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Three Ultimate Korean BBQ Dipping Sauces

Learn how to make Korean BBQ Dipping Sauce in three different ways. It’s so easy!

Three Ultimate Korean BBQ Dipping Sauces | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Do you like Korean BBQ? And have you been forever wondering how to make that awesome Korean BBQ dipping sauce that always accompanies your favourite Korean BBQ meat at a Korean restaurant? Then you’ll be excited to be here today, because I’m going to share my Korean BBQ dipping sauce.

Actually maybe I should say “sauces” instead as I’m going to share the three most popular and common Korean BBQ dipping sauces, not just one!

While some Korean BBQ restaurants might serve these three BBQ dipping sauces all together at the same time, I think certain sauce pairs better with certain types of BBQ meat, just like cheese with wine pairing. So I’ll do that pairing job for you below as well. I hope you have an awesome Korean BBQ next time at home!

The ultimate Korean BBQ Dipping sauce #1. 

Korean chili and soybean paste sauce with maple syrup and pistachio nuts (메이플 시럽 & 피스타치오 쌈장)

The ultimate Korean BBQ Dipping sauce #1. Korean chili and soybean paste sauce with maple syrup and pistachio nuts | MyKoreanKitchen.com

In Korean language, Ssamjang (쌈장) literally means dipping sauce (Jang, 장) for your wrap (Ssam, 쌈), which typically involves grilled Korean BBQ meat in a lettuce, perilla or steamed cabbage etc. You can also dip cucumber or carrot sticks. While this dipping sauce could be spicy or non-spicy, when Koreans say Ssamjang that means spicy dipping 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.

But as you can read from my heading above, my recipe is, well, no ordinary Korean Ssamjang. I decided to add some maple syrup to give it more moisture and also sweetness (and reduce some spiciness) and also pistachio nuts to give some extra texture and savoury flavour. It’s just awesome and wholesome!

I’ve always used store purchased ssamjang in the past for convenience reasons, but now I often make it at home. Not only can you control the ingredients and adjust the level of spiciness and sweetness, it’s also fresher and it doesn’t take much time to make at home. So give this a try! 

Update – I wrote about ssamjang in more detail in my latest ssamjang article, so check it out if you want to learn more. It includes my tips on using non-Korean ingredients such as Japanese miso paste and sriracha sauce. [Ssamjang recipe]

Ingredients for 2 to 3 servings

  • 2 Tbsp Korean soybean paste (DoenJang, 된장)
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp Korean chili paste (Gochujang, 고추장)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 3/8 tsp minced garlic
  • 3/8 tsp minced onion
  • 3/4 tsp roasted sesame seeds
  • 3/4 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp coarsely chopped pistachio nuts – about 15 to 18 shelled pistachio nuts (You can use other nuts instead if you prefer)

*1 Tbsp = 15ml

**If you want to learn more about Korean ingredients, check my 30 essential Korean cooking ingredients list!

Instructions

Mix the above ingredients in a bowl together. Distribute out to individual dip serving plates as needed.

The ultimate Korean BBQ Dipping sauce #2.

Sesame oil, salt and pepper sauce (소금 & 후추 기름장)

The ultimate Korean BBQ Dipping sauce #2. Sesame oil, salt and pepper sauce | MyKoreanKitchen.com

This sauce goes well with grilled mushrooms and grilled non-marinated pork belly (Samgyeopsal, 삼결살) or beef. Some ask if grilled pork belly already has enough fat on its own, why do you dip the pork in oil again?

Obviously it’s not everyone’s favourite option but my husband loves this combination. This sauce has a more mild and subtle flavour than the Ssamjang sauce from above so you can actually taste the main ingredients (meat or mushroom) better. And actually I don’t think it tastes extra oily, but rather it’s more savoury.

Ingredients for 1 serving

  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Pinch (Slightly less than 1/8 tsp) of fine sea salt
  • Pinch (Slightly less than 1/8 tsp) of ground black pepper

*1 Tbsp = 15ml

Instructions

Add the above ingredients in a serving plate directly. If you need to serve for more people, make them individually in a separate dip serving plate. (This is how my mum used to do it at her restaurant. You don’t mix a big batch in a bowl.)

The ultimate Korean BBQ Dipping sauce #3.

Wasabi and soy sauce (간장 와사비 소스)

The ultimate Korean BBQ Dipping sauce #3. Wasabi and soy sauce | MyKoreanKitchen.com

This sauce goes very well with char-grilled marinated pork or beef (Sutbul Galbi, 숯불갈비). I really like it. Probably because I prefer char-grilled BBQ over other meat and I always have used this sauce as a pair.

I usually dip the char-grilled meat into this sauce and eat it on its own rather than putting it in a lettuce wrap. If I do make a lettuce wrap, however,  I also add the Ssamjang sauce (from #1) in it. So it’s double dipped.

Ingredients for 2 to 3 servings

  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 2 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • A thin slice of onion – to be added in a serving plate
  • A dab of wasabi paste (from a tube) – to be pasted on the side of a serving plate

*1 Tbsp = 15ml

Instructions

  1. Mix the first four ingredients from above in a bowl. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Distribute the sauce using a spoon (1 Tbsp measuring spoon works well) to an individual dip serving plate as needed.
  3. Add the sliced onion in the sauce and wasabi paste on the side of the plate.

Three Ultimate Korean BBQ Dipping Sauces | MyKoreanKitchen.comNote

  • If you can’t find Korean soybean paste (DoenJang, 된장), you can use Japanese miso instead. They are different but very similar. I would say, Japanese miso has a more mild flavour and is less pungent.
  • Typically a Korean restaurant would serve sauce #1 (Ssamjang) in a small bowl to share and sauce #2 (Sesame oil, salt and pepper sauce) and #3 (Wasabi and soy sauce) individually to people. These sauces are usually refilled for free as needed.
  • Your outcome might be slightly different to mine depending on what type of soybean paste and chilli paste you use. Make sure they are standard versions, not extra spicy or made for soup or anything like that as mine is based on the standard version.

Three Ultimate Korean BBQ Dipping Sauces | MyKoreanKitchen.com


Three Ultimate Korean BBQ Dipping Sauces | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Three Ultimate Korean BBQ Dipping Sauces

How to make Korean BBQ Dipping Sauce in three different ways
5 from 12 votes
Print Pin Rate Save
Course: Side dishes
Cuisine: Korean
Prep Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 6 minutes
Servings: 2 to 3
Calories: 87kcal
Author: Sue | My Korean Kitchen

Ingredients

Korean chili and soybean paste sauce with maple syrup and pistachio nuts

Sesame oil, salt and pepper sauce

  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • A pinch fine sea salt
  • A pinch ground black pepper

Wasabi and soy sauce

  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 2 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • A thin slice of onion to be added in a serving plate
  • A dab of wasabi paste (from a tube) – to be pasted on the side of a serving plate

Instructions

Korean chili and soybean paste sauce with maple syrup and pistachio nuts

  • Mix the above ingredients in a bowl together. Distribute out to individual dip serving plates as needed.

Sesame oil, salt and pepper sauce

  • Add the above ingredients in a serving plate directly. If you need to serve for more people, make them individually in a separate dip serving plate. (This is how my mum used to do it at her restaurant. You don’t mix a big batch in a bowl.)

Wasabi and soy sauce

  • Mix the first four ingredients from above in a bowl. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
  • Distribute the sauce using a spoon (1 Tbsp measuring spoon works well) to an individual dip serving plate as needed.
  • Add the sliced onion in the sauce and wasabi paste on the side of the plate.

Nutrition Info (per serving)

Calories: 87kcal

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Tried this recipe?I love hearing how you went with my recipes! Rate this recipe with a comment below and tag me on Instagram @MyKoreanKitchen.

Written by: Sue

Last Updated:

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Welcome to my Korean kitchen! I’m so happy that you're here. I am Sue, the creator behind My Korean Kitchen (since 2006). I love good food and simplifying recipes. Here you will find my best and family approved recipes. Thanks for stopping by!

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