Some of you may not realize that Momofuku Ssäm Bar in NYC originally had the concept of an Asian-style burrito bar (ssäm is Korean for “anything wrapped”).
In late January of this year, Momofuku chef David Chang tweeted his dream of reopening the burrito-focused Ssäm Bar:
Dreaming about and opening an old school Ssam Bar again. Burritos? Any takers?
— Dave Chang (@davidchang) January 22, 2014
Apparently, there were quite a few takers, given the retweets and numerous comments from fans of those burritos, which had become, for a time, the stuff of food-nerd lore.
Late last week, the Momofuku chef Instagrammed/tweeted a picture of a brisket burrito ($12) that is currently on the lunch/brunch menu Monday to Sunday at Ssam bar.
Hello old friend…we meet again. c_mdi & team put a brisket guy on for lunch a few weeks ago @… http://t.co/AWxkQ1uKzm
— Dave Chang (@davidchang) February 21, 2014
It’s called the “Seven Spice Brisket Ssam”—here are some sexy deets from the Momofuku team:
The brisket is cured in 50/50 then rubbed with 7 spice. It is slow roasted for 3-4 hours. The meat is picked and tossed with rice that is crisped on the plancha, cucumbers, pickled carrots, daikon, thai basil, cilantro, tofu, and leaf lettuce. It’s served with gochujang sauce on house made flatbread cooked to order. Flatbread is a riff on a traditional naan.
And this comeback looks like it might have some legs. Next week, we’re told that Ssäm Bar chef Matthew Rudofker plans to switch out the meat for a seven-spice lamb.
Momofuku brand director Sue Chan tells First We Feast, “Noodle Bar in Toronto has sold limited runs of the ssäm and it’s been on Dave’s mind (as proven by his tweets), but we don’t have official plans to bring it back as of right now. But never say never, right?”
According to this 2007 interview with NY Mag, Chang originally had plans to create an Asian burrito empire:
This seems like an appropriate time to build a burrito empire, seeing how much excitement there is surrounding Danny Bowien’s Mission Cantina burritos.
RELATED: Our 5 Favorite Burritos in NYC