Korean Ssamjang Chicken Kimchi Nachos

Looking for the best Ssamjang Chicken recipe?

As a foodie who loves to travel there’s nothing that delights me more than encountering an unexpected cultural mashup on the plate. This Korean Ssamjang chicken recipe popped into my brain in a split second (queue the angels singing) and has been recreated hundreds of times since for snack-loving family and friends.

I came up with the idea for the dish the morning after my family’s epic annual Thanksgiving feast. I had a ton of leftover cooked turkey, which I was looking to transform into a new dish – anything other than soup please! I scoured my pantry and found a few avocados, sour cream, half a brick of cheddar cheese, a bag of nachos and a tub of Korean Ssamjang fermented bean paste. The rest is history!

The dish takes no more than 30 minutes to throw together and is perfect if you’re looking to wow friends at a potluck dinner or are looking for a finger-licking-good shareable snack for your next movie night or sports game.

Ever since I started making kimchi at home I’ve been trying to incorporate the popular fermented Korean condiment in as many dishes as I can. The secret sauce that really defines the dish is ssamjang, a thick and spicy Korean paste which pairs perfectly with grilled meat. It’s the ultimate Mexican-Korean mouthful, sure to be your new go-to when suffering from the snack-attack.

Korean Ssamjang Chicken served with sour cream, guacamole,  cheddar and kimchi.
Korean Ssamjang Chicken served with sour cream, guacamole, cheddar and kimchi.

The recipe below doesn’t define exact proportions for each ingredient as I like to build the dish like I would a Mexican 7 Layered Dip (with whimsy). You can prepare all of the ingredients in advance (everything is served cold) which makes assembly a breeze.


Sour Cream (or 0% Greek Yogurt if you’re playing healthy)


Cheddar Cheese

Cooked Turkey or Chicken


Homemade Kimchi



  1. Chop cooked chicken/turkey and place into a frying pan on medium heat.
  2. Add ssamjang to taste (you’ll want at least 1 cup), stirring for 5 minutes so the chicken/turkey is thoroughly tossed in the sauce. Let cool then store in the fridge.
  3. Assemble bottom to top: generous slathering of sour cream/greek yogurt, chunky guacamole, ssamjang turkey/chicken, shredded cheddar cheese, and kimchi.
  4. Serve with nachos, a hoppy IPA and scoop away!
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