Recipe: Ssamjang (쌈장)


Summary: Ssamjang is a thick, spicy dipping sauce served with vegetables (cucumber, lettuce, pepper). The name derives from the words jang (meaning “paste” or “thick sauce”) and ssam (meaning “food wrapped in a leaf”), hence “sauce for food wrapped in a leaf.”


  • Korean Bean Paste 3T
  • Korean Red Chili Paste 1/2 T
  • Minced garlic 1t
  • Sesame oil 1 T
  • Chopped green onion 1t


  1. Mix all the ingredients and serve with veggie.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Most Commonly Used Korean Sauces

Most commonly used korean sauces are soy sauce, sesame oil, bean paste and red pepper paste.
bean-paste.jpgbean paste

Bean paste is a concentrated, savory paste made from soybeans–often mixed with a grain such as rice, barley, or wheat–that is fermented with a yeast mold and then combined with salt and water. The mixture is aged from one month to three years. While it is a good source of protein and carbohydrates, miso is, nonetheless, high in sodium and should be consumed sparingly if you are salt-sensitive.

pepper-paste.jpgred pepper paste

Red pepper paste “Kochujang” is a Korean traditional fermented soybean-rice-red pepper powder paste. It has been reported that capsaicin in red pepper shows antiobestic effect and thus Red pepper paste “Kochujang” may have antiobestic effect. Commercial Red pepper paste “Kochujang” has rather prepared mainly with fermented wheat flour and grains, and red pepper powder.
Pepper is low in Saturated Fat and Sodium, and very low in Cholesterol. Pepper paste is also a good source of Vitamin C, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Iron and Potassium, and a very good source of Vitamin A and Riboflavin.

soy-sauce.jpgsoy sauce

Korean soy sauce, or Joseon ganjang is a byproduct of the production of doenjang (Korean fermented soybean paste). Joseon ganjang, thin and dark brown in color, is made entirely of soy and brine, and has a saltiness that varies according to the producer. Wide scale use of Joseon ganjang has been somewhat superseded cheaper factory-made Japanese style soy sauce, called waeganjang. However, many Koreans continued to use the soy sauce native to their culture.

sesame-oil.jpgsesame oil

Sesame oil is an organic oil derived from sesames, noted to have the distinctive aroma and taste of its parent seed. It is often used in South Indian and Southeast Asian cuisine as a flavor enhancer, e.g. adding it to instant noodles.