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5 Best Sauces for Korean BBQ

Are you ready to take your Korean BBQ experience to the next level? Look no further than the essential element that elevates grilled meats and veggies to heavenly heights – sauces for Korean BBQ.

5 Best Sauces for Korean BBQ

These delightful and flavor-packed condiments are the heart and soul of any authentic Korean barbecue spread, adding a burst of deliciousness to every bite.

Whether you’re a seasoned Korean barbecue enthusiast or a first-timer, this blog post will introduce you to the five best sauces that are guaranteed to enhance your grilling adventure.

Get ready to tantalize your taste buds and embark on a saucy journey through the vibrant world of Korean BBQ!

5 Best Sauces for Korean BBQ

1. Gochujang Sauce

Gochujang sauce is a staple in Korean cuisine and an absolute must-have for any Korean BBQ feast. This iconic sauce combines spicy kick with a subtly sweet and tangy flavor profile.

Made from fermented red chili peppers, sticky rice powder, soybeans, and salt, gochujang sauce adds a distinct depth of flavor to grilled meats and vegetables. Its bold and complex taste is both spicy and slightly smoky, making it the perfect complement to the smoky flavors of the barbecue.

Drizzle gochujang sauce over grilled meats, mix it into a dipping sauce, or use it as a marinade to infuse your BBQ dishes with a rich, fiery essence.

2. Ssamjang Sauce

Ssamjang, meaning “wrapped condiment” in Korean, is a versatile and utterly delicious sauce that enhances the flavors of Korean BBQ.

This thick, savory sauce is a blend of fermented soybean paste (doenjang), spicy gochujang sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and a touch of honey or sugar. The resulting combination is both savory and slightly spicy, with a hint of sweetness. Ssamjang sauce is the perfect accompaniment for wraps (ssam), which involve wrapping grilled meat or vegetables in lettuce or perilla leaves.

The sauce adds a burst of flavor, balancing the smoky taste of the barbecue with its umami-rich and tangy notes. Dip your grilled goodies into this luscious sauce before wrapping them in lettuce, and you’ll experience an explosion of tantalizing flavors that will keep you coming back for more.

3. Toasted Sesame Oil

Toasted sesame oil is a key ingredient in Korean BBQ sauces, adding a rich nutty flavor to the grilled dishes. Derived from toasted sesame seeds, this oil imparts a distinctive aroma that enhances the overall taste of the barbecue.

It brings a depth of flavor and a silky texture to marinades, sauces, and dipping condiments. A little drizzle of toasted sesame oil over grilled meats and vegetables not only adds an irresistible taste but also adds a delightful sheen to the final presentation.

4. Soybean Paste

Soybean paste, known as doenjang in Korean cuisine, is a fundamental ingredient in Korean BBQ sauces. Made from fermented soybeans, it boasts a salty, savory, and slightly earthy flavor.

This thick and hearty paste is often mixed with other ingredients to create unique and flavorful dipping sauces or marinades. Soybean paste adds umami depth to the barbecue experience, giving a robust and complex taste that perfectly marries with the smoky flavors of grilled meats and vegetables.

5. Lemongrass Chili Sauce

While not traditionally Korean, lemongrass chili sauce has become increasingly popular as a dipping sauce for Korean BBQ. This fusion sauce combines the aromatic flavors of lemongrass, garlic, chili peppers, lime juice, and other seasonings.

The result is a tangy and zesty sauce that adds a refreshing and citrusy kick to the grilled dishes. The vibrant and vibrant lemongrass chili sauce provides a bright and invigorating contrast to the rich, savory flavors of Korean BBQ, giving your taste buds a delightful burst of flavor.


1. What sauce to eat with Korean BBQ?

When it comes to Korean BBQ, there are several sauces that pair perfectly with the grilled meats and vegetables. Some popular choices include gochujang sauce, ssamjang sauce, and soybean paste. Gochujang sauce adds a spicy and slightly sweet kick to your BBQ, while ssamjang sauce provides a savory and spicy flavor. Soybean paste, also known as doenjang, offers a rich and salty taste. These sauces can be used as dips, marinades, or condiments to elevate your Korean BBQ experience.

2. What are the three main Korean sauces?

The three main Korean sauces that are commonly used in Korean cuisine, including Korean BBQ, are gochujang sauce, ssamjang sauce, and soybean paste (doenjang). Gochujang sauce is a fermented red chili paste that adds a spicy and slightly sweet flavor. Ssamjang sauce is a mixture of gochujang, soybean paste, sesame oil, and other ingredients, creating a savory and spicy condiment. Soybean paste, or doenjang, is made from fermented soybeans and provides a salty and rich umami taste. These three sauces are essential in Korean cooking, including Korean BBQ.

3. What to serve with Korean BBQ?

Korean BBQ is often enjoyed with a variety of complementary side dishes, known as banchan. These dishes add different tastes, textures, and flavors to the BBQ meal. Popular banchan served with Korean BBQ include kimchi (fermented cabbage), pickled vegetables, steamed rice, lettuce leaves or perilla leaves for wrapping, fresh garlic cloves, sliced green onions, and sesame oil. These side dishes help create a dynamic and balanced eating experience, providing contrast and enhancing the flavors of the grilled meats and vegetables.

4. What sauce good for BBQ?

There are various sauces that work well for BBQ, depending on personal preferences and the type of dishes being grilled. Some classic barbecue sauce options include tomato-based sauces with a balance of sweet, tangy, and smoky flavors. Mustard-based sauces offer a tangy and slightly spicy taste, while vinegar-based sauces provide a tangy and tangy flavor profile. Additionally, Korean BBQ can be enhanced with specific sauces like gochujang sauce or soy-based marinades. Ultimately, the “best” sauce for BBQ comes down to individual taste preferences and the desired flavor profile for the grilled dishes.

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Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.