Gang Jeong (Sesame Candy)

This crunchy sesame seed candy, commonly served over traditional holidays, is quite addictive because it's deliciously nutty and not overly sweet. You can use already toasted sesame seeds, but I prefer to toast them before making the candy because the flavour is so much better that way. Make sure to work quickly when you roll out the sesame seed mixture. It doesn't take long for it to harden into candy.

Reprinted with permission from Korean Paleo by Jean Choi, Page Street Publishing Co. 2018.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Korean
Keyword candy, sesame
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 16 people
Calories 159 kcal
Author Jean Choi


  • 2 cups sesame seeds, white, black or both (300 g)
  • 1" piece ginger, minced (2.5 cm)
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar (100 g)
  • 1/2 cup honey (120 ml)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt


  1. If you are using raw sesame seeds, heat a large skillet over medium low heat. Add sesame seeds and toast them, stirring often, for 5-7 minutes until fragrant. If you are using toasted sesame seeds, start at the next step.

  2. Combine toasted sesame seeds and minced ginger in a bowl, mixing well.

  3. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Have another parchment paper of a similar size ready. 

  4. Combine coconut sugar, honey, and sea salt in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat while constantly stirring. Once it comes to a full boil, let it cook for 2 minutes while stirring, then remove from heat. Immediately pour the sesame seeds and ginger into the hot syrup and stir. Pour and spread this mixture on the parchment lined baking sheet. Place the second parchment paper on top of the mixture. Use a rolling pin to flatten the candy into even thickness, about ¼ - ½ inch (6 to 12 mm). 

  5. Remove the top piece of parchment paper, and let it cool for 10 minutes. Use a sharp knife to cut the Gang Jeong into rectangles or squares. 

  6. Let it cool completely before storing in an airtight container. You can even freeze Gang Jeong for up to 3 months.