BEST EVER SPICY KOREAN CHICKEN

KOREAN CHICKEN BURSTING WITH SAVORY SWEET HEAT THAT IS EASY TO MAKE AT HOME!

This Korean Chicken recipe is out of this world – and way easier, less messy and healthier than Korean Fried Chicken – but with ALL the flavor.  The Korean spicy chicken is bathed in a spicy, savory marinade spiked with soy sauce, honey, rice wine, garlic, ginger, and kicking gochujang.  The spicy, sweet, and savory notes are utterly addicting.  You can cook the Korean Chicken recipe on the grill, on the stove or in the oven – for an easy marinate and cook chicken dinner that’s destined to become a year-round favorite.

KOREAN BBQ CHICKEN – SAVORY SWEET HEAT

Korean Chicken is characterized by the perfect blend of spicy and savory with a hint of sweetness.  It’s one of my favorite flavor profiles due to the gochujang (Korean chili sauce) which delivers bold, complex flavors in just one ingredient.  That means this Korean Chicken recipe is super easy to make with less ingredients but boasts huge aromatic flavors that deliver a truly addictive result.

WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS BBQ CHICKEN (KOREAN RECIPE)

  • Easy: marinate and cook!
  • Simple ingredients:  grab some gochujang at your grocery store and now you have ALL the ingredients to make this Korean Chicken recipe any time.
  • FLAVOR!  you will be blow away at this flavor bomb. 
  • Versatile: you can cook this Korean chicken recipe on the stove, grill, or oven AND customize the heat.
  • JUICY and so TENDER:  the marinade tenderizes the chicken leaving it incredibly moist and flavorful.
  • Freezer friendly:  you can freeze the chicken in the marinade for an easy defrost and cook dinner or freeze it after cooking for an easy thaw and reheat dinner.

KOREAN CHICKEN RECIPE INGREDIENTS

Most of the ingredients for this Korean chicken recipe are pantry staples, except perhaps gochujang BUT it can be easily found at your grocery store (more on that later).  You will need: 

  • Soy Sauce.   Always use less sodium soy sauce otherwise your chicken will be too salty.  I recommend Kikkoman for the most rounded flavor.
  • Honey.  Mild clover honey will do the trick.
  • Brown sugar.  You may also substitute granulated sugar if that’s all you have.  Both the honey and brown sugar are needed to balance the savory soy sauce and spicy chili paste.
  • Sesame Oil Is made from sesame seeds and adds a fabulous nutty flavor but you may substitute vegetable oil.  I don’t recommend olive oil because we want an oil with a high smoking point.
  • Ginger.  Adds a fabulous, almost pepper kick.  You will need one tablespoon freshly grated ginger or you may substitute with ¾ teaspoon powdered ginger.
  • Garlic.  This Korean Chicken uses 4 garlic cloves but you may use more or less to taste.
  • Rice Wine.   Rice wine should become a pantry staple if you do much Asian cooking because it is used ALL the time. Rice wine is NOT rice vinegar– DO NOT switch them out.  Rice wine adds a sweetness and depth of flavor while also tenderizing the chicken.  Rice vinegar, on the other hand will add an acidic flavor.
  • Where do I Buy Rice Wine? I use “Kikkoman Aji-Mirin: Sweet Cooking Rice Seasoning” which is commonly found in the Asian section of most grocery stores or you can Amazon it.  I highly suggest you google image before you head off to the grocery store so you know exactly what you are looking for.  The best substitute for rice wine is pale dry sherry.
  • Gochujang.  Gochujang is a spicy Korean red chili paste that puts other chili pastes to shame.  Do NOT substitute with any other chili paste and expect the same results

HOW TO MAKE KOREAN CHICKEN

This Korean Spicy Chicken is extremely simple make – pound the chicken, marinate the chicken, cook the chicken!  Here’s how:

  1. Pound Chicken. Whether you use chicken breasts or chicken thighs for this Korean Chicken recipe, you will want to pound the chicken to an even thickness.  Pounding chicken to an even thickens not only helps tenderize the chicken but ensures the chicken cooks evenly. Even cooking eliminates dryness caused from overcooking the chicken in order to make sure the thickest part is cooked at the peril of the thinnest.
  2. Whisk marinade together. Whisk together all of the marinade ingredients in a large bowl or Ziploc bag (whatever you are going to marinate your chicken in).
  3. Reserve part of the marinade.  Remove ½ cup of the marinade.  This will become your sauce or dip for the cooked Korean BBQ Chicken. 
  4. Add chicken to marinade. Add chicken and massage marinade into chicken so it’s evenly coated/covered.
showing how to make Korean Chicken by whisking soy sauce, garlic, ginger, gochujang, honey together
  1. Marinate.  Marinate Korean Chicken for 4 to 8 hours. I normal marinate this chicken for 4 hours and it is seeping with flavor.
  2. Let chicken rest.  Let your chicken sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes before cooking so it will cook more evenly.
  3. Cook.  You can cook the Korean Spicy Chicken on the grill, stovetop or in the oven – all work fabulously well.

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