Chicken Bulgogi

The chicken bulgogi, which is also referred to as dak bulgogi (닭뮈고踰), is an excellent substitute for the conventional beef bulgogi. It provides a lighter and more leaner alternative, while still providing a pleasant and umami-packed experience. In this post, I will walk you through a recipe for Korean chicken bulgogi that is not only easy to make at home but also delicious and straightforward to prepare.

The Korean barbecue chicken recipe that is simple to follow will definitely amaze your guests, regardless of whether you are preparing it for a meal with your family or for a get-together with your friends. This Korean chicken bulgogi recipe is ideal for preparing for a barbecue that takes place outside or for a straightforward dinner preparation for the week. This chicken bulgogi can be served with rice, or it can be used as a filling for wraps, sandwiches, or salads. You can utilize it in any of these ways.

Chicken Bulgogi
Chicken Bulgogi

In this chicken bulgogi marinade, the mix of sweet, salty, and savory ingredients results in a flavor profile that is delectable and well-balanced. Check out my Korean cucumber salad, Korean corn cheese, or Korean fish cake stir fry if you are seeking for more delectable side dishes that you can serve with this Korean barbecue chicken recipe.

This chicken bulgogi recipe is marinated in a sweet and savory sauce comprised of soy sauce, garlic, ginger, mirin, brown sugar, and other seasonings, which makes it exceptionally delicious.

Chicken Bulgogi

Tender, juicy, and healthy: The marinade tenderizes the chicken, resulting in a soft and moist texture. Furthermore, chicken is a lean protein source, making it healthier than beef.

Korean barbecue chicken can be eaten with rice and side dishes, but it also works well as a filler for wraps, sandwiches, and salads!

Kitchen Equipment
This Korean barbecue chicken recipe requires only a few pieces of kitchen equipment.

Meat tenderizer: A meat tenderizer can help you balance out the thickness of your chicken thighs, ensuring an even roast.

Large Mixing Bowl: Use a large mixing bowl to combine the chicken bulgogi marinade and marinate the chicken.

To cook your chicken bulgogi, use a large skillet or grill.

Thermometer: To determine whether your Korean barbecue chicken is fully cooked, use a thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken.


Chicken thigh: I prefer chicken thighs for the most juicy and tender results.

Garlic: minced garlic adds a rich aromatic flavor to the chicken bulgogi marinade.

Ginger: freshly grated ginger also adds a subtle spicy aromatic to the Korean bbq chicken marinade.

Chicken Bulgogi
Chicken Bulgogi

Soy Sauce: soy sauce is the main base ingredient for the chicken bulgogi marinade. Make sure to use high quality soy sauce for the best flavor.

Brown Sugar: brown sugar is one of the sweeteners in the Korean chicken bulgogi marinade.

Honey: honey is the second sweetener that adds a nice floral sweetness to the chicken bulgogi. Keep in mind that honey burns quickly, so if your heat is too hot it may flash burn the chicken.

Mirin: mirin or rice wine adds a sweet and tangy flavor to the Korean bbq chicken marinade.

Toasted Sesame oil: toasted sesame oil adds a nutty and umami layer to the marinade.

Black pepper: black pepper seasons the bulgogi chicken.

Toasted Sesame Seeds: toasted sesame seeds adds a rich nutty flavor and aroma to the chicken bulgogi marinade.

Substitutions and Addition
This is your chicken bulgogi recipe, go ahead and make adjustments wherever you see fit. I’ve listed some suggestions below.

Chicken: you can alternatively use chicken breast or tenders if you prefer those cuts of chicken. Keep in mind the cook time may change depending on the size of the pieces.

Spice: if you wanted a spicy chicken bulgogi, add about 1 tablespoon of gochujang (Korean chili paste), and 1/2 a tablespoon of gochugaru (Korean chili flakes)

Brown sugar only: if you don’t want to use honey, go ahead and use brown sugar only! It will make cooking the chicken a lot easier. The marinade is less likely to burn as quickly before the Korean chicken bulgogi has time to cook.

