Dak Bulgogi (Korean BBQ Chicken)

If you like sweet and savory bulgogi flavor but don’t like red meat, this one’s for you! Bulgogi is a marinated meat dish made with thin slices of beef. Dak bulgogi is a variation made with chicken. Dak means chicken. For the chicken version, I like to add a bit of lemon flavor. It certainly gives the dish a tasty spark! I used boneless chicken thigh, but you can use boneless breast or a combination of both parts. The bite size chicken pieces marinate and cook quickly, making this dish a good option for a weeknight meal. You can enjoy the chicken in lettuce wraps with a dollop of ssamjang or doenjang (soybean paste). It will be equally delicious simply served with your choice of salad or a side dish, such as sigeumchi (spinach) namul or watercress namul, along with a bowl of rice. Enjoy!

2 – 3 servings
Ingredients:
1 pound boneless chicken thigh and/or breast.

Marinade:
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey (or 1-1/3 more tablespoons brown sugar)
1 tablespoon rice wine (or mirin)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon sesame oil
pinch black pepper
1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Rinse chicken pieces. Trim off excess fat. Cut each of the chicken pieces into small sizes (about 2-inch long and 1-inch wide).

Mix the marinade ingredients in a bowl until the sugar has dissolved.

Coat the chicken pieces with the marinade. Marinate for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Preheat a skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken pieces, reserving the marinade. Cook until cooked through and slightly caramelized, about 2 minutes each side. (The sugar and honey in the marinade will burn easily, so watch it carefully and add the reserved marinade by tablespoon when the pan gets dry. You can slightly reduce the heat to avoid burning, if needed.)

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Comments

  1. This looks like a marinade a non-korean could handle cooking. Might try this :)

  2. One of my favorites! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe :) You have totally demystified dak bulgogi for me…can’t wait to try this!

  3. Oh I am definitely trying this tomorrow =) my hunny will love this!!

  4. I love Korean BBQ with any kinds of meat! I have so many bookmarks from your site but haven’t had a chance to cook yet. Hopefully soon! Will pin this when I check from my computer since I’m on phone right now…

  5. This look delicious! The chicken thigh is the best part of the chicken in my opinion

  6. Hi Hyosun! Thanks for visiting today! I actually stopped by your site earlier today when I was visiting my parents in LA and I was checking out the new look of your blog but I didn’t have a chance to leave a note. Your site looks FANTASTIC! :) I haven’t been very social and have slacked off on my blogging hobby but I do try to keep up regular posts although even that is difficult at times. I buy dak bugolgi from our local Korean market, pre-marinated. :) Haha. It proves to be a quick and easy dinner and my family loves it. My family will be impressed if I actually take the time to marinate my own chicken with your recipe. So glad to see you are doing well. Keep up the great work! Hugs to you too! :)

  7. This looks super yummy! Can’t wait to try this !

  8. Hyosun, have you posted this recipe especially for me? Just joking, but I’m not a big fan of beef actually and love chicken (and pork too! actually I have recently made one of your dishes using pork instead of beef and it was delicious too! I must only take nice photos and post it).
    This chicken dish looks absolutely luscious!

  9. Been wanting to try bulgogi for ages, like this chicken recipe so will be trying very soon, thanks for sharing.

  10. Made this tonight using chicken thighs and maple syrup (being a Korean-Canadian). My almost 3 yr old son could not stop eating! Great easy recipe! I added some onions when cooking. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Oh that’s great! I am glad to hear your son liked it. Maple syrup sounds really good. I bet it added a good layer of flavor. Thanks for letting me know! Cheers!

  11. This Korean BBQ chicken sounds great. Thanks for the recipe.

  12. This chicken looks fantastic, delicious, simple, and healthy! I’ll try out this recipe sometime soon! Thanks for sharing it!

  13. Anonymous says:

    This was so simple and delicious! I’m so happy I don’t have to buy the jarred marinate full of preservatives anymore. I just doubled the recipe for 2-3 lbs of boneless chicken. Thank you for the recipe!
    ~Celle

  14. hi Hyosun, another awesome recipe from you. This is the 3rd recipe I tried from your blog and it is very very good. My husband has ranked this top 10 :) Thank you and keep writing

  15. Hi! Can you please post some korean food recipes that are a little bit difficult to make? Thanks!

    • hi Ellen – Let me know if you have any particular dish in mind. Have you tried jjimdak (braised chicken)or galbijjim (braised short ribs)? Just a couple of examples of dishes that are a little more involved. Thanks for visiting!

  16. This was so delicious! Thank you for the recipe, I am adding it to my collection :) Have a great day!

  17. Thank you for sharing the dak bulgogi recipe! My husband and I made it twice and really enjoy it! :)

  18. I just stumbled upon your site and this recipe not only looks amazing, but the ONE I’ve been searching. I recently made the Korean BBQ beef and wanted to try the chicken. This looks perfect. I’m posting this and then heading out to the store to get the ingredients. I’m opting for the thigh meat because I think it’s the most flavorful, but I might throw a couple of strips of sliced breast meat in as well. Thanks so much for sharing this. I’m bookmarking your blog so I can follow all your creations! Thanks again!

  19. I am definitely trying this recipe for tonight!

  20. Hello there! I found your blog through Kay/The Church Cook! Oh, this looks so delicious, my son will LOVE it. I pinned it to Pinterest with your ‘pin it’ button, so THANK YOU! I am your newest Follower here too. :) I will also try to look for you on Pinterest! I absolutely love authentic family recipes such as this, thank you for sharing!
    Best,
    Gloria

  21. I made this today with sigeumchi namul and it was, hands down, the BEST Dak Bulgogi I’ve ever had. I’m stoked to try some more recipes!

