seaweed soup via coffee siphon by andrew ahn ssam restaurant beijing china (3)

Clamming up: Using a coffee siphon for seaweed soup at Ssam

crab ddeokbokki by andrew ahn ssam korean restaurant beijing china

Andrew Ahn at Korean restaurant Ssam is getting crabby with his ddeokpukki.

But first, photos of the miyeok guk — seaweed soup — he makes via a fun contraption called a coffee siphon that seemingly allows liquid to defy gravity.

seaweed soup via coffee siphon by andrew ahn ssam restaurant beijing china (1)
Ahn adds seaweed and dried shrimp in the top container where ground coffee normally goes.
seaweed soup via coffee siphon by andrew ahn ssam restaurant beijing china (2)
Then clam broth, instead of water, in the bottom container.
seaweed soup via coffee siphon by andrew ahn ssam restaurant beijing china (3)
Then a flame. All liquid is at the bottom at this point, with the seaweed and dried shrimp above.
seaweed soup via coffee siphon by andrew ahn ssam restaurant beijing china (4)
But as the water heats, some turns gaseous and takes more space, pushing the remaining liquid up a tube into the top container where it is infused with the seaweed and shrimp.
seaweed soup via coffee siphon by andrew ahn ssam restaurant beijing china (5)
If the flame is removed, the soup will flow back down.

Fun stuff. Here are a few more new items at Ssam.

The crab ddeokpokki pictured at top is delicious. I’ve eaten plenty of street versions of this dish, and enjoy that burning red pepper paste, but this one stresses balance. The sauce ably matches the ddeok (glutinous rice), fish cake, poached egg (you stir it into this mess) and crab. Good stuff.

The bi bim noodle below gives vegetarians a good option. This dish arrives cold and is mixed at the table. It has a sharper spiciness than the ddeokpukki, but works fine with the wheat noodles, though I’d prefer it without bell peppers and tomatoes. Nice touches like fresh chestnut shavings.

bi bim noodle by andrew ahn ssam korean restaurant beijing chinaFinally, this is a gulp-able grapefruit-flavored makgeolli, a traditional Korean rice wine, that is fresh, light (4 percent alcohol) and will hit the spot on hot summer days.icing korean grapefruit makkoli drinkThe above food dishes and more, including dumpling soup, will be available at Sssam from Monday.