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Ssamjang

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Ssamjang is a thick, spicy paste used with food wrapped in a leaf in Korean cuisine. The sauce is made of doenjang (a traditional Korean fermented soybean paste), gochujang (Korean chili paste), sesame oil, onion, garlic, green onions, and optionally brown sugar.

Left: A container of commercially produced ssamjang.

Ssam means "wrapped" and jang means "paste" or "thick sauce." Together as ssamjang they mean "wrapping sauce."

One typically puts a leaf of sangchu (Red leaf lettuce) or perilla on an open hand, then places in the middle of the leaf, a bite-sized blob of rice, a blob of ssamjang, and a piece of meat (such as galbi or samgyeopsal) or kimchi, then wraps the leaf around the contents, puts the whole wrapped ball of food in one's mouth, and eats it. One learns not to make the ball too big for the leaf to wrap around, or to fit in one's mouth.

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