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Gireumjang — also transliterated as gireum jang or jang gireum — is an extremely simple dipping sauce that accompanies Korean barbecue. But just because it’s simple — seriously, so simple — to make doesn’t mean it’s not complex, rich, and delicious.

About that simplicity: Gireumjang is, at its most basic, just toasted sesame oil and salt. That’s it. Some versions will have black pepper in it, garlic can occasionally make a cameo, but mostly the most common, pure version is just sesame oil and salt. In fact, the name gireumjang translates to “oil sauce” or “oil condiment.”

Like we mentioned above, gireumjang is traditionally one of the main dipping sauces for Korean barbecue, especially pork belly. Whether pork belly or another meat, it can be eaten just by itself with gireumjang or wrapped in a leafy green with rice and ssamjang in what is called “ssam.”

While it might seem redundant or too rich to dip a relatively fatty meat in oil, sesame oil stands apart from so many other oils with its far more distinct flavor that’s less heavy than most others. The meat by itself is rich and, well, meaty, but the gireumjang accentuates the savoriness and adds a nutty sesame accent. Combined, this results in a complex, rich umami.

If you don’t have toasted sesame oil at home, Uwajimaya carries it alongside our other oils and sauces. We also have lots of salt options, although you probably have plenty of that in your kitchen already!