Traditional Korean Cooking Pastes!

Traditional Korean Cooking Pastes!
By AsianMart Team December 3, 2021

We know how much you love our large selection cooking pastes, but how much do you know about them? Here are a few facts about the most popular and traditional Korean cooking pastes!



  • It is typically made of fermented soy beans, rice, barley, wheat or degreased soybeans.
  • The earliest record of the soybean fermentation for Doenjang, seems to be before the 3 Kingdoms Era.
  • It is noted in Samguk Sagi (a historical record of the 3 Kingdoms Era) that it was made for the wedding ceremony of The King Sinmun in February 683!
  • Typically it is used in soup/ stew dishes and for “Ssamjang” which is a dipping sauce and a variant of Korean cooking pastes.
  • Some studies have found that because of the fermentation process (which can be 2 to 24 months) it is high in various minerals, vitamins and essential amino acids.


  • It has been made ever since Chili was introduced to Korea from Japan in 1592.
  • According to Jung-Bo-Sal-Lim-Kyung-Jae (written in 1766), it was created from glutinous rice (sticky rice), red peppers and salt.
  • It is unknown who exactly invented it, but there are records of a physician in the 1700’s named Si-Pil Yi. He referred to it being from the town of Sunchang, which is located in the mountainous region of Jeonlabuk-do in Southwestern, Korea. Today is also referred to as Sunchang Gochujang Village.
  • It is typically made today with malt water, glutinous rice powder, red chili powder, meju powder (dried fermented soy bean powder) and salt. It is then fermented for about 4-6 months.
  • Research has found that it contains the compound capsaicin, which may lower body weight, speed up metabolism, burn fat and suppress your appetite. (These results were most seen when it was paired with a spicy dish.)


  • Ssamjang is actually a mix of Doenjang and Gochujang, usually mixed with sesame oil, sesame seeds, garlic and a sweetener (can be honey, brown sugar or cooking syrup). However the recipe does vary depending on who makes it.
  • It was created by the CJ CheilJedang food company and marketed under its traditional Korean brand, Haechandle in 1983.
  • It is commonly used as a dipping sauce for when you make a wrap. It is seen being used for Korean grilled BBQ (typically pork belly), which is then placed on a lettuce leaf, perilla or a steamed cabbage leaf. Just dab a piece of the meat or dab some on the leaf!
  • Because of its high soybean content it contains a significant amount of protein and iron.
  • And it also contains Vitamins C and A, which can help boost your immune system and promote healthy vision similar to the effects of carrots.

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