Chicken Bulgogi [Dak Bulgogi]

Salty-sweet, garlicky bites of chicken with charred, crispy edges — make Chicken Bulgogi or Dak Bulgogi a dinnertime staple!

If you love all the big flavors of Korean Beef Bulgogi but want a non-beef version, Chicken Bulgogi is every bit as delicious, exciting, and easy. But made with chicken instead of beef!

The flavor profile is the same: sweet, salty, garlicky — and FULL of Korean flavor!

Also known as Dak Bulgogi, this is a great non-spicy, weeknight recipe.  Kid-friendly and made with pantry ingredients, you’ll be turning to this Korean chicken recipe again and again!

What is Korean Bulgogi?

Bulgogi is a popular Korean dish that refers to marinated meat that’s cooked quickly over a flame. Literally translated as “fire meat,” it’s typically flavored with soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and plenty of garlic and onion.

The key components of Korean bulgogi: quick cooking with a salty-sweet-garlicky flavor profile. That makes Korean bulgogi, in its many forms, accessible and friendly for home cooks!

How to cook Dak Bulgogi:

There are many ways to cook Korean Chicken Bulgogi. Versatile and weeknight-friendly, these marinated chicken thighs can cook up in a number of different ways.

  • Non-Stick Skillet. The easiest, most accessible way to cook! Use medium heat and do not disturb the chicken to get that golden char.
  • Air Fryer. My favorite way to cook this chicken dish! Crispy, juicy, deeply flavored Korean chicken!
  • BBQ Grill. Adds smokiness from the grill.
  • Cast Iron Skillet. Cut into 2-inch long pieces and grill in a hot cast iron pan for the ultimate KBBQ experience!
close up of korean chicken bulgogi

How to eat Chicken Bulgogi:

There are so many ways to enjoy Dak Bulgogi! To help you get started, here are my favorite 3 ways to enjoy this easy Korean chicken bulgogi recipe.

  1. For an easy weeknight meal, serve with rice, kimchi, and steamed vegetable of choice.

2. For a work from home lunch, pile into a bowl with a fried egg, avocado, Korean multi-grain rice, and furikake. A drizzle of sriracha and kewpie mayo adds lots of flavor.

3. For a Korean BBQ inspired meal, include lettuce wraps and add a dab Ssamjang or Gochujang Sauce on top! Make sure to add banchan (side dishes) of choice. I recommend Oi Muchim (Korean Cucumber Salad), Gamja Salad (Potato Salad) and Dubu Jorim (Braised Tofu).

Ingredients:

  • Chicken. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs make for fast-cooking, juicy meat.
  • Soy Sauce. Provides salty depth and umami. Do not use the low-sodium kind!
  • Brown Sugar. Deeper flavor than white sugar lone.
  • Mirin. Korean/Japanese sweet cooking wine.
  • Sesame Oil. For nutty fragrance.
  • Garlic, Onion, Green Onion, Ginger. The aromatics that are the flavor base of the marinade.

Other Bulgogi recipes you may love:

Watch how to Make Chicken Bulgogi:

korean chicken bulgogi on plate with green onions

Korean Chicken Bulgogi [Dak Bulgogi]

The Subversive Table | Lis Lam
Salty-sweet, garlicky bites of chicken with charred, crispy edges — make Chicken Bulgogi or Dak Bulgogi a dinnertime staple!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Marinating Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course BBQ, Dinner
Cuisine Korean
Servings 4

Equipment

  • Non-stick Skillet
  • OR Air Fryer (I use a 5.3L Cosori)
  • OR BBQ Grill
  • OR Cast Iron Skillet

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs about 8 thighs

Marinade

  • 1/4 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar (can be subbed with white sugar, maple syrup, or honey)
  • 2 Tbsp Mirin
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 small onion (or 1/2 large onion) thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 inch fresh ginger minced
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Combine marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Add chicken and mix thoroughly until well combined.
    (Marinate at least 30 minutes, but preferably overnight. If cooking immediately, let stand at room temperature.)   

Non-stick Skillet Instructions:

  • In a non-stick skillet, heat 1 Tbsp vegetable oil over medium heat. Add chicken in a single layer, slightly touching each other. Cook, undisturbed, until browned and charred on one side, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Flip the chicken and cook until done, another 4-5 minutes. Lower heat if necessary, to prevent burning. The chicken should be browned with crispy looking edges. Transfer to a large plate. Repeat process until all the chicken is cooked.
  • Loosely cover with foil while you cook the remaining chicken. When finished, garnish with reserved green onion.
  • Serve immediately with rice and kimchi! Lettuce wraps and ssamjang are also nice additions.

Air Fryer instructions:

  • Preheat Air Fryer at 400F for 5 minutes. Add chicken thighs in a single layer, slightly touching each other. Cook at 400F for 5 minutes. Flip. Cook at 400F for another 5 minutes. Flip one last time. Cook at 400F for 2 minutes to get those crispy edges.
  • Serve immediately with rice and kimchi! Lettuce wraps and ssamjang are also nice additions.

BBQ Grill Instructions:

  • Heat grill over high heat until hot. Add chicken thighs in a single layer. When the edges are firm and the chicken is nicely charred on one side, flip to the other side. Continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side.
  • Serve immediately with rice and kimchi! Lettuce wraps and ssamjang are also nice additions.

Cast Iron Skillet

  • Heat Cast Iron Skillet over medium heat until hot. Add 1 tsp vegetable oil and swirl around in the pan. When the oil starts to smoke slightly, add chicken thighs in a single layer, making sure not to crowd the pan.
  • When the edges are firm and the chicken is nicely charred on one side, flip to the other side. Continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side.
  • Serve immediately with rice and kimchi! Lettuce wraps and ssamjang are also nice additions.
Keyword Chicken Bulgogi
Air Fryer, All Recipes, Chicken, Dinner with Friends, Korean, Main, Potluck, Weeknight Meals

6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve never had chicken bulgogi before until I saw Lis post this recipe on Instagram. It’s so easy to prepare and delicious! I decreased the amount of sugar to 2 tbsp & kept everything else the same. It came out great! I saved the marinade to sauté cauliflower with it and it was amazing! Highly recommend using the leftover marinade to sauté veggies with!!

  2. Pingback: Gochujang Sauce (Bibimbap Sauce) | The Subversive Table

  3. Who wouldn’t love Korean bulgogi? Chicken is great to replace the beef in the same delicious marinade. I agree, it doesn’t have to be spicy to be a delicious Korean food.

  4. Pingback: Bulgogi - The Subversive Table

  5. Pingback: Ssamjang aka Ssam Sauce - The Subversive Table

  6. looks yummy! Got to give this a try!

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