This spicy chicken bulgogi recipe (dak bulgogi) is a Korean BBQ dish that marinates in a delicious, sweet n’ spicy sauce. It’s super flavorful and on the table in 40 minutes. A quick and easy weeknight dinner that stores well making it perfect for meal prep!
Delicious chicken bulgogi gets its spicy kick from gochujang (Korean chili paste) that’s balanced with honey, soy sauce and sesame oil. Garlic and ginger add another layer of aromatic flavor.
Using a sheet pan to roast and broil this easy recipe makes life so simple. The veggies cook on the other side of the pan for easy clean up.
Additional cooking methods are included in the Instructions below. You’ll have a variety of ways to make Korean BBQ chicken takeout at home!
If you love Korean food and looking for other Asian dishes to try, check out our slow cooker butter chicken and Thai butternut squash and pumpkin curry!
What is Bulgogi?
Bulgogi is a marinated meat dish typically using thinly sliced beef. However, if you’re not in the mood for red meat, substituting chicken or pork is totally legit.
Bulgogi means fire meat and typically cooked over an open flame. Dak means chicken so this dish is also known as dak bulgogi.
Grilling instructions are included below, but if weather isn’t cooperating and you don’t have a grill pan, a few minutes under the broiler gives chicken bulgogi and veggies that nice bit of charred flavor.
The key component to bulgogi marinade is Korean chili paste called gochujang (gōe-choo-jang). It's thick and spicy with an earthy flavor that you can add more or less of depending on your gang's preference.
You’ll find gochujang in Asian markets and many grocery stores. The marinade is rounded out with soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, sesame oil, garlic, fresh ginger and sesame seeds.
Why You’ll Love this Korean Chicken Bulgogi Recipe
- Full of savory bulgogi flavor
- Quick and easy one pan meal
- Versatile dish that can be served different ways
- Budget-friendly dinner
- Perfect for meal prep!
The amount of each ingredient is listed in the recipe card below.
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
- Soy sauce
- Rice vinegar
- Honey or agave
- Gochujang (Korean chili paste)
- Chili sauce
- Sesame oil and sesame seeds
- Fresh garlic and ginger
- Vegetables – broccoli, bell peppers and onion
- Cooked rice – brown or white rice for serving
- Garnish – green onions, fresh basil and cilantro
This chicken bulgogi recipe begins with the marinade which you can make in advance!
Chicken Bulgogi Marinade: In a small bowl whisk soy sauce, vinegar, honey, gochujang paste, chili sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and sesame seeds until well combined.
Marinate Chicken: Place sliced chicken breast in a large bowl or resealable plastic bag. Pour enough of the marinade over to cover and reserve the rest for when serving. Let chicken sit at room temperature while prepping other ingredients.
Prepare Sheet Pan: On one half of an extra-large, rimmed baking sheet toss broccoli, pepper and onion with vegetable oil and season with salt and black pepper. Arrange chicken pieces on the other half in a single layer.
Roast and Broil: Place sheet pan in the oven preheated to 400 degrees F. Bake for 15 minutes stirring halfway through. Switch the oven to broil and cook a few minutes more until slightly charred. Stay close by so the chicken and vegetables don’t burn.
To Serve: Divide rice among bowls and top with dak bulgogi and vegetables. Garnish with additional sesame seeds, basil, cilantro and green onion. Drizzle with reserved marinade. Having yum yum sauce on the side is totally optional but delish. Enjoy!
Additional Cooking Methods
The bulgogi marinade is the same regardless of the cooking process you choose.
Grilling – When using an outdoor grill leave the chicken whole so pieces don’t fall through the grates. Slice after grilling about 4 minutes per side.
If you’re using a grill pan slice the chicken first and grill 3-4 minutes on each side. Alternatively, you could skewer the slices and grill outside.
Stovetop – In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon of oil over medium high heat. Cook the chicken slices in a single layer 3-4 minutes on each side. Work in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.
Chicken Bulgogi Recipe Tips
- Marinate chicken at least 15 minutes and up to overnight for more flavor.
- Allow chicken to come to room temperature before roasting so it cooks evenly.
- Be sure to have the meat in a single layer on the pan to ensure even cooking.
- Try to cut vegetables in a similar size so they’re done at the same time.
