This salad pays tribute to certainly one of my all-time favourite Korean banchan, pa-muchim, a marinated scallion salad of uncooked shaved onions and scallions dressed with mustard, vinegar, gochugaru, and sesame oil. Pa-muchim is historically served as an accompaniment to samgyeopsal, or grilled pork stomach; wrapped collectively in a lettuce leaf, pa-muchim’s acidity and underlying bitterness from mustard and uncooked onions balances the fats and smokiness from grilled pork.
This riff on pa-muchim makes use of Brussels sprouts leaves instead of scallions. The leaves are shortly charred in a scorching forged iron pan to calmly wilt them and coax out their refined bitterness. As soon as cooled, the Brussels leaves are tossed with thinly sliced uncooked leeks, which offer a heartier, longer-lasting crunch than sliced onions, and a coffee-Dijon dressing.
This dressing was a cheerful kitchen accident: I used to be making a batch of sesame mustard dressing and knocked my cup of morning espresso into the bowl, and I discovered that these two daring flavors labored superbly collectively! With dueling bitterness, the Dijon acts because the soprano, whereas the espresso is the alto. They’re balanced out by the addition of honey, cider vinegar, and nutty toasted sesame oil. To maximise the punch of the mustard, I like to recommend including it to the French dressing proper earlier than dressing the salad, because it tends to lose a few of its oomph if it sits within the dressing for an prolonged time period.
When not used for this banchan, the coffee-Dijon is a dressing that ought to at all times be in your fridge; it really works as a dipping sauce for fried chicken, it’s going to get up sleepy Tuesday evening roasted broccoli, and enliven a roasted pork loin with apples. The marinated charred Brussels sprouts and leeks can function a fast and simple on a regular basis banchan for accompanying meat, poultry, and seafood dishes, however they will additionally slot in properly as half of a bigger vacation meal. Each Thanksgiving desk may use a bit of pop of bitter acidity to chop by means of and complement the wealthy, candy, and savory parts of the meal.