Korean BBQ: Magic Paste

PREP TIME 10 minutes
MAKES 1 cup

I call this Magic Paste because, for me, it’s the ideal combination of ingredients. It’s got sweet spiciness from the ginger, funkiness from the fish sauce, nuttiness from the sesame oil, and gentle heat from the Korean chili flakes. This paste is the secret to how we make kimchi every day at our restaurants.


1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
5 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
½ cup fish sauce
¼ cup toasted sesame oil
¼ cup Korean chili flakes


1. Combine the ginger, garlic, and fennel seeds in a food processor and process until minced, periodically scraping down the sides of the bowl to make sure all of the ginger gets chopped. Add the fish sauce, oil, and chili flakes and process for 30 seconds.

2. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 2 months. Or freeze in standard ice-cube trays, then transfer the cubes (about 2 tablespoons each) to plastic freezer bags and freeze for up to 2 months.




Images and recipes courtesy of Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright 2018 by Bill Kim and Chandra Ram. 


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