Galbi and kimchi on a lettuce leaf ssam
Korean name
Hanja none
Revised Romanization ssam
McCune–Reischauer ssam

Ssam, sometimes also transliterated as ssäm, literally meaning "wrapped", refers to a dish in Korean cuisine in which, usually, leafy vegetables are used to wrap a piece of meat such as pork or other filling.[1] It is often accompanied by a condiment known as ssamjang and can also be topped with raw or cooked garlic, onion, green pepper, or a banchan (small side dish) such as kimchi.[2] Ssam is usually bite-sized to avoid spilling out the fillings.[3]


According to the book of customs, Dongguk Sesigi, ssam was eaten by the women of the Goryeo era who had been taken as maids or ladies of the court to Mongol's Yuan Dynasty, and by the end of the Joseon era, ssam had become an established seasonal dish. On the day of Daeboreum, the ssam that was eaten on that holiday was called bokssam (복쌈, good fortune ssam).[1]

Ssam is also slowly gaining popularity outside of Korea and is being served at restaurants in New York City and Tokyo.[4][5]


Various vegetables are used as ingredients such as lettuce, cabbage, bean leaves, and pumpkin leaves, which are used either raw or blanched. Seaweed such as miyeok (sea mustard seaweed) and gim (dried laver) are also used. Ssam can be used to refer to dishes using beef tongue, roe, pork, clams, or sea cucumbers wrapped and cooked in eggs.[1]

By ingredients

By wrap type

Specific types:[9]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 쌈 (Ssam) Encyclopedia of Korean Culture (Korean)
  2. "Customs". Korea Tourism Organization. Retrieved 2013-04-05.
  3. "How Make Ssam Bap (Korean Lettuce Wraps)".
  4. (Korean) Restaurant opens in Sapporo, Financial News, 2006-06-16. Retrieved 2010-06-23
  5. Momofuku Ssam, Columbia Daily Tribune, 2010-06-23
  6. "Bossam's continuous popularity" Money & Business. 12 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-23 (Korean)
  7. Jung, Alex "5 Korean ways to eat a pig" CNN Go. 11 November 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-11
  8. (Korean) "Korean dictionary:Ssambap" National Institute of the Korean Language (Korean)
  9. "쌈 (Ssam)" (in Korean). Doosan Encyclopedia.
  10. 김쌈 (in Korean). Naver Dictionary. Retrieved 2013-04-05.
  11. 호박잎쌈 (in Korean). Naver Dictionary. Retrieved 2013-04-05.
  12. 깻잎쌈 (in Korean). Naver Dictionary. Retrieved 2013-04-05.
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