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Time for Korean Grilling

Finally warmed up here in the inland NW and didn't want to cook inside so I did this up for dinner tonight.

Korean Twice Cooked Spicy Chicken

2 pounds boneless chicken thigh (4 to 6 thighs)

1/2 cup soy sauce
1 cup water or unsalted chicken broth
1/2 cup medium or fine ground red chili pepper
1 cup sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, or honey
2 fresh red chili or jalapeño peppers
1 small Asian pear*
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 small white or yellow onion
1 inch ginger root, peeled
1 tablespoon pure sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon coarse ground black pepper
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Korean rice cooking wine, rice vinegar, or mirin
(* may substitute 1/2 kiwi or 1 semi-sweet apple)


Trim off any excess fat
Very lightly salt and pepper both sides of each thigh and let stand ten minutes.

Slice onion, pear, peppers, and ginger root into small sections and place with garlic into blender, add water as needed and blend into a smooth paste.
In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Add a small amount of water as needed to maintain a thick smooth paste.
Stir well and refrigerate until use.

Place chicken in a mixing bowl, cover with marinade, and mix well.
Cover and place in refrigerator and let stand 4 to 8 hours.
Unused marinade may be refrigerated for future use


1st Cook - Grilling
Place chicken on hot grill over high heat.
Cook each side until the marinade darkens and a light char appears (two to five minutes per side).
(Note: The best flavor is obtained from wood coals or charcoal.)

2nd Cook - Stirfry
Cut chicken into short strips and transfer to a wok or stir fry pan.
Add one or two tablespoons of the marinade.
Stir-fry for about 3 to 5 minutes until marinade thickens and adheres to meat.
(If your grill is hot enough, you can do this with your fry pan on the grill)
Garnish with sesame seed and chopped green onion.
Serve hot with rice and Ban Chan.

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  1. this sounds totally delish! never heard of or tasted anything like this in any korean restaurant (or mom's house) but maybe I'll give it try....sounds a bit labor intensive though

    2 Replies
    1. re: missinfo

      This dish was one of the "street" foods I enjoyed many years ago in Korea. It was served as a "drinking" dish in soju tents where it was cooked over a charcoal stove. Most often done with pork, but sometimes with chicken.
      We offered this as a summer special at my former restaurant.

      1. re: hannaone

        The recipe sounds delicious! We also ate that growing up. Yeah, you're really not going to find this in every Korean restaurant. Your customers were very lucky. I didn't realize it was a popular street food in Korea. Oh, man. I've got to go back. I haven't been there in over 25 years!


      1. Seriously, have you ever thought about writing a cookbook?

        2 Replies
        1. re: rockycat

          Thought about it. Closest I've come so far is my web site.

          1. re: rockycat

            I second rockycat's suggestion. You could write a kickass cookbook!

          2. Is that 1/2 cup of HOT chili pepper!?!

            6 Replies
            1. re: Saucey

              Yes. This is a pretty spicy dish but the sweetener does offset the heat somewhat. You can sub milder fresh peppers if you want. Just blend them with the other ingredients for the marinade.

              1. re: hannaone

                Saw this posted this morning and decided to make it tonight. It was fabulous. I actually backed off slightly on the 1/2 cup of chili flakes by about 10%-15% or so, since I wasn't sure and it seemed like a lot. Heat factor was spicey but not at all overly so (I like heat), so I wouldn't be concerned about going with the whole 1/2 cup at all if you like spicey. It wasn't super fiery, just delicious. Also wasn't really labor intensive at all - most of the work was making the marinade. I doubled the amount of marinade I added to the stir-fry step, since it was so tasty - couldn't resist. Thanks for this recipe.

                1. re: andrewm

                  Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the feedback.

              2. re: Saucey

                Do you mean the finely ground red Korean chili pepper powder or the more common "pizza pepper?" Based on andrewm's post I'm not sure which you mean.

                1. re: chazzer

                  I use the fine ground Korean kochugaru, but that's not always available for everyone.
                  There is a coarser grind available that is often called chili flakes available in a wider variety of Asian groceries.
                  I'm not sure which type andrewm used but the flakes can be subbed for the powder.

                  1. re: hannaone

                    I didn't have any kochugaru and used standard chili flakes/crushed chilies/hot pepper flakes.

              3. Can't wait to make! Your recipes are so good. Quick question though; is it boneless, skinless chicken thighs or is the skin on?


                1 Reply
                1. re: brooklynmasala

                  It can be done with either, but better with boneless, skinless thighs. You can also do it with breast if you cut it into thinner portions, but thigh meat has much more flavor.

