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Spicy dak bulgogi topped with sesame and spring onion.

Spicy Korean BBQ Chicken Bulgogi - Dak Bulgogi

Chicken bulgogi (dak bulgogi) is one of the easiest Korean BBQ style dishes you can make at home. Just marinate and fry! Think tender chicken thighs coated in a spicy gochujang based sauce and fried to juicy perfection in 15 minutes. Ready to turn up the heat?
Course Dinner
Cuisine Korean
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Marinating Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 Serves
Calories 341kcal
Cost $12



  • 500 g chicken thighs 1 lb, boneless skinless chicken pieces sliced into small strips or minced
  • 2 spring onion / green onion green sections only to garnish (white sections in marinade)
  • ½ tbsp sesame seeds to garnish
  • 6 perilla leaves sliced into strips. Sub spinach leaves, lettuce, rice or omit.
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

For the marinade


  • Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl then add in your marinade ingredients (onion, spring onion, garlic, soy sauce, rice wine, gochugaru, gochujang, honey, cornstarch, sesame oil and ginger).
    500 g chicken thighs, 1/2 onion, 2 spring onion / green onion, 2 garlic, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp rice wine, 1 tbsp Korean hot pepper flakes / gochugaru, 1 tbsp Korean hot pepper paste / gochujang, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp cornstarch, 1 tsp sesame oil, ½ tsp ginger
  • Mix everything together until combined and the chicken is coated well. Pop a silicone lid over the top and place in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes (up to overnight).
  • Cut the green portions of the spring onions in half, then slice thinly lengthways and place the strips into a small container of water. This will help curl them for your garnish. Alternatively, you can just slice them small and sprinkle over the top - it’s up to you!
    2 spring onion / green onion
  • Pour the vegetable oil into a large frying pan or skillet over a medium high heat. Add in your marinated chicken and spread it right out to the edges. Allow to cook for a few minutes before flipping all the chicken pieces over. Keep frying for another few minutes, then flip again. Note: Avoiding moving the chicken around too much helps the meat cook through and the sauce to thicken. Fry for another 5 or so minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
    1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • To serve, place the perilla / spinach strips on the bottom of a plate and layer with the chicken. Top with your spring onion curls and a sprinkling of sesame seeds, then dig in! Alternatively, serve with lettuce and rice to make cups or alongside a few Korean banchan (side dishes) such as pickled onion, pickled garlic or braised potatoes!
    2 spring onion / green onion, 6 perilla leaves, ½ tbsp sesame seeds



  • Non Stick - For easy cleanup, be sure to use a non-stick frying pan / skillet.
  • Avoid Stewing - Make sure your pan is wide enough so your chicken has plenty of space to cook evenly without stewing in the pan. Cook in batches if you only have a small pan.
  • Marinating Time - Marinate for at least 30 mins for a quick bulgogi, or overnight for even more flavour!
  • Grilling or BBQing Instead? - Use larger strips of chicken so they hold their shape on the grill, and marinate for 30 mins longer.
  • Don't Skip the Spring Onions - They really go so well with the chicken and balance the spicy gochujang sauce beautifully!
  • Add Mushrooms - Add thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms for extra umami, or sub with your favourite Asian mushrooms like enoki, shimeji or oyster.
  • Extra Spicy - Double the gochujang and/or gochugaru chilli flakes for extra heat!
  • Make it Cheesy - Add your favourite grated cheese over the top. Option to cover with the lid and steam in the pan, or broil for a minute or two to make it golden brown and extra melty!
  • Protein - Swap the chicken for pork, salmon or tuna steaks diced into chunks. Or use firm tofu for a vegetarian version.
  • Shredded Chicken - For a different texture, first poach the chicken in boiling water until cooked through, then use two forks to shred it into fine slivers. Since the chicken is already cooked, it won't need to cook as long in the frying pan, just until the sauce has thickened and turned glossy.
  • Cheongsong Style - Chop chicken finely before adding the marinade.  Press out in a frying pan into a pancake shape. Option to add cheese on top and cover with the lid to steam through and melt the cheese. 
  • Add Veggies - Add chopped cabbage, carrots, zucchini, broccoli, capsicum / bell pepper or even homemade kimchi for extra veg, more similar to dak galbi stir fry.
  • Lettuce Cups or Summer Rolls - Wrap the chicken in lettuce, perilla leaf or large spinach leaves, along with a scoop of rice, fresh garlic or sliced onion, and a spoonful of ssamjang sauce. Or use the cooked chicken as a filling in rice paper rolls or hand rolled sushi.
  • Bulgogi Skewers - Thread the marinated meat onto skewers, then grill over an open flame for extra deliciousness.


Calories: 341kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 385mg | Potassium: 388mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 819IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 2mg