Ssamjang – Korean Dipping Sauce

Ssamjang is usually eaten with a ssam of grilled meat. One typically puts a leaf of lettuce or perilla on an open hand, places the main components of the meal (grilled meat such as galbi or samgyeopsal, kimchi and other banchan, rice if desired) in bite-sizes in the centre, tops it off with ssamjang, wraps the leaf around the entire contents, and then eats the wrapped ssam.


Besides the standard way of making ssamjang, other ingredients can be added to make special versions. There are also commercially prepacked ssamjang available on the market.

  • Nut ssamjang (견과류 쌈장): ground walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and other nuts are added
  • Jjukumi ssamjang (쭈꾸미 쌈장): diced short-arm octopus is stir-fried with diced red peppers and onions, and mixed together with ssamjang
  • Tofu ssamjang (두부 쌈장): crushed tofu is added
  • Flying fish roe ssamjang (날치알 쌈장) : flying fish roe is added
  • Namul ssamjang (나물 쌈장): various beans are diced and added

Korean Rice Wrap Sauce - Ssamjang

Ssamjang is a thick, spicy paste used with food wrapped in a leaf in Korean cuisine. The sauce is generally made of doenjang, gochujang, sesame oil, onion, garlic, spring onions, and optionally brown sugar. There are many different variations ranging from sweet and mild to salty and very hot, from a thin almost liquid paste to a thick almost solid paste.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Author: The Cook
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  • ¼ cup kochujang , red pepper paste
  • ¼ cup daenjang , soybean paste
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ sweet onion, minced
  • 1 green chilli pepper, chopped finely
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), chopped
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • water to thin, if needed

Recipe Instructions

  • Mix the ingredients well and chill.

Cooks Notes & Variations

Depending on the type of kochujang and daenjang you use, your ssamjang may be too thick. You can thin with water or sesame oil.

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