ANN / THE KOREAN HERALD – When you hear the word bulgogi, you immediately think of the famous Korean beef dish.
However, bulgogi is not limited to beef. Try this chicken bulgogi – Korean barbecue chicken – and you will be amazed at how wonderful the chicken tastes.
Bulgogi chicken, also known as dak bulgogi, is often confused with dak galbi, another spicy Korean chicken recipe.
While dak galbi is pan-fried chicken and vegetables with a spicy sauce in a pan, dak bulgogi is only chicken without vegetables cooked on a grill. Hence, it is called Korean chicken barbecue.
Chicken bulgogi can be made with soy sauce based seasoning, which has its own unique savory flavor, but I like to enjoy my gochujang seasoned chicken bulgogi, or Korean chili paste. As a general rule, boneless, skinless chicken thigh meat is preferred over chicken breast. Traditionally, chicken bulgogi is cooked on a grill, but you can also use other cooking methods such as broiling or pan frying.
What does bulgogi mean?
Bul means fire and gogi means meat in Korean. As the name suggests, chicken bulgogi means chicken meat cooked over a fire. Now you can see why so many Korean restaurants have an open grill in the middle of the dining tables. It’s there to cook meat right at your table so you can enjoy hot grilled meat right away.
Other ways of cooking chicken bulgogi:
Brush hot grill grates with oil and place chicken on them. Grill for three to four minutes per side, turning only once.
Place an oven rack 12-15 centimeters below the heat source and preheat the oven to broil. Place a greased cooling rack on a large (half-size) baking sheet and place on chicken pieces without overlapping. Grill four to five minutes per side. Make sure to keep an eye on your chicken so that you don’t char it too much.
Heat a tablespoon of oil on a non-stick pan over high heat, add pieces of chicken without cluttering the space. You may need to fry the chicken in batches.
Cook for three to four minutes per side until the chicken is cooked through. If the sauce burns and the chicken pieces start to stick to the pan, wipe off with a damp paper towel.
I’ll admit that grilling will make the tastiest chicken bulgogi. However, you can still enjoy delicious chicken bulgogi by grilling or pan-frying them. I am using the broiling method this time. (I prefer this to the pan). It’s easy to clean and you don’t need the extra oil needed for the pan frying method.
– Six boneless, skinless chicken thighs
– Three tablespoons of Korean chili paste (gochujang)
– A tablespoon of Korean pepper flakes (gochugaru) optional
– A tablespoon of soy sauce
– One to two tablespoons of light brown sugar
– A tablespoon of minced garlic
– A teaspoon of ginger puree
– A tablespoon of Korean corn syrup (mulyeot)
– A tablespoon of sesame oil
– Half a teaspoon of black pepper
– Five to six thinly sliced Korean perilla leaves, for garnish, optional
– A tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds to garnish
Put a piece of plastic wrap over the chicken thighs and mash with a tenderizer to stretch. Put aside.
In a large bowl, combine the gochujang, gochugaru (if using), soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, corn syrup, sesame oil and pepper.
Add the chicken thighs and toss to coat evenly. Let the chicken rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to broil. Place the oven rack 12-15 centimeters below the heat source.
Grease a cooling rack with oil and place on a large (half-size) ovenproof dish lined with foil. Distribute the chicken pieces on the grill without overlapping. Grill, four to five minutes or until the surface is lightly charred. Flip the chicken over to the other side and grill for another four to five minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
Keep an eye on the chicken so as not to char it too much.
Cut the chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces and place them in a serving dish. Garnish with minced perilla leaves and toasted sesame seeds. Serve hot with rice.