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