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Korean Pancake Sauce Recipe (Cho Ganjang)

by Emily
An overhead photo of Korean pancake sauce in a blue and white small bowl. The bowl sits on a matching plate. Both sit on a cream table cloth.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for details at the bottom of this page. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases on this Korean pancake sauce recipe article. I hope you enjoy learning about how to make cho ganjang (초간장), otherwise known as Korean pancake dipping sauce, jeon sauce, choganjang, and cho-ganjang.

What Is Cho Ganjang (Aka Korean Pancake Sauce)

‘Cho Ganjang’ (초간장),  is a variety of Korean dipping sauce typically served with ‘jeon’ (전), known as Korean pancakes in English. The two base ingredients for this sauce include vinegar and soy sauce. Then, you can add further ingredients such as a sweetener, toasted sesame seeds, gochugaru, and more! In English, you can first translate the term ‘cho’ (초) to ‘vinegar.’ Then, you can translate ‘ganjang’ (강장) to ‘soy sauce.’ 

Traditionally, people serve this slightly sweet and tangy dipping sauce because it helps cut through the oiliness of pan-fried pancakes! They also always serve dumplings with this cho ganjang sauce!

I hope you enjoy learning how to make this Korean pancake dipping sauce recipe! Below, I list some of my jeon recipes. You can serve this dipping sauce with these jeon!

Cultural Note: In South Korea, people eat ‘jeon’ (전) on rainy days. When pan-frying all the different varieties of pancakes in oil, it makes a crackling noise similar to the sound of rain. For that reason, when it is rainy outside, you will notice the jeon restaurants fill up with people in South Korea. Along with these jeon, you will always see this soy sauce and vinegar-based dipping sauce. This is a fun little cultural tradition everyone enjoys. It has been a tradition for generations in South Korea, and it always includes drinking makgeolli, looking out the window, and enjoying the rainy breeze.

A side shot of Korean pancake sauce in a blue and white small bowl. The bowl sits on a matching plate. Both sit on a cream table cloth.

Korean Pancake Dipping Sauce Ingredient List:

Below, I list the ingredients used to make this delicious Korean pancake sauce recipe. I also linked any informative articles on my site connected to these ingredients:

Gamja Jeon Ingredients:

Korean Potato Pancake Recipe Tips & Tricks: 

Here, I list some helpful tips & tricks to help you make this easy cho ganjang recipe. If you have any questions, leave a comment below or email me at [email protected]! I hope these tips make cooking this Korean pancake dipping sauce easier! 

  • Replace the honey with sugar or corn syrup to make this recipe vegan.
  • This recipe is easy to double, triple, etc for events when you are making many batches of jeon for a large group of people. 
  • Serve a limited amount of this sauce in a small bowl that you can refill. That way, if you have leftover sauce, you can store it in the refrigerator. I recommend dumping out the sauce people have already dipped into because that will be contaminated by the greasy jeon (made out of meat, seafood, vegetables, etc.) as well as people’s chopsticks. 
  • Not only is this recipe delicious with pancakes, but it is yummy with dumplings as well! 
A photo of Korean cho ganjang in a blue and white small bowl. The bowl sits on a matching plate. Both sit on a cream table cloth.

Korean Pancake Sauce Frequently Asked Questions: 

Now that we learned some tips & tricks for making this Korean pancake dipping sauce recipe, I want to answer some questions you may have as well! If I do not answer your question, feel free to leave a comment in the section below or email me at [email protected]

Does This Recipe Contain Major Allergens? (Gluten, Soy, Etc.)

Before listing all of the major allergens, I want to state that all of my recipes are naturally gluten-free. On this blog, I only use and recommend gluten-free ingredients and brands. That being said, I list gluten as a potential allergen when necessary– this is because many Korean ingredients (such as soy sauce, gochujang, and doenjang) contain gluten unless you specifically buy gluten-free versions. Not only is this true for gluten, but it is true for other major allergens as well. As such, I always list allergy substitutions in the next section of my post. 

This recipe does not contain 6 of the 9 major allergens. It does not contain: 

  • Peanuts
  • Fish
  • Crustacean Shellfish
  • Eggs
  • Milk (Dairy)
  • Tree Nuts

This recipe does contain 3 of the 9 major allergens. It can contain: 

  • Wheat (Gluten)
  • Soybean
  • Sesame

Allergy Substitutions or Omissions: 

For those with celiac disease, gluten allergy, and/or wheat allergy: 

To make this recipe gluten and wheat-free, switch out the soy sauce for gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos

For those with a soy allergy: 

Like those with a gluten allergy, you need to avoid soy sauce and if you have a soy allergy. Instead of using soy sauce, I recommend using coconut aminos. It is an excellent soy sauce alternative and is naturally soy and gluten-free! 

For those with a sesame allergy:

While the toasted sesame seeds add an extra nutty flavor to this dipping sauce, it is not necessary for the recipe. You can just omit the sesame seeds to make this recipe sesame-free! 

A photo of Korean cho ganjang (jeon sauce) in a blue and white small bowl. The bowl sits on a matching plate. Both sit on a cream table cloth.

Is This Recipe Vegetarian or Vegan?

Excitingly, this recipe is naturally vegetarian! Unfortunately, this recipe is not vegan as it contains honey. Replace the honey with other sweeteners such as sugar or corn syrup to make this recipe vegan!

Where Do I Buy the Ingredients?

You can buy most ingredients listed (such as soy sauce, vinegar, toasted sesame seeds, etc.) for this recipe at your local well-stocked grocery store. 

Unfortunately, two items may be difficult to find at most Western-style grocery stores: 

Instead, look for these ingredients at a Korean or Asian grocery store (such as H-Mart or a family-run business). Further, you can order dried versions of the green peppers online as well as the gochugaru! 

Where to Buy Korean Ingredients Online? 

Nowadays, there are many online options to choose from to order Korean food online. These websites are not limited to but include:

  • Amazon
  • H-mart
  • Hanpoom
  • Wooltari 

How Do I Store Leftovers?

To store your leftovers, place your cho ganjang in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. I recommend using it within a few days. 

I Hope You Enjoyed Learning How to Make This Korean Pancake Sauce Recipe!!

In the end, I hope you enjoyed learning how to make this delicious cho ganjang recipe! If so, let me know in the comment section!

If you would like to read more about cooking, you can find further recipes on this blog. I listed some of my favorite Carving A Journey recipes below! For reference, many recipes are influenced by my family’s blended Korean and Southern heritage.

Further Carving A Journey Recipes:

If you have any questions or comments, you can also email me at [email protected]. And, finally, I would love to hear from you through our social media as well! You can follow me at @carvingajourney on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. I also started a vlog YouTube channel with my husband! Or, if you would like more articles like these, you can subscribe to the blog by joining the mailing list. Let me know if you try making this Korean pancake sauce recipe (cho ganjang)! Thank you so much for stopping by!

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Korean Pancake Sauce Recipe (Cho Ganjang)

0.0 from 0 votes
Recipe by Emily Course: Recipe Index, Sauces and DipsCuisine: KoreanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

5

minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 TBSP Soy Sauce, Gluten-Free Tamari, or Coconut Aminos

  • 4 TSP Rice Wine Vinegar

  • 1 TSP Neutral Flavored Honey, More to Taste*

  • 1 Green Onion, Thinly Sliced

  • 2 TSP Toasted Sesame Seeds

  • 1 TSP Gochugaru

  • 1/2 Korean Pepper, Thinly Sliced**

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Stir until everything is well-combined. Serve in small bowls with a variety of jeon.

Notes

  • *For those on a vegan diet, replace the honey with sugar or corn syrup. As the instructions state, stir until all the ingredients are combined. Sugar can take longer to dissolve.
  • **If you cannot find a Korean pepper you can replace it with other types of hot pepper. I often use serrano peppers when I am unable to go to a Korean grocery store to pick up Korean peppers.

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