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Spicy marinated chicken

Spicy marinated chicken (Korean Babsang)
Spicy marinated chicken (Korean Babsang)

This spicy marinated chicken dish is another great option for your Korean barbecue this summer. Dark meat stands up better to the bold marinade in this recipe. Boneless thigh meat is my favorite part of the chicken for grilling. Its open, flat surface works well for marinating and grilling. Deboned drumstick meat will be excellent for this recipe as well. Keeping the skin or not is a matter of personal preference.

As a sweetener for the marinade, I used a Korean plum syrup called “maesil jeong” 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 two to three days in advance. Marinate the chicken overnight for best results. 


1 kilogram boneless chicken thigh 

For the marinade:

3 tablespoons Korean red chili pepper flakes (gochugaru)
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine (or white wine)
2 tablespoons Korean red chili pepper paste (gochujang)
2 tablespoons honey (or 3 tablespoons corn syrup)
2 tablespoons maesil jeong
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4 medium onion, grated
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste

For the garnish:

2 tablespoons chopped scallions
1 teaspoon sesame seeds 

Rinse chicken pieces. Drain. Trim off excess fat. Cut each chicken thigh in half crosswise. Cut open any thick parts. 

Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix well. 

Coat the chicken with the marinade. Marinate for a few hours (preferably overnight) in the refrigerator. 

Preheat a lightly oiled grill or grill pan over medium high heat. When hot, add the chicken pieces. Grill until cooked through and slightly caramelized, about four to six minutes on each side. Reduce the heat if the chicken starts to burn. You can also cook the chicken in a skillet. 

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By Ro Hyo-sun