Korean BBQ Chicken Bulgogi (Dak Bulgogi)

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

Love all the big flavors of Korean BBQ? Let me introduce you to Korean BBQ Chicken Bulgogi or Dak Bulgogi! Sweet, salty, garlicky — with all those charred little edges. YUM!

What is Korean BBQ Chicken Bulgogi (Dak Bulgogi)?

Korean BBQ Chicken Bulgogi is a popular chicken dish that’s cooked over a grill. Also called Dak Bulgogi, it belongs to the Korean family of bulgogi dishes. Flavored with soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and plenty of garlic and onion — it’s classic Korean BBQ fare!

Although most people are familiar with Korean Beef Bulgogi, the chicken version is just as delicious. And easy to make at home.

Kid-friendly, pantry ingredients, on the table in 30 minutes — with all that smoky char. You’ll be turning to this non-spicy Korean chicken recipe again and again!

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 alone.
  • 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.

Instructions:

  1. Whisk marinade ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Add chicken thighs and marinate overnight.
  3. Cook, choosing the method that’s most accessible for you:
    • 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 easy Korean chicken! Crispy, juicy, deeply flavored!
    • BBQ Grill. Adds smokiness from the grill.
    • Cast Iron Skillet. Cook in a hot cast iron pan for that smoky char.

Watch how to Make Chicken Bulgogi:

How to eat Korean BBQ Chicken Bulgogi:

There are so many ways to enjoy Dak Bulgogi! My favorite 3 ways:

  1. Easy Weeknight Meal: serve with rice, kimchi, and steamed vegetable of choice.
  2. Work from Home Lunch: pile into a bowl with a fried egg, avocado, Korean multi-grain rice, and furikake.
  3. Korean BBQ feast: serve with lettuce wraps and dipping sauces Ssamjang or Gochujang Sauce! Don’t forget the banchan (side dishes)! I recommend Oi Muchim (Korean Cucumber Salad), Gamja Salad (Potato Salad) and Dubu Jorim (Braised Tofu).

Variations:

  • Make it spicy! Add 1-2 Tbsp Gochujang for a spicier flavor.
  • Put it on a skewer. A fun and festive way to enjoy all those juicy, charred bites of chicken.
  • Spatchcock a whole chicken. The marinade is versatile and tastes spectacular with a spatchcocked chicken. Marinate overnight and grill on the BBQ until cooked through with charred, crispy edges.

FAQ

What is Bulgogi?

Bulgogi is a catch-all Korean term that includes any kind of fast-cooking meat with a salty-sweet-garlicky flavor profile that’s also sometimes spicy. There are many different kinds of bulgogi, made with different proteins and even vegetables like eggplant and King oyster mushrooms.

Bulgogi is literally translated “fire meat.” Often cooked over a grill pan, there’s a smoky element that makes it especially delicious and addicting!

Bulgogi is also a staple of Korean home cooking. The thinly sliced meat cooks up fast!

Can I substitute with chicken breast?

Yes, absolutely! Any kind of boneless chicken works. For chicken breast, I recommend cutting into 2-inch strips before adding to the marinade so all the flavors can soak through. Make sure not to overcook, as chicken breast dries out easily.

Other Bulgogi recipes you may love:

korean chicken bulgogi on plate with green onions

Korean BBQ Chicken Bulgogi (Dak Bulgogi)

The Subversive Table | Lis Lam
Salty-sweet, garlicky bites of chicken with charred, crispy edges — make Korean BBQ 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
Calories

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!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating