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At every Korean barbecue table there is always ssamjang: a salty, thick, savory paste that can be a dip for fresh chiles, carrots or cucumbers or spooned on top of barbecued meats wrapped in lettuce. At its simplest, ssamjang can be just a combination of fermented soy bean paste and gochujang or gochugaru. My version gets nuttiness from sesame seeds and bright flavor and crunch from fresh chiles.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 5 min
  • Active: 5 min
  • Yield: 2 cups (6 to 8 servings)
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  1. Combine the doenjang, sesame oil, sesame seeds, gochugaru, sugar, garlic and Fresno and serrano chiles in a medium bowl. Add a tablespoon more of sesame oil if desired. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 7 days.

Cook’s Note

You can grind the sesame seeds with a mortar and pestle, or pulse them in a spice grinder just until coarsely ground.

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