Spicy Grilled Korean Chicken

Pile of Spicy chicken bulgogi on a plate

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, by the way, is one of the most popular recipes on my blog.

The dark meat stands up better to the bold marinade in this recipe. Boneless thigh meat is my favorite chicken part for grilling. Its open, flat surface works well for marinating and grilling. In Korea, deboned drumstick meat is also popular for similar dishes. Keeping the skin is a matter of personal preference. 

Spicy grilled Korean chicken

As a sweetener for the marinade, I used Korean plum syrup called maesil chung (매실청) in addition to honey and sugar. It adds a bit of acidity and fruity sweetness to the dish. Other options are pineapple juice or lemon juice with a bit more sugar. Grated apple works well too. The marinade can be made 2 to 3 days in advance. Marinate the chicken overnight for best results.

On another subject, if you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the video of my first ever cable TV appearance! You can imagine how nerve-racking it was, but it was such an honor to be on a Korean cable network to share my stories about this blog, Korean food, and my readers.

Thanks for watching!

Spicy chicken bulgogi


Spicy Korean grilled chicken

All the tableware shown in the final photos of this post are sponsored by Huue Craft, an online store dedicated to the finest Korean pottery tableware. They ship worldwide to over 25 countries. Please visit Huue Craft online store and check out their beautiful tableware!

DSC 0962 150x150 1 - Spicy Grilled Korean Chicken

Spicy Grilled Korean Chicken

4.64 from 11 votes
Servings: 4
Print Recipe


  • 2 pounds boneless chicken thigh

For the marinade

  • 3 tablespoons Korean red chili pepper flakes gochugaru, 고추가루
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine or white wine
  • 2 tablespoons Korean red chili pepper paste gochujang, 고추장
  • 2 tablespoons honey or 3 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons maesil chung 매실청 (or 2 to 3 tablespoons pineapple juice or grated apple)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 medium onion grated (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pepper to taste

For the garnish

  • 2 tablespoons chopped scallions for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds for garnish


  • Rinse chicken pieces. Drain. Trim off excess fat. Cut each chicken thigh in half crosswise. Cut open any thick parts.
    spicy Korean grilled chicken
  • Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
    Spicy Korean grilled chicken
  • Coat the chicken with the marinade. Marinate for a few hours (preferably overnight) in the refrigerator.
    Spicy Korean grilled chicken
  • Preheat a lightly oiled grill over medium high heat. When hot, add the chicken pieces. Cook until cooked through and slightly caramelized, about 4 to 6 minutes each side. Reduce the heat if the chicken starts to burn. You can also cook the chicken indoor on a grill pan or in a skillet.
    Korean grilled spicy chicken


Grill some vegetables such as onion, zucchini, and/or mushrooms. Simply cut up, toss with some sesame oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper before grilling. You will have an easy side dish to serve with the meat.
Tried this recipe?Mention @koreanbapsang or tag #koreanbapsang!