                2. How do you make it with pork? I assume the recipe would be basically the same, but what cuts of pork would you use, and how? I love pork, and get tired of chicken all the time.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: FibroLady

                    Pork loin, picnic shoulder, butt, pork belly, pork cushion, etc.
                    Use your favorite cut. I usually used picnic shoulder but would use any cut available.
                    Slice the pork into roughly 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick slices, marinade, then grill on high heat just until a light char begins to form (you want to be careful not to overcook).
                    Cut into strips, finish with the stir fry and enjoy.

                    EDIT: If you go with pork belly, there are a couple different types sold in Korean markets. Samgyeopsal (삼겹살) Three layer meat, or Ogyeopsal (오겹살) Five layer meat. I've had better results with the Ogyeopsal as it has a higher meat to fat ratio. I also trim the skin off of this cut and use the skin for something else.

                  2. Sounds yummy, I think I'm will try this recipe out when I am grilling on the 4th!! Anyhow would you happen to have a good recipe for kalbi? The premade stuff I find in the chinese & koream markets are usually missing something... ooooo and jap je too :) the few times I have tried it came out a giant mass of goo :( I know I am asking alot... thanks again for this posting...

                    4 Replies
                      1. re: hannaone

                        thank you so much!!! I will definately try both of these out for the 4th!! I also wanted to ask you about this, my friend's mom who is korean always marinated her meats with pepsi, have you ever heard this?

                        1. re: fayyeeyee

                          I've heard of variations from Hawaii that use use coke, pepsi, or sprite, but have nor tried this myself.

                      2. re: fayyeeyee

                        Here is another version of Jap Je:

                        Chop Che
                        (Jap Jae, jop jae, jap jae bap, chop che bop, etc)


                        1 12 ounce package Korean Starch Noodle (Korean vermicelli, sweet potato starch)
                        4 ounces of Beef, thinly sliced (lean)
                        2 medium white mushrooms, sliced
                        1 bunch fresh Spinach (approximately 3 ounces)
                        2 Green or Spring onion, cut into 1 inch sections
                        1/2 medium white or yellow onion, sliced
                        1 small Carrot, grated
                        1 teaspoon roasted Sesame seed
                        1/4 cup water
                        2 tablespoon blended sesame oil
                        1 teaspoon Soy sauce
                        1 tablespoon Sugar
                        1 medium bell pepper for Spinach

                        1 tablespoon soy sauce
                        1 tablespoon pure sesame oil
                        1 tablespoon sugar
                        1 teaspoon crushed garlic

                        Prepare the starch noodle:
                        Soak in cool water for about one hour. Pour off excess water then rinse in cold water. Drain thoroughly. Cut noodle into 3 inch lengths.
                        Alternate Method:
                        In a soup pot, bring 1 quart of water to a full boil. Add noodles and boil until soft. Remove from heat and rinse in cold water. Drain thoroughly. Cut noodle into 3 inch lengths.

                        Make the Marinade:
                        In a medium mixing bowl add 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon sugar, crushed garlic, and a light sprinkling of salt and pepper. Mix well.

                        Prepare the beef:
                        Cut the beef into approximately 1/2 inch by 2 inch strips. Place beef in marinade and roll or mix until beef is completely covered. Let stand at least 15 minutes.

                        Prepare spinach:
                        In a soup pot, bring 3 cups of water to full boil. Wash spinach in cold water, then completely immerse it in the boiling water. Remove from heat after 30 seconds and rinse immediately in cold water. Squeeze excess water from spinach.

                        Spread 2 tablespoon sesame oil in a stir fry pan and place over medium heat.
                        Add beef mixture to hot pan and brown.
                        Quickly add mushrooms, onion, green onion, and carrot. Stir fry approximately 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
                        Add water, noodles, spinach, sesame seed, sugar, and soy sauce.
                        Stir constantly until liquid is gone.
                        Remove from heat and serve.

                        Yield: approximately 5 servings

                      3. This sounds delicious! I'm going to make the recipe for my husband and myself but it would be too spicy for my mom and kids (1 and 3 yo). Have you made a mild version of this? Is it just as good if I cut out the peppers or maybe cut back to a 1/4 of the recipe? Just curious. Thanks!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: chau

                          Instead of the spicy chili powder, you can sub 6 or more fresh mild red or green peppers. Just toss em into the blender with the other marinade ingredients. Taste as you go and add more peppers if needed.