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Three Ultimate Korean BBQ Dipping Sauces

Learn how to make Korean BBQ Dipping Sauce in three different ways. You’ll be amazed at how simple it is!

Three Ultimate Korean BBQ Dipping Sauces | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Are you a fan of Korean BBQ? Have you always wondered how to recreate that amazing dipping sauce served with your favorite Korean BBQ meats at restaurants? If so, you’re in the right place! Today, I’m excited to share my recipe for the perfect Korean BBQ dipping sauce.

In fact, maybe I should say “sauces” instead, since I’ll be sharing the three most popular and common Korean BBQ dipping sauces, not just one!

While some Korean BBQ restaurants might serve all three dipping sauces at once, I believe certain sauces pair better with specific types of BBQ meat – similar to cheese and wine pairings. So, I’ll provide those pairing suggestions for you below as well. I hope you enjoy an amazing Korean BBQ experience at home next time!

The Ultimate Korean BBQ Dipping Sauce #1. 

Ssamjang 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 the Korean language, Ssamjang (쌈장) literally means dipping sauce (Jang, 장) for your wrap (Ssam, 쌈), which typically involves grilled Korean BBQ meat wrapped in lettuce, perilla, or steamed cabbage. You can also enjoy it with cucumber or carrot sticks. While this dipping sauce can be spicy or non-spicy, when Koreans say Ssamjang, they’re usually referring to the spicy version.

Common 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, as you can see from my title above, my recipe is no ordinary Korean Ssamjang. I decided to add some maple syrup for extra moisture and sweetness (which also reduces some spiciness), as well as pistachio nuts for additional texture and savory flavor. It’s simply amazing and wholesome!

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

Update – I explored traditional ssamjang more thoroughly in another post, so if you’re interested in learning more, be sure to check it out. It includes my tips on incorporating non-Korean ingredients like 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 Korean cooking ingredients list!

Instructions

Combine the ingredients in a bowl, mixing well. Then, portion the mixture into individual dipping 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 pairs nicely with grilled mushrooms, as well as non-marinated grilled pork belly (Samgyeopsal, 삼겹살) or beef. Some may wonder why you’d dip pork with its own fat into oil again.

While it might not be everyone’s top choice, my husband adores this combination. This sauce offers a milder and more subtle flavor compared to the ssamjang sauce mentioned earlier, allowing you to better taste the main ingredients (meat or mushroom). Surprisingly, it doesn’t come across as extra oily, but rather, it’s quite savory.

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

Simply add the listed ingredients directly to a serving plate. If you’re serving a larger group, prepare individual dipping plates for each person instead. (This is how my mum did it at her restaurant – no need to mix a large 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 pairs wonderfully with char-grilled marinated pork or beef (Sutbul Galbi, 숯불갈비). I particularly enjoy it, likely because I prefer char-grilled BBQ over other meats and have always used this sauce as a complement.

I typically dip the char-grilled meat into this sauce and savor it on its own, rather than placing it in a lettuce wrap. However, if I do create a lettuce wrap, I also add the Ssamjang sauce (from #1) to 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. Combine the first four ingredients listed above in a bowl, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Using a spoon (a 1 Tbsp measuring spoon works well), portion the sauce onto individual dipping plates as needed.
  3. Add the sliced onion to the sauce and place 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 as a substitute. Although they are different, they are quite similar. I would say that Japanese miso has a milder flavor and is less pungent than Korean soybean paste.
  • At a typical Korean restaurant, sauce #1 (Ssamjang) is served in a small bowl for sharing, while sauces #2 (Sesame oil, salt, and pepper sauce) and #3 (Wasabi and soy sauce) are provided individually to each person. These sauces are usually refilled for free as needed.
  • Your results may vary slightly from mine, depending on the type of soybean paste and chili paste you use. Ensure they are standard versions, not extra spicy or specifically made for soup, as my recipe is based on the standard version.

Three Ultimate Korean BBQ Dipping Sauces | MyKoreanKitchen.com

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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 13 votes
Print Pin Rate Save
Course: Side dishes
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: korean bbq dipping sauce
Prep Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 6 minutes
Servings: 2 to 3
Calories: 87kcal
Author: Sue | My Korean Kitchen

Ingredients

SSAMJANG WITH MAPLE SYRUP AND PISTACHIO NUTS

  • 2 Tbsp Korean soybean paste (DoenJang)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Korean chilli paste (Gochujang)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 3/8 tsp minced garlic
  • 3/8 tsp minced onion
  • 3/4 tsp toasted 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)

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

SSAMJANG WITH MAPLE SYRUP AND PISTACHIO NUTS

  • Combine the ingredients in a bowl, mixing well. Then, portion the mixture into individual dipping plates as needed.

SESAME OIL, SALT AND PEPPER SAUCE

  • Simply add the listed ingredients directly to a serving plate. If you're serving a larger group, prepare individual dipping plates for each person instead. (This is how my mum did it at her restaurant – no need to mix a large batch in a bowl.)

WASABI AND SOY SAUCE

  • Combine the first four ingredients listed above in a bowl, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  • Using a spoon (a 1 Tbsp measuring spoon works well), portion the sauce onto individual dipping plates as needed.
  • Add the sliced onion to the sauce and place 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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