What Is Bulgogi?
Bulgogi (pronounced bull-GOH-ghee) is a famous Korean meat dish. ‘Bul’ literally translates to ‘fire,’ and ‘gogi’ means ‘meat.’ Traditional bulgogi is made with thinly sliced beef marinated in a sweet and spicy savory sauce. The bulgogi sauce usually contains gochujang paste
, soy sauce, Asian pear, and some other ingredients depending on the region. Beef bulgogi
is a KBBQ classic, but this delicious dish can also be made with other main ingredients. Other popular bulgogi dishes include Bulgogi Mushrooms
, Bulgogi Salmon
, and even Bulgogi Meatballs
Chicken Bulgogi Cooking Tips & Tricks
- You can choose any part of the chicken you like for this dish, but chicken thighs and chicken breasts are the best options. Here is a slightly different recipe of dak bulgogi using chicken breast - Bulgogi Grilled Chicken
- No matter what recipe of bulgogi sauce you choose to use, make sure to marinate the meat for at least several hours or even better overnight before you cook the chicken.
- You can make this recipe on an outdoor grill as well. In that case, make extra bulgogi sauce for basting.
- Chicken bulgogi is best served with steamed white rice. You can also serve it in traditional lettuce wraps with ssamjang or soybean paste. Korean side dishes like kimchi or sesame spinach salad also taste great with dak bulgogi.
Spicy Chicken Bulgogi Sauce Ingredients:
- Sesame Oil - has a nutty flavor and aroma and is a popular flavor enhancer in many Korean recipes. Light olive oil can be used to substitute Sesame oil in sauces.
- Rice Wine or Mirin Rice wine is a common ingredient in many Asian sauces and marinades. It tenderizes the meat and boosts the other flavors. You can use Mirin as a substitute for rice wine. And if you can’t find either one, dry sherry can work in this marinade as well. Don’t use rice vinegar as a substitute; it is not the same.
There are many recipes for bulgogi marinades. You can add these two popular marinade ingredients to your bulgogi sauce.
- Asian Pear- Many bulgogi sauce recipes contain Asian pears. They are juicy, sweet, hard, and crisp. You can substitute them with sweet and crisp Fuji apples. If you can’t find either, kiwi or pineapple could be an option as well.
- Gochujang Paste Gochujang is a staple ingredient in Korean cuisine. It is a thick, sweet, and spicy maroon-colored paste made from red chili pepper flakes, fermented soybeans, and sticky rice. It is a powerful umami agent in many Korean dishes and KBBQ sauces.
You Can Learn More About Korean Bulgogi Chicken Here: Chicken Bulgogi: How to Make the Best Korean BBQ Chicken
If You Like Korean Flavors, Explore Korean Fusion Cuisine