Korean Spicy Barbecue Chicken — asian , chicken , marinade — For Two, Please

November 20, 2009

Korean Spicy Barbecue Chicken

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.


  1. Mmmmm, spicy chicken is one of my favorite Korean foods! I love kochujang... but I had to give it up as it contains wheat. :-( Oh well, I will just have to savor your pictures.

  2. LOL! I must agree with you about Korean food being red most of the time! But the spiciness is what gives the food its kick. Yummy looking dish!!


  3. Love the red and spiciness of Korean food. The chicken looks so good esp with the charred bits!


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