From Tiandi Encyclopedia
Yamilssam served with lime and kimchi
Place of origin Yahuimilco
Creator unknown
Serving temperature Hot or room temperature
Main ingredients Flour tlaxcallis, meat and beans or refried beans
Ingredients generally used Rice, lettuce, guacamole, sauce, onion, lime, yogurt, cilantro
Cookbook: Yamilssam  Media: Yamilssam
Hangul 야밀쌈
Hanja 椰謐쌈
Revised Romanization yamilssam
McCune–Reischauer yamilssam

A yamilssam (Jeongmian: 쌈謐椰 (밀야), IPA: [ja:mil.s͈am]; Nahuatl: 나가ᅞᅡ:오욯 ᅞᅡᆺ가리, nacatlaōyoh tlaxcalli, IPA: [nːa.ka.t͡ɬaˌoː.joʔ.t͡ɬaːʃˈka.lːi]), commonly reduced to yassam (Jeongmian: 쌈椰 (), IPA: [ja:s͈am]), is a type of Yahuimilcan and Jeongya food consisting of various fillings, nearly always including meat and beans, enclosed within a tlaxcalli wrapped or folded into a cylindrical shape. The tlaxcalli is at times lightly steamed or grilled to soften it, make it more pliable, and to allow it to adhere to itself when wrapped. They are often eaten by hand, as their tight wrapping keeps the ingredients together. However, they can also be served "wet," in which the yamilssam is covered in a spicy and savory sauce, then served pre-sliced.

Yamilssam are most often filled with a savory filling, most frequently tofu or a meat such as pork, beef, or chicken. In addition, a whole variety of other ingredients such as rice, cooked beans, vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, and kimchi, and various condiments such as molli, guacamole, or yogurt are added.

It has become one of the most popular foods in the world and a common fast food all across the Central world, with many restaurants specializing in yamilssam. Many companies sell ready-made yamilssam that can be easily heated through a conventional microwave. However, yamilssam are also served at specialty and high-end restaurants; at high-end restaurants they tend to be of the "wet" type and served pre-sliced.


The word yamilssam (椰謐쌈) literally means "Yahuimilco wrap" in Jeongmian, due to how yamilssam are wraps as well as their association with Yahuimilco in the Jeongmian-speaking world. The Nahuatl name nacatlaōyoh tlaxcalli means a "tortilla meat-filled pastry."


Claims of invention[edit]


Wet yamilssam[edit]

A popular way to serve yamilssam is to serve it covered in a sauce, usually a black, red, or green molli. This is then cut into several slices which can be picked up by chopsticks.


Yamilssam has long had a presence in the major port city of Tlaxcallan, the capital of Jeongmian Yahuimilco. Yamilssam in Yahuimilco is smaller, thinner, and simpler, usually containing only one or two of a myriad of ingredients within the tlaxcalli. While yamilssam is among the most well-known examples of Yahuimilcan cuisine worldwide, it is only popular along Yahuimilco's west central coast and nearby provinces. There is, however, an increasing presence of yamilssam in other areas of Yahuimilco. Wet yamilssam are typically not consumed in yamilssam.


Yamilssam found popularity among Yahuimilcan manual laborers imported to aid with labor shortages during the Great Eulhae War in the 1930s due to their ease of transport and consumption when working in the regimented factories of wartime Jeongmi. Despite much of the Yahuimilcan-Jeongmian community being deported following the high unemployment that came with the return of large masses of troops, yamilssam had found popularity among working class communities in large industrial cities such as Hapcheon, Dosan, and Yongin.

The 1940s and 1950s saw the influx of a large amount of refugees, mainly nohaes (ethnic Jeongmians living in Yahuimilco), collaborators with the colonial regime, and others who feared the uncertainty and instability the period as Yahuimilco tried and managed to obtain its independence from Jeongmi. It was during this period that yamilssam became seen as a mainstream dish, regularly and often consumed by Jeongmians for meals.

Hapcheon is home to the largest Yahuimilcan community in Jeongmi, and it is easy to find several varieties of yamilssam, both authentic and heavily Jeongmianized.

Similar dishes[edit]