Gochujang chicken is a delicious Korean recipe featuring the fermented red chile paste that is spicy and full of umami. This spicy Korean chicken recipe is easy to make either on the barbecue grill or in a grill pan on the stovetop.
I got the inspiration for this spicy Korean chicken recipe from three women I met at a hippie hot springs resort in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. They were two thirty-something sisters and their mother, who was visiting from Korea.
Three times a day they would descend on the lodge’s communal kitchen, filling the building with mouthwatering smells. This spicy and addictive gochujang chicken is my attempt at replicating the dishes they turned out.
I love making this dish with chicken thighs because the meat stays juicy and is more flavorful than chicken breast meat.
What is gochujang and where do you get it?
Gochujang is a fermented condiment that is similar to Japanese miso but spicy. to make it, hot chiles ferment with rice, soybeans, and salt. It’s dark red and a thick, sticky consistency. It is both spicy and full of intense umami.
You can buy my tubs of gochujang at any Korean market (SF Bay locals, Koreana Plaza on Telegraph and 27th in Oakland is an amazing Korean market!) It is also available in larger Asian markets or online.
What ingredients do you need?
The easy gochujang chicken marinade has only 6 ingredients!
How do you make it?
- Mix the marinade ingredients, add the chicken, toss to coat, and marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
- Grill the chicken, either on an outdoor grill or in a grill pan.
- Let the chicken rest for 5 to 10 minutes and then slice it into strips.
How do you serve it?
Serve the sliced chicken with the lettuce leaves, mint, and ssamjang dipping sauce. Diners are meant to wrap pieces of chicken along with the herbs and sauce in the lettuce leaves.
Bundle the chicken, herbs, and other garnishes into crisp lettuce leaves and eat the wraps with your hands.
More great chicken recipes you’ll love
- Chinese Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings
- Sesame Chicken
- Chicken Satay
- Chicken Karaage
- Air Fryer Buttermilk Fried Chicken
- Kung Pao Chicken
- Tandoori Chicken
- Harissa Chicken
- Chicken Shwarma
- 1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts
- 1 small yellow onion thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 5 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons gochujang fermented red pepper paste
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- For serving
- 1 head butter lettuce or other wide-leafed lettuce leaves separated but kept whole
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1 to 3 hot red chilies thinly sliced
- Ssamjang or additional gochujang thinned with a bit of sesame oil
- In a large bowl, combine the onion, garlic, soy sauce, gochujang, honey, and sesame oil and stir to mix well.
- Add the chicken and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.
- Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade, reserving the marinade if desired. Add the chicken and cook until browned on the outside and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.
- Remove from the grill and let stand for 5 minutes.
- If you reserved the marinade, put it (including the onions) in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Let boil for at least 5 minutes. The sauce will thicken a bit.
- Slice the chicken pieces into strips and transfer them to a platter. Drizzle the reduced marinade over the top, if using.
- Serve with the lettuce leaves, mint, chilies, and dipping sauce.