This spicy grilled Korean BBQ chicken is so flavorful. It’ll become your favorite for summer grilling if you like spicy food.
Here’s another Korean BBQ option for your summer grilling! This spicy chicken bulgogi recipe is so flavorful, and I am confident that it will become one of your grill favorites.
Not a spicy lover? Not to worry! I already have a mild version of this chicken bulgogi recipe, which is a highly popular recipe.
The dark meat stands up better to the bold marinade in this recipe than white meat. I like to use boneless thigh meat for grilling. Its open, flat surface works well for marinating and grilling. But, you can use chicken breast if preferred.
In Korea, deboned drumstick meat is also popular for similar dishes. Keeping the skin is a matter of preference.
The spicy chicken bulgogi marinade is gochujang (Korean chili pepper paste) based. I also use gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper paste to increase the spicy level, which can be adjusted or omitted to your desired spicy level.
As a sweetener for the marinade, I used Korean plum syrup called maesil chung (매실청) along with sugar. It adds a bit of acidity and fruity sweetness to the dish. Other options are pineapple juice or grated apple. But, simply use more sugar, honey, oiligodang (oligo syrup), or your favorite sugar substitute.
The marinade can be prepared 2 to 3 days ahead of time. Marinate the chicken overnight for best results.
What to serve chicken bulgogi with
This spicy chicken bulgogi is delicious with lettuce wraps with ssamjang. You can also grill some vegetables such as onion, zucchini, and/or mushrooms. Simply cut them up, toss with some olive oil or sesame oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper before grilling. There’s an effortless side dish to serve with the meat!
If you rather go with an assortment of banchan (side dishes) to complement your spicy chicken, here’s a collection of 15 easy and healthy Korean Vegetable Side Dishes.
Spicy Chicken BulgogiMain
- 2 pounds boneless chicken thigh You can use chicken breast if you want
For the marinade
- 2 to 3 tablespoons gochugaru (고추가루), Korean red chili pepper flakes or to taste (this only changes the spicy level, so you can also omit it for less spicy chicken)
- 1 tablespoon sugar (or light brown sugar) or your favorite sugar substitute
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine or mirin white wine is good too
- 2 tablespoons gochujang (고추장), Korean red chili pepper paste
- 2 tablespoons maesil chung, 매실청 (or 2 to 3 tablespoons pineapple juice or grated apple) You can simply use more sugar, honey, or oiligodang (올리고당) (about a tablespoon) instead.
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/4 medium onion, grated (about 1/4 cup)
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- pepper to taste
For the garnish
- 2 tablespoons chopped scallions
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds