According to historical record, ssam was eaten in the Chinese court by Korean women of who had been sent to China as tribute/hostage.
Many of these hostages were returned to Korea and by the end of the Joseon era, ssam had become an established seasonal dish.
Did You Know?
For many years, Ssam has been served in Korean BBQ Restaurants outside of Korea, but it's popularity exploded with the success of David Chang's Momofuku in New York City.
Seemingly overnight many people began seeking out Korean Grill restaurants with Ssam offerings. Ssam is now a primary feature at Korean restaurants in many places around the world.
Various vegetables can be used as ingredients such as lettuce, cabbage, bean leaves, and pumpkin leaves, which may be used raw or blanched. Other vegetables like thin sliced cucumber or carrot (blanched to soften) may be used as the "wrap".
Seaweed such as miyeok and kim are also used.
Ssam may also be used to refer to various foods wrapped and cooked in eggs.
The version made with steamed pork is commonly known as bossam and is a popular dish throughout Korea.
Ssambap is a dish in which rice is included.
A Few Specific types:
Kim ssam (김쌈), wrapped with kim, seaweed
Sangchu ssam (상추쌈), wrapped with lettuce
Baechu ssam (배추쌈), wrapped with napa cabbage leaf
Kkaenip ssam (깻잎쌈), wrapped with perilla leaf
Chwi ssam (취쌈), wrapped with chwinamul
Hobakip ssam (호박잎쌈), wrapped with pumpkin leaf
Kimchi ssam (김치쌈), wrapped with kimchi
Jeonbok ssam (전복쌈), wrapped with sliced and soaked dried abalone
Muneo ssam (문어쌈), wrapped with sliced octopus
Po'ssam (포쌈), wrapped with seasoned raw beef
Gotgam ssam (곶감쌈), wrapped with dried persimmon
Milssam (밀쌈), wrapped with a thin crepe made from wheat flour
Eossam (어쌈), wrapped with thin fish filet
Oissam , wrapped with thin sliced cucumber