- For meal prep simply layer the rice, chicken, veggies and toppings in airtight containers to grab for lunch or dinner during the week.
Any chicken bulgogi recipe is a starting point in which you can totally customize.
- Vegetables: Change things up by adding shiitake mushrooms, zucchini, cabbage or cauliflower.
- Spiciness: Adjust the gochujang to your liking and add red pepper flakes if you’d like more heat.
- Protein: Make traditional beef bulgogi or use pork. You can also cut a fairly firm fish into chunks like tuna, mahi mahi, halibut or sea bass.
- Vegan: Swap any type of meat out and use firm tofu and substitute agave or corn syrup for the honey. Also, you can replace the meat with large chunks of portobello mushrooms.
What goes with Korean BBQ Chicken
Here we made a rice bowl topped with the chicken, veggies and garnishes, or enjoy over noodles. I like to serve extra bulgogi sauce on the side along with homemade yum yum sauce to balance some of the spice (and who can say no to yum yum sauce?!)
But here are some ideas to round out your bulgogi chicken menu:
- Make Lettuce Wraps by filling lettuce cups with the chicken, vegetables and chopped Asian pear for extra crunch.
- Asian Red Cabbage Slaw
- Creamy Carrot Ginger Soup with Curry
- Creamy Cauliflower and Turmeric Soup
- Watermelon and Purple Daikon Salad
- Spicy Cucumber Salad
Chicken Bulgogi Recipe FAQs
Absolutely! If you have leftover chicken or a rotisserie chicken, shred it and mix it into the bulgogi sauce. Let it marinate 15 minutes or so if you have time. Then heat it up in a skillet over medium or medium-high heat until hot.
You can freeze bulgogi in a freezer safe container or resealable bag up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. Rewarm in a frying pan on the stove, or simply microwave.
The main variation between bulgogi and kalbi is the meat. Kalbi uses short ribs whereas bulgogi uses thinly sliced meat which is traditionally beef but chicken and pork are common substitutes.
More Sheet Pan Chicken Recipes!
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Spicy Bulgogi Chicken (Korean BBQ Chicken)
- ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ¼ cup honey or agave
- 1 ½ tablespoons gochujang (Korean chili paste)
- 1 tablespoon chili sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 4 teaspoons garlic, minced, divided
- 2 teaspoons ginger, freshly grated
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds, plus extra for garnish
- 2 pounds chicken breasts or thighs boneless, skinless, cut into ½-inch thick strips
- 12 ounces broccoli, cut into florets
- 2 bell peppers (red, yellow or orange), cut into strips
- 1 yellow or red onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 3-4 cups cooked white or brown rice
- fresh cilantro and basil
- green onions, thinly sliced
- yum yum sauce, optional
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a small bowl or mason jar, add the soy sauce, vinegar, honey, Gochujang, chili sauce, sesame oil, 2 teaspoons garlic, ginger and sesame seeds. Whisk or shake ingredients until well combined. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.)
- Place chicken in a medium bowl or resealable plastic bag. Pour enough marinade over to cover and reserve the rest for serving.
- Let chicken sit at room temperature while prepping other ingredients or let it marinate up to overnight in the refrigerator.
- On one half of an extra-large, rimmed baking sheet, toss the broccoli, peppers and onion with olive oil and sprinkle with remaining garlic and season with salt and pepper.
- Arrange chicken slices on the other half of the baking sheet in a single layer.
- Bake 12-15 minutes, stirring halfway through, until chicken is mostly cooked through and vegetables are tender. Turn oven to broil and broil a few minutes until the chicken and veggies are slightly charred.
- To serve, divide rice among bowls and top with chicken and vegetables.
- Garnish with sesame seeds, basil, cilantro and green onion, and drizzle with reserved marinade and yum yum sauce, as desired. Enjoy!
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What kind of chili sauce do you use for this?
Kim Peterson says
I used a chili garlic sauce found in the Asian section of the grocery store, but you can use any kind that you like. Happy cooking!
This chicken is so full of flavour! Love that it's made on one sheet pan too!
Kim Peterson says
Yes so easy and delicious!
Jocelyn Wilhelm says
This looks real good! I can't wait to try this recipe.
Kim Peterson says
It's a total hit! Let me know how it goes!