KOREAN BBQ ESSENTIALS PART 1: SSAMJANG & SESAME OIL DIPPING SAUCE
Ssamjang & Sesame Oil Dipping Sauce 쌈장/기름장
Ssamjang and Sesame Oil Dipping Sauce are perfect with any cooked meat. Ssamjang is also an amazing dip for your favourite vegetables but goes especially well with cucumbers, carrots and celery. Pack it in your lunchbox for a change from hummus or your usual dip. You’ll be glad you did.
Ssamjang is a dipping sauce made with Doenjang, Korean red pepper paste, sesame oil, garlic, corn syrup, and a few other store-cupboard ingredients. In Korea, we can’t have a BBQ without Ssamjang. It is as essential as mint sauce with roast lamb. You can buy delicious ready made Ssamjang in supermarkets, but there is no comparison to the taste of homemade ssamjang. My husband is a ssamjang maniac. I’m sure he loves ssamjang more than any Korean. He even dips his sausages in it! I remember watching a TV show in Korea about a famous Korean singer (I can’t remember his name…) who lived in America for a long time. He missed Korean food so much he would make himself a samgyeopsal (grilled pork belly) and ssamjang sandwich. My husband totally agreed with that idea! Haha. I haven’t tried ssamjang on sandwiches yet, but, I’m sure it would be amazing!
Watch My Easy Ssamjang and Sesame Oil Dipping Sauce Recipe Video (2m 11s)
We eat ssamjang quite often as you can easily guess. In summer, we eat more ssamjang, so, I usually make 4 or 5 times the quantity of my recipe. Ssamjang can be stored in a refrigerator for up to 1 week. I remember my mum making a huge amount of ssamjang whenever we had a barbeque as we are a family of 6. It never lasted long. 🙂
Sesame oil sauce is another classic dipping sauce. It is so simple, just Korean sesame oil mixed with a little, good quality salt and the taste is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Grilled pork and sesame oil dipping sauce are a match made in heaven. You can often use substitutes in my recipes but I would advise against it this time. You MUST use Korean sesame oil. When I used sesame oil from a supermarket in the UK, it was too terrible to eat. Korean sesame oil is squeezed from sesame seeds once and then filtered to make a richer taste. You can purchase Korean sesame oil from Amazon or an Asian grocery store.
Sesame oil dipping sauce is not spicy like ssamjang, so, it is great for people who don’t like spicy food. My children don’t eat grilled meat without it. Today, there are variations made with black pepper, mashed garlic, etc, but, the classic one and still the best is just sesame oil and salt. Enjoy!
Follow the link for my BBQ Essentials Part 2.
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- 5 tbsp Doenjang
- 2.5 tbsp Red Pepper Paste
- 2 tbsp Corn Syrup (can be replaced with sugar)
- 1 tbsp Mashed Garlic
- 1 tbsp Coke (can be replaced with lemonade)
- 1 tbsp Sesame Oil
- 1 tbsp Chopped Spring/Green Onions
- 1 tbsp Roasted Sesame Seeds
- Sesame Oil Dipping Sauce (1 serving)
- 1 tbsp Sesame Oil
- ½ tsp Salt
- For Ssamjang, put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir thoroughly. You can add more sugar or sesame oil for your taste.
- For the Sesame Dipping Sauce, in a small bowl or saucer add the sesame oil and sprinkle the salt on top. There are variations like adding a pinch of black pepper or mashed garlic, but sesame oil and salt is delicious enough for me!