[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Ssamjang is an essential component of Korean barbecue. It’s a simple, no-cook, stir-together dipping sauce that combines the savory funk of doenjang (fermented Korean soybean paste) with the sweet heat of gochujang. Toasted sesame oil and seeds provide subtle roasted bitter notes, while fresh garlic and scallions wake everything up with a little allium bite. Spread ssamjang on leaves and lettuces before wrapping them around bites of grilled meat, seafood, and even vegetables.

Why It Works

  • An essential component for Korean barbecue, ssamjang is a simple, stir-together dipping sauce that balances its salty, sweet, spicy, bitter, and savory ingredients.
  • Fresh garlic and scallions provide an allium bite that cuts through the savory richness of the doenjang and gochujang in the sauce.
  • Yield:Makes about 1/2 cup
  • Active time:2 minutes
  • Total time:2 minutes
  • Ingredients

    • 1/4 cup (60g; 60ml) doenjang (Korean fermented soybean paste)
    • 2 tablespoons (30g; 30ml) gochujang (Korean chili paste)
    • 1 tablespoon (15ml) Korean rice syrup (see note)
    • 1 tablespoon (15ml) toasted sesame oil
    • 2 scallions (40g), thinly sliced
    • 2 large garlic cloves (10g), minced
    • 2 teaspoons (4g) toasted sesame seeds


    1. 1.

      In a small bowl, stir together doenjang, gochujang, rice syrup, sesame oil, scallions, garlic, and sesame seeds until well-combined. Serve, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

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