Thursday, July 30, 2009

Korean Chili Paste Spicy Chicken (매운닭구이 Mae-un Dak Gui): Learning to Measure

For JEL who forced me to figure it out on my own

I am not by nature, one who measures carefully when cooking Korean food. I add and taste and adjust as I go along, so when I began posting Korean recipes, my cooking style suddenly had to change. In order to teach others I've had to learn how to measure before I dump and to have a notebook by my side as I adjust and add and add a bit more until I get the right proportions of all my ingredients. Therefore, when someone makes something for me, I get really excited hoping that they will have the exact proportions of what they did ready for me. Unfortunately, most of my friends, when they cook Korean food, also do not measure and are constantly telling me, "You know, a little bit of this, a little bit of that" which simply doesn't help me. Recently at a dinner that friend JEL had at her house, she made this bbq spicy chicken thigh and I LOVED IT. Immediately I said, "I need the recipe to post on my blog" and she looked at me and said, "You know, it's a little bit of soy with twice as much of the chili pepper paste..." and her voice faded off as she thought about all the things that she had mixed into it WITH OUT measuring.

But I loved it so much I set out to make it and I attempted it twice. The first time, although good, did not capture the sharpness and the richness of flavors I was looking for, but the second time I did. It is similar to the one that JEL did, but not exactly the same. (as it will never be since the ingredients were not measured.) This does taste best on the bbq grill, but if you cannot grill outside, then use a roasting pan and broil it in your oven.

On a completely different note, these taste great in the Korean Tacos.

Korean Chili Paste Spicy Chicken (매운닭구이: Mae-un Dak Gui)
Requires marination of at least 8 hours, overnight is better.
Serves 6-8

2-3 lbs boneless, skinless thighs
1/4 cup Korean chili pepper paste (gochujahng)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons mirin (or sake if you can't find mirin)
1/2 cup onion, pureed (done in a mini prep chopper is perfect)
3 tablespoons ginger
2 tablespoons garlic

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients EXCEPT chicken together. Make sure that the sugar is well incorporatd in the marinade. Wearing gloves (disposable kitchen gloves are perfect for this), use your hand and mix all the chicken into the marinade. Make sure each chicken piece is thoroughly coated and well mixed with the marinade. Try and get the marinade into all the nooks and crannies of your chicken thigh. Cover and marinate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Heat bbq. The chicken cooks better over lower heat than higher heat as the higher sugar content of the marinade lends itself to burning. Cook for about 7-9 minutes per side over lower heat.

Enjoy!

Printable recipe
Spicy chicken ready to be eaten. (I am a poet and don't know it.)

28 comments:

Laura said...

This looks wonderful. I'm sure it's incredibly flavorful.

Kevin said...

That chicken looks tasty! I am always looking for new ways to use gochujang.

Joanne Choi said...

it's spicy but good. Kevin - you can also use this marinade on baby back ribs and other pork dishes....if you so desire.

Michelle said...

I just found this blog while looking for egg free muffins. You got a lot of good recipes here, most of which I cannot make because of SOY SAUCE, which my daughter is allergic to (as well as many, many other things). You also have an allergic kid, be glad it's not soy. :) Great blog though, looks delicious.

Parked in Parker said...

That Looks FABULOUS!!! Thanks for sharing!

jenny+3 said...

Made this for my small group last nite. Deelish. Everyone gobbled it up. Not a spicy as I thought it would be. I baked it @ 375 for like 8 minutes and then broiled it for another 2-3 minutes. Turned out great.

Angie said...

Joanne - this chicken recipe was perfect. My family loved it. I used cut up chicken breasts and served this with soba noodles and grilled veggies. My 2 yr old son ate all of his chicken - not too spicy. Thanks! do you think this marinade works well for fish (tilapia)?

Corinna said...

This has become my go-to chicken recipe for summer grilling. Amazing combination of flavors! It will be the main attraction at our bbq this weekend, and it's sure to be a hit. Thank you so much for sharing it!

Joanne Choi said...

Corinna...glad it was such a hit! I'm thrilled you've had such great luck with the recipe.

NuM NuM said...

I made this and it was delicious! I turned them into Korean tacos. If you'd like to see it - you can check out my blog here. Thanks so much for the recipe
http://lisasnumnum.blogspot.com/2010/12/spicy-korean-chicken-and-taco-bar.html

Specialkalle said...

I am an adopted Korean girl and my parents are white, so it's dificult for me to figure out Korean cooking, thank God for blogs! Thank you for your Korean recipes!!!

newcook said...

Hello Joanne, I would like to thank you for this recipe it's was amazing. It's so good I want to keep it a secret. Hahah but I'm a new cook trying very selective recipes and tho I was a little hesitant to try this recipe due to the spicy squad I had to look all over the world it was well worth it. I can't wait to do this again. Thank you

Adrienne said...

I used this on some thin cut pork chops and grilled them, worked out great! Will definitely use again.

Anonymous said...

Try it as a delicious and flavorful enema!

Anonymous said...

Try it in suppository form. Deerlish!!!!

Anonymous said...

Too bad your kid's immune system is inadequate. It's likely your fault. Give her the soy sauce anyway, live a little.

Anonymous said...

Gobble gobble!! Your friends are turkeys!!!

Anonymous said...

Good for you!!! Follow the damned recipe next time. USE CHICKEN!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Blah blah blah..... Try eating some vegetables for a change. MEAT IS MURDER!! Just kidding. It's actually only manslaughter.

Anonymous said...

Tool.

Anonymous said...

It will not work with tilapia. Tilapia is raised in sewage and marinating masks the delicious poo poo flavor.

dolphinsandstrippers said...

It looks amazing! I live in an area where it's difficult to get Korean supplies and I want to make it sooner than I can mail order it. Do you think I could substitute Sriracha Sauce for the chili paste?

dolphinsandstrippers said...

It looks amazing! I live in an area where it's difficult to get Korean supplies and I want to make it sooner than I can mail order it. Do you think I could substitute Sriracha Sauce for the chili paste?

Joanne Choi said...

dolphinsandstrippers - you could certainly try substituting but sriracha and gochujang and very different in flavor. but hey - everything is worth a whirl!

Anonymous said...

I am an adopted Korean dog. My parents though it best not to cook me, since my tasty liver was too toxic.

This recipe is AWESOME!!!

Anonymous said...

Poopy/

msg said...

I'm Korean, and I think this hits really close to the mark. It's awesome. The only spicy Korean BBQ chicken recipe that I've found online that is pretty much spot on with what I'm used to eating. One suggestion, though: try cooking this over coals. 5 minutes each side, flipping up to 20 minutes. It's way better.

Sunday Girl said...

Never had korean food here in glasgow uk. Tried this recipe & it was amazing. Thank you xx

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