This Korean BBQ sauce recipe is a combination of tangy, spicy and sweet, perfect as a marinade and finisher for any grilled meats and essential for Korean BBQ. So easy to make!
How to Make Korean BBQ Sauce
Are you a fan of Korean BBQ? We love Korean BBQ in our home, usually with thin strips of chicken or steak marinated overnight, waiting for me to fire up the grill for our evening meal.
Korean BBQ is quick and easy to make, but essential to making it successfully is the sauce. So today we're making Korean BBQ Sauce, and I know you're going to love this one.
Korean BBQ Sauce is a sweet and spicy bbq sauce made with a base of soy sauce, fiery gochujang, pureed Asian pear and more for a sauce that is tangy and delicious, and different from your typical bbq sauce.
It's not only good for grilled chicken and other meats, but popularly served as a dipping sauce for anything off the grill. You can also enjoy it with stir fried meats and vegetables.
It's incredibly versatile, my spicy food loving friends, and easy to customize to make it as spicy as you'd prefer.
Let's talk about how to make Korean BBQ sauce, shall we?
Korean BBQ Sauce Ingredients
- Soy Sauce. You can use low sodium soy sauce, if desired.
- Gochujang. Fermented Korean chili paste.
- Asian Pear. Adds a slight sweetness and body to the sauce.
- Toasted Sesame Oil.
- Rice Wine Vinegar. Or rice vinegar.
- Brown Sugar. For stickiness and sweetness. You can also use honey.
- Ginger. Fresh ginger is great here, but you can use powdered.
- Black Pepper.
- Optional Ingredients. Spicy red pepper flakes and a spicy red pepper of your preference.
How to Make Korean BBQ Sauce - the Recipe Method
Puree the Ingredients. Puree all of the ingredients together in a blender or food processor until smooth. You can leave it more chunky for a thicker bbq sauce with body, but I prefer the pear more pureed.
Simmer the Sauce. Transfer the bbq sauce mixture to a small pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.
Use or Store. Use immediately, or transfer to a sealable container or small bowl you can cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
FOR MAKING KOREAN BBQ
Marinate the Meat. Marinate your chosen meat (strips of steak, chicken, pork) in half of the Korean bbq sauce for at least 30 minutes, or overnight for more flavor development. This is also great for chicken wings and vegetables.
Get Grilling. Grill or sauté the strips of steak or meat over medium-high heat 5-6 minutes, stirring or flipping often, until done to your liking.
Make it Saucy! Serve with extra Korean bbq sauce as desired. Slather on the bbq sauce! Loads of great flavor.
Boom! Done! That's how you make a quick and easy Korean barbecue sauce, my friends. Simple, isn't it? So huge on flavor, perfect for any grilled or sauteed meats.
Try it on vegetables! You'll love it.
Recipe Tips & Notes
- What is Gochujang? Gochujang is a fermented Korean chili paste made from chili powder, glutinous rice, fermented soybean powder, barley malt powder, and salt. It is thick and pungent in flavor, adding a zingy depth to your dishes. It is both spicy and sweet. You can sometimes find it in typical American grocery stores in the Asian or International section, though selections can be limited. I find a big variety in an Asian grocery store near me. Consider buying it online. See below.
- Other Ingredients. You can use other ingredients to make your Korean bbq sauce unique and your own. Some ingredients you might try are chopped onion in the puree, sweet kiwi, green onion, hoisin sauce, ssamjang, which is a spicy Korean chili paste, and others.
- For Thicker Korean BBQ Sauce. Cornstarch and water is a popular addition for making a thicker bbq sauce, though I find the pear does an adequate job of this. However, if you would prefer thicker, whisk together a tablespoon each of cornstarch and water to make a cornstarch slurry, the pour it into the sauce and simmer until it thickens to your preference.
Buy Gochujang Online
- Buy Gochujang at Amazon for a good selection of options (affiliate link, my friends)
That's it, my friends. I hope you enjoy my Korean BBQ sauce recipe. Let me know if you make it. I'd love to hear how it turned out for you. Keep it spicy!
- Maangchi’s Real Korean Cooking, by Maangchi with Lauren Chattman (affiliate link, my friends) – this book is the inspiration for this recipe, along with Chef Tila's book below.
- 101 Asian Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die: Discover a New World of Flavors in Authentic Recipes - by Chef Jet Tila
- Also, check out my own cookbook, “The Spicy Food Lovers’ Cookbook – Fiery, No-Fuss Meals”, by Mike Hultquist (affiliate link, my friends!)
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Korean BBQ Sauce Recipe
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup gochujang Korean fermented chili paste
- 1 small Asian pear peeled and chopped
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar or use honey
- 1 teaspoon fresh chopped ginger
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes optional
- Black pepper to taste
- 1 spicy red pepper minced - optional, for hotter Korean bbq sauce
FOR THE KOREAN BBQ SAUCE
- Puree all of the ingredients together in a blender or food processor until smooth.
- Transfer the bbq sauce mixture to a small pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.
- Use immediately, or transfer to a sealable container and refrigerate until ready to use.
FOR MAKING KOREAN BBQ
- Marinate your chosen meat (strips of steak, chicken, pork) in half of the Korean bbq sauce for at least 30 minutes, or overnight for more flavor development.
- Grill or sauté the strips of steak or meat over medium-high heat 5-6 minutes, stirring or flipping often, until done to your liking.
- Serve with extra Korean bbq sauce as desired.