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Ssamjang (Korean Spicy Dipping Sauce)

What is ssamjang and how to use it.

Korean Spicy Dipping Sauce (Ssamjang) |

Ssamjang (쌈장, Korean spicy dipping sauce) is a thick and spicy paste used as a dipping sauce when you make a wrap, which typically involves grilled Korean BBQ meat in a lettuce, perilla or steamed cabbage etc.

You simply paste a small amount of sauce on to a lettuce leaf or meat with chopsticks or you can simply dive the meat into the sauce.

Typical ingredients for Korean Ssamjang include, Korean soybean paste (DoenJang, 된장), Korean chili paste (Gochujang, 고추장), minced garlic, minced onion, chopped green onion and sesame oil. However, you can make an even fancier version, using my recipe here, Korean BBQ dipping sauce.

I don’t normally buy a big container for this, because I only use a small amount of it each time. Below are some pictures of  Korean Ssamjang varieties available at a Korean grocery store.

 Korean Spicy Dipping Sauce (Ssamjang) |
Korean Spicy Dipping Sauce (Ssamjang) |

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Written by: Sue

Last Updated: May 13, 2019

Hi, I'm Sue and I am the creator of My Korean Kitchen. Thank you for joining me in this delicious culinary journey!

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13 thoughts on “Ssamjang (Korean Spicy Dipping Sauce)”

  1. Hi! Can I use ssamjang paste for marinades? Or is it just a dipping sauce? I went to a Korean Mart here in the Philippines and asked the saleslady if there’s a mild hot pepper paste and she gave me a green tub with pure korean label on it. I thought it’s what you call gochujang but after researching I found out it’s ssamjang.

    • Ssamjang is mostly used as a dipping sauce. But you could incorporate a small amount in marinades too. I just don’t have any recipes to guide you yet. Ssamjang isn’t as versatile as gochujang (hot pepper paste). 🙂

  2. Ohmy~ I’m sorry that I bothered you about it, think it’s Pa muchim? Or something else with garlic chives? I’m going to the store right now~ Anyway, thank you for running such a wonderful website :3

  3. Annyeong Sue~ I am curious, I spent april in Korea and it was a whirlwind, I really had a hard time asking for info on anything even though everyone there is absolutely the best. There was an herb salad at a really nice korean BBQ near ildong-myeon I went to with G-Dragon’s dad when I went to Dolce Bita. No one in that little town spoke english including any of the other six visitors at the pension, so although I greatly enjoyed our 8-person dinner and I’ve now eaten samgyeopsal countless times since, I’ve been becoming increasingly upset that I haven’t been able to figure out what this particular banchan consisted of, the herbs I’ve been hunting for in Asian grocery stores for months. I don’t know who to ask. If I have a photo that shows that herbs on the table, would you possibly be able to identify it for me? Like this one? It was so delicious, but I can’t afford to just brush up on my korean enough to fly back and ask them directly anytime soon. thank you so much. Your website is absolutely awesome ~

  4. Is store bought supposed to be cold or warm to eat? Also how long is it good for if you keep it refrigerated after opening?

    • Hi Miranda, You serve ssamjang cold or at room temperature. There should be an expiry date on the container, so follow what it says. (As a rough guideline, it lasts a long time, like one year or so from the manufacturing date.)

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