How to Make Chicken Bulgogi

Here are the steps on how to make chicken bulgogi. Once the Korean bbq chicken is marinated, you can choose whether to cook it on a stovetop or the grill.

Prepare the chicken. Trim off excess fat from the chicken, cover the chicken with plastic wrap on top of a cutting board. Then pound the chicken with the flat side of a meat tenderizer to achieve even thickness.

Marinade the chicken. In a large mixing bowl, add the minced garlic, grated ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar, honey, mirin, sesame oil, black pepper and sesame seeds. Mix to combine. Add the prepared chicken and toss well to coat the chicken. Cover and marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes or preferably overnight in the refrigerator. Bring the chicken to room temperature before you begin for an even cook.

Option 1 (Stove): Cook the chicken. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil on your skillet over medium heat until hot. Add the room temperature chicken in a single layer and cook on each side for about 2 minutes 30 seconds on each side or until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165°F (73°C). The honey in the marinade may burn easily, so watch it carefully and reduce the heat as needed to avoid excess burning. Remove from the pan, cover with foil and let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Option 2 (grill): Cook the chicken. Preheat your grill to medium heat or about 400°F (259°C). Brush your grill with vegetable and place the chicken thigh directly on the grill gates, close the lid and grill for 5-6 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165°F (73°C). Remove from heat, cover with foil and let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Serve. Serve the chicken bulgogi with a bowl of rice, kimchi or a side salad and enjoy!

Chicken Bulgogi FAQ

1. What is Chicken Bulgogi?

  • Chicken Bulgogi is a Korean dish made with marinated chicken that is grilled or stir-fried. “Bulgogi” translates to “fire meat” and traditionally refers to marinated beef, but the chicken version is equally popular and delicious.

2. What ingredients are typically used in Chicken Bulgogi?

  • Chicken: Usually boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts.
  • Marinade: Soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and pepper. Sometimes, additional ingredients like Korean pear, honey, or gochujang (Korean red chili paste) are added for extra flavor.

3. How do you prepare Chicken Bulgogi?

  • Marinate the Chicken: Combine the marinade ingredients and mix with the chicken. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes, but preferably several hours or overnight for best flavor.
  • Cook the Chicken: Grill, pan-fry, or stir-fry the marinated chicken until fully cooked and caramelized around the edges.

4. Can I make Chicken Bulgogi ahead of time?

  • Yes, you can marinate the chicken ahead of time. The marinated chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before cooking. Cooked Chicken Bulgogi can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days and reheated before serving.

5. What can I serve with Chicken Bulgogi?

  • Chicken Bulgogi is often served with steamed rice and various Korean side dishes (banchan) such as kimchi, pickled radish, and sautéed vegetables. It can also be served in lettuce wraps or as a topping for salads and noodles.

6. Is Chicken Bulgogi spicy?

  • Traditional Chicken Bulgogi is not typically very spicy. However, you can adjust the spice level by adding ingredients like gochujang or red pepper flakes to the marinade.

7. Can I make Chicken Bulgogi gluten-free?

  • Yes, to make Chicken Bulgogi gluten-free, use gluten-free soy sauce or tamari instead of regular soy sauce. Ensure all other ingredients are also gluten-free.

8. Can I use other meats for Bulgogi?

  • Yes, Bulgogi can be made with different types of meat. Beef Bulgogi is the most traditional, but pork and tofu versions are also popular.

9. What is the best cut of chicken to use for Chicken Bulgogi?

  • Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are preferred because they remain moist and tender when cooked. However, boneless, skinless chicken breasts can also be used for a leaner option.

10. Can I cook Chicken Bulgogi on a barbecue grill?

  • Yes, Chicken Bulgogi can be grilled on a barbecue for a smoky flavor. Ensure the grill is preheated and well-oiled to prevent sticking.





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