November 20, 2009
If I had to guestimate, I would say that about 85% of all Korean food is the color red. What does that mean? Well, it makes for a very vibrant and flavorful cuisine that's just a tad bit spicy. Before AC, I could hardly tolerate the heat -- I even used to think kimchi (Korean pickles) was spicy! Now that I'm older and wiser, I know kimchi is just child's play...bring on the real heat ;)
This chicken dish used to be one of my favorite meals back in the day because it was one of the few Korean foods that I could actually eat! Don't be fooled by its fiery, red looks though. While the marinade does contain some red pepper paste, it also has equal parts of sugar in it -- which when cooked, caramelizes to make a wonderfully sweet and spicy glaze. Ginger and garlic add more depth and spiciness to the flavor; pureed onions add a different, more subtle type of sweetness. Best served slightly charred and on the cusp of burnt, this is a dish that even those who think kimchi is spicy will enjoy.
Korean Chili Paste Spicy Chicken
Adapted from Week of Menus
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/4 cup kochu'jang (red pepper paste)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons mirin
1/2 cup onion, pureed
3 tablespoons minced ginger
2 tablespoons minced garlic
Mix all ingredients together (except chicken) in a large bowl. Add chicken and marinade overnight. Barbecue or broil until slightly charred.