and shallots to the pan and cook for about 1 minute until soft and fragrant (be careful not to let the garlic burn). Add the rice cakes and cook until crispy on all sides, about 5-6 minutes.
- Once the rice cakes are crispy add the sausage crumbles and broccoli rabe. Cook for about 1 minute. Add the sauce and cook until the sauce has reduced and fully coated the rice cakes.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the green onion. Serve immediately.