I am on a pan-Asian culinary kick lately. Testing out authentic Thai and Chinese cuisine, but never Korean, until now with Spicy Korean BBQ Chicken.
Spicy Korean BBQ Chicken is a spicy chicken marinade using chile garlic sauce, dark soy sauce and apple to balance the sweet. Use on any type of chicken and grill to perfection.
I’ve had Spicy Korean BBQ Chicken a lot and in many different variations. The marinade and sauce, a red chile base, is famous at traditional Korean BBQ joints, the ones where you cook your meat on a hot griddle in the middle of the table, and in Korean Hot Pots, also known as Bibimbap.
One of my girlfriends and I meet up several times a year to dine at our favorite Korean joint. A restaurant literally located in the basement of a Baltimore city row home, complete with low stone ceilings and uneven floors. You hear the sizzle coming and then breath in the intoxicating scent.
We are like Pavlov’s dogs hearing that sizzle. It is pure agony waiting for the 500 degree+ clay pot to cool enough to dig in. After dining at a different, but also as addictive Korean BBQ joint, I decided to take matters into my own hands and figure out how to make the simple sauce.
The base, red chile pepper, also requires garlic and red pepper chile flakes. I decided to to consolidate and use chile garlic sauce. To balance out the spice, honey and sugar.
Traditional sauces use maesil chung, a fruit based syrup mostly green plums or apricots, difficult to find, I opted for another sweet fruit, apple. While you can use light soy sauce, as many of us do these days, it will substitute just fine, but a dark soy packs a lot more punch and flavor.
The dish is served by itself or with rice, but I opted to quick stir fry vegetables leftover in my fridge with a small of seasoned rice vinegar.
If you’ve tried this BBQ chicken recipe, check these out:
- 1/2 cup chile garlic sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon rice wine
- 1/3 cup honey
- 3 tablespoons apple grated
- 1/2 yellow onion grated
- 1 inch nub fresh ginger grated
- 1 garlic clove grated
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 6 chicken thighs
- Scallions and sesame seeds for garnish
- Quick fried veggies
- Coconut Cilantro Rice
- Mix chile garlic sauce through coarse salt in a medium bowl. Remove 1/2 cup for basting and set aside.
- Marinate chicken in remaining sauce for 1-24 hours.
- Heat BBQ grill to medium-high heat. Oil grill and set chicken on in-direct heat for 25 minutes, turning occasionally.
- Move to direct heat and baste with remaining spicy sauce for 10 minutes+. Chicken should register at 165 degrees.
- Serve with quick fried veggies and Cilantro Coconut Rice. See notes for what I used.
If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was!
Instead of grating, place apple, onion, ginger and garlic in a small food processor and grind until a paste and wet.
You can use any type of chicken, breasts, drumsticks, etc.