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SsamJang, Dipping Sauce for Lettuce Wrap and Vegetables

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Average: 2 (1 vote)
quick n easy
nut free
prep time: 
4 min
inactive time: 
0 min
cooking time: 
1 min
total time: 
5 min

Ssamjang is a dipping sauce for “ssam” (make-your-own lettuce wrap filled with grilled meat, vegetables and rice). Ssam is usually enjoyed with a meal featuring grilled meat (e.g., galbi, Bulgogi) or boiled meat (e.g., suyuk). For ssam, lettuce leaves, perilla leaves, kimchi leaves (uncut and rinsed with water), green chili peppers, and sliced garlic are served. To make ssam, you take a leaf of lettuce and place it on your palm then layer it with a perilla leave (optional), add meat, rice, sliced green chili peppers and garlic, and place a dab of ssamjang. Close the wrap and enjoy!

Ssamjang is a great way to take advantage of beneficial bacteria in doenjang (soybean paste) and gochujang (hot pepper paste). To do so, you need to purchase unpasteurized hot pepper paste and unpasteurized soy bean paste.

Ssam has been part of Korean cuisine since the Three Kingdoms (57 BC – 668 AD) era. Farmers during work hours used to enjoy wraps with the leafy vegetables from their field. Eating ssam with namul (vegetables side dish) was a tradition on Jeongwal Daeboreum ("Full Moon in January," January 15 in lunar calendar, one of the 4 major Korean traditional holidays). They believed that opening one's mouth wide and eating a big wrap was a symbol of luck coming into their household. Even today, some people believe that the big ssam should be eaten in one bite for good luck.

Buy Ssam Jang ingredients online here.

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Change to: Metric US
2 tbsSoybean paste (Doenjang) 된장
1 tbsGochujang (Hot Pepper Paste) 고추장
1 tspGarlic (minced) 다진 마늘
½ Green Onion 파
pinch Black Pepper 후추
1 tbsSesame Oil 참기름


½ Red Chili Pepper 붉은 고추
½ Green Chili Pepper 풋고추
1 tspSesame Seeds 깨


Optional Ingredients and Substitutions
- Red chili pepper. green chili pepper and sesame seeds are optional.

More questions? Please leave your questions below in the comments section. We will do our best to answer as soon as we can.

Ingredient amounts in the recipe instructions are for the default serving size.
Click to enlarge photos.
Ingredient amounts in the recipe summary are for the default serving size.

1. Prepare vegetables

Wash and chop ½ green onion, ½ red chili pepper, ½ green chili pepper and mince 2 cloves of garlic to yield 1 teaspoon.

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Wash, chop

  • ½ green onion
  • ½ red chili pepper (optional)
  • ½ green chili pepper (optional)


  • 2 cloves of garlic

2. Mix

Mix the above with 2 tablespoons of doenjang (soybean paste), 1 tablespoon of gochujang (hot pepper paste), ⅛ teaspoon of black pepper, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and 1 teaspoon of ground sesame seeds (optional).

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Mix the above with

3. Serve

Serve in a small bowl.

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