When I was in culinary school one of my instructors, who is from Japan, would often shake his head at us and laugh at the American way of changing traditional dishes from any country, as he would proclaim he was raised to follow tradition in his cooking. This dish definitely falls into the category of veering from tradition–it’s possible the only thing that makes this dish Korean is the use of the delicious Korean condiment, gochujang. I served it on top of Korean vermicelli noodles so I upped the suitability of the moniker, but let’s face it it’s still my Americanized version. I laughed quietly to myself as I remembered my teacher while making this, but I’m sure even he would approve of the taste.
Spicy Korean Grilled Chicken via the kitchn
1/2 minced yellow onion
5 minced garlic cloves (I used a micro plane)
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
1 T brown sugar
2 T honey
2 tsp rice vinegar
2 T sesame oil
3# bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (I cut up a whole chicken, if you’re buying it already cut, go for thighs, keeping the skin on is important)
Combine the onions, garlic, soy sauce, gochujang, brown sugar, honey, rice vinegar, and sesame oil in a bowl and mix well. Place both chicken and marinade in a zip top plastic bag, making sure chicken is well coated. Marinate the meat in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours or overnight, flipping once halfway through, more time is better.
An hour before you’re ready to eat, heat your grill to about 500 degrees F.
Grill the chicken for about 7 minutes on each side, although depending on the cut you’re using this will vary–breasts cook faster, drumsticks take the longest, and wings will be done first. Watch your grill, between the skin and the marinade it will tend to flame a lot. Turning down the flame will reduce some charring (remember you do want some!). If your grill has inconsistent heat you can finish it in the oven so it doesn’t char too much.
Serve with noodles, rice, or salad. Don’t forget napkins!