Ssambap is a Korean term for a dish that incorporates rice — most frequently, wrapped in a lettuce leaf or in rice paper. At the new Ssambap Korean BBQ in Stony Brook, the highlight of a recent dinner was the namesake item, something between a burrito and a Vietnamese summer roll. From a list of filling options, you choose four for $15; the rolls are cut in half and arranged in a circle around a sweet-tangy dipping sauce.
Tops in the attractive array was the one stuffed with succulent pork belly, scallions, rice and a highly seasoned sauce. Kalbi, soy-marinated prime rib, with that same sauce, was also a hit. Chicken with a hot chili sauce slowly detonated in the mouth. The only clunker, in fact, was a grilled chicken ssambap featuring bone-dry slices of poultry that couldn’t be redeemed by the surrounding greens, vegetables and peanut sauce.
At many surrounding tables, equipped for Korean BBQ, groups were cooking their own dinners, using lettuce leaves to roll up the meat, the rolls eaten out of hand.
Ssambap Korean BBQ is at 2350 Nesconset Hwy., Stony Brook, 631-675-6402.
Above: Ssambap at Ssambap Korean BBQ in Stony Brook