Ssamjang (쌈장) is a savory, Korean soybean tofu dip, most popular for pairing with wrap dishes and Korean BBQ. Although traditionally used with lettuce wraps, theis simple mix can be added to any dish to add depth and a more complex flavor.
You can find ssamjang in most Korean or Asian grocery stores, but like any other recipe, making it at home allows you to make any desired changes of taste–including spiciness. The main ingredients for this dip include dwenjang (fermented soybean paste or miso), gochujang chili paste, and sesame oil. Dwenjang has a strong flavor due to its fermented process, making it the key ingredient to ssamjang. Because of this, even just a little bit of ssamjang on the side can go a long way.
Just like any other condiments, like ketchup or mayo, use however much you want! Try having a small side of it with your next rice dish, and add it to your second bite. That’s just so that you can try it without it first. A friend of mine has asked for it at every dinner and gathering since they tried it! Let me know how you used ssamjang in the comments below.
- 2 tbsp. dwenjang (or miso)
- 1 tbsp. gochujang chili paste
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil
- 1/2 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
- 1 tsp. freshly minced garlic
- 3 oz. silken or soft tofu
- 1 tbsp. chopped green onion
- Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl.
- Pour the contents in a small sauce pan (or Korean clay pot) and cook in medium low heat.
- Stir with a wooden spoon.
- Cover with a lid and let simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.
- Serve with steamed rice and a side of leafy greens, or the dish of your choice!
Looking for another traditional or Korean-inspired side dish? Try my Kimchi Slaw recipe that can be used on BBQ sandwiches, as a side, or something new to bring to your next gathering!