  22. I love this recipe! Definitely a good option for someone who loves to try asian food but can’t eat other meats :)

  23. What if I can’t find rice wine? If I leave it out will it make a difference?

  24. hi, i love your site! So i was wondering if i can make this without the rice wine since im an non-alcoholic, would it make a difference? Thanks :)

  25. Anonymous says:

    I just made this dish & it’s seriously one of the most delicious chicken dishes I’ve ever made. I used chicken breast & olive oil since I didn’t have sesame oil. Thank you so much for sharing! I look forward to trying other dishes!

  26. I think my son will like this dak bulgogi. I will make this for his doshirak tomorrow ;)

  27. I cook a wide variety of foods, which my husband likes but my four kids do not. However, they all LOVE this dish. I have a hard time finding all the sauce ingredients in former Soviet Georgia where we teach in an international school, and never rice wine, but it tastes great just the same. I serve it with Korean vegetables and rice, which I think is like the bibimbap I had when I went out with my Korean friend. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    • This definitely is a kid-friendly dish. Very happy to hear your kids love it. You’re right rice wine can be omitted. You can also substitute it with dry white wine if you like. Teaching international students must be so much fun! Thanks a lot for for your feedback. I really appreciate it.

  28. Hi there! My cousins and I have been having ethnic theme nights and last night was Korean. Thank you for this recipe. It was very flavorful, easy to make and my family loved it. Thank you for sharing!!!

  29. My cousins and I have been doing ethnic theme nights for pot lucks and last night was Korean. Thank you for sharing this recipe. It was easy to make, VERY flavorful and I find that it could be a good “base” for other dishes like stir fry or BBQ on the grill. Thanks again for sharing.

    • Hi Roxy – Thank you so much for picking my recipe for your ethnic theme night meal! I’m so thrilled to hear it turned out well for you. I greatly appreciate your feedback. Cheers!

  30. I am trying this out tonight. My husband has made frequent trips to Korea and has asked for Korean food at home. It sounds great and easy to make.

  31. Trish Jarvis says:

    I just literally made this recipe a few mins ago after doing a google search for Korean recipes, and I’m so glad I did! It’s seriously delicious.

  32. Hey Hyosun,
    Thanks for sharing your above blog.Wow ! It’s really looking so much yummy dish. Me and my kids always like to eat chicken made dishes. Because it’s really delicious and easy to make this. Both of us always try to eat chicken meals. That’s why your above recipe help me to made this not only for me but also for my kids.

  33. I stumbled upon your blog because I was looking for a recipe for Korean BBQ after having bad experience with the frozen pre-cooked ones in grocery store. I am so definitely to try this BBQ chicken recipe of yours.

  34. are there any good side dishes you could recommend to go with this!!

  35. Robin F. says:

    Going to make this today, with some added red pepper powder, and spicycucumbers on the side. I used to work in a Korean restaurant, and miss it terribly!

  36. Trying this today : ) wanted to go out for bulgogi but it fell through. So now I am going to try the chicken version with your recipe and a side of Sangchoo Geotjeori~

  37. When you preheat the skillet, do you need to add oil? Sorry if my question is a bit dumb because I am a beginner. Thank you.

    • Justin – That’s actually a great question. You can do it either way. Use only a little if you use it. A bit of sesame oil will be good. Thank you!

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  39. carolina says:

    this seems so easy compared to other korean bbq recipes i’ve looked through online! will try it this week for sure. just a question, when using with chicken tighs do you prepare them with the skin?

  40. Beatloaf says:

    I’m about to try this today. I love both chicken and beef bulgogi in restaurants, but only recently thought about trying to recreate it for myself. Thanks for posting the recipe!

  41. Hi! Can I use the oven the broil it? Thanks!

    • Yes, you can. Closely watch it not to burn. You can also make the pieces a little larger for easy flipping. Enjoy!

  42. Hi Ms. Hysosun,
    This comment is long overdue. Been meaning to send you a quick note of appreciation but never had a chance to. Your new is beautiful, aesthetically pleasing, with crisp pics and wonderful recipes. I visit from time to time when I’m in a rut and seek inspirations on what to cook for my Korean hubby and my 2 girls (4 yro & 1.5 yro) who are 1/2 Korean 1/2 Vietnamese. It’s challenging at times as I want to ensure my girls are expose to a wide variety of ethnic cuisines other than their own, but at the end of the day, I want them to know and appreciate the food their parents grew up with and adored. Hopefully, they’ll enjoy it as much as we do. I’ve made your Dak Bulgogi a few times now and they’ve always turned out as crowd pleasers. A few months ago, I started a blog (Well, not exactly, more like a virtual box to chronicle recipes for dishes my girls “love and surely eat”). It’s a personal place I can refer back to when I have no game plan for dinner. I added your Dak Bulgogi and wanted to say “Thank you” for the inspirations and appreciate you for sharing your recipes!

    • Aww Michele – Thank you so much for the good words!! I’m delighted to be a small part of your effort to bring diverse ethnic dishes to your family table. I saw your post on dak bulgogi and was very impressed with all the thoughts you put into the dish considering your family preference. Loved how you added a Vietnamese twist, especially the fish sauce. Although it’s slightly different in taste, Koreans occasionally use their fish sauce in their marinades as well. Thanks for the mention and link! I really appreciate it. Happy cooking!

  43. I loved this recipe! Super easy and I was able to adapt a little by adding siracha to make a bit spicier for my husband:) thanks for the recipe. Were having it again tonight because it was such a hit in our home!

  44. Hello! I will be trying this recipe tomorrow night, and I’m wondering if I could use skin-on thighs and bake them in the oven?

  45. It was easy but my mom was cooking it while I was doing school work and she messed it up but it was still edible