Seasonings and Sauces - Korea Tourism Organization

Seasonings, enhancing taste and flavor as well as extending the storage life of foods, are indispensible for Korean cuisine. The emphasis is not only on taste, but also on health. As yangnyeom, (Korean word for seasoning) literally means “consider medicine.” Different levels of saltiness, sweetness, sourness, spiciness deepen the taste and create additional flavors and colors for foods. Along with traditional seasonings like red pepper, ground black pepper, salt, cinnamon, sugar, vinegar, alimentary like green onion, ginger, mustard, sesame salt and Chinese pepper are used as seasonings.

Ganjang (Soy sauce)
Ganjang, which means “salty” in Korean is soy sauce, made of fermented beans and used for seasoning food. Soy sauce, composed of amino acids and lactic acids coming out during fermentation, is used in soups, jjigae (stew), salads, and seafood.

Doenjang (Soybean paste)
Doenjang literally means “thick paste” and is used by Koreans over 2000 years. Soybean paste is also served as a condiment for ssam (leaf wraps), or for namul and jang-tteok (wheat flour pancakes with doenjang).


Gochujang (Red pepper paste)
Red pepper paste is used for stews, soups, fried food, salads, grilled food and namul. It is also used in making fried red pepper paste sauce for side dishes, and served with raw fish or mixed noodles.