Are you in the mood for something savory and delicious? Why not try making your own Korean BBQ sauce? This zesty sauce is perfect for chicken, beef, or pork, and it’s easy to make at home. Just mix together a few simple ingredients and you’ll be able to enjoy the flavor of Korean BBQ anytime you want.
Korean barbecue is a delicious and popular way to cook meats, and the sauce is an essential part of the dish.
The perfect Korean BBQ sauce is savory, with a deep soy flavor, a hint of sweetness, and a kick of spice. It should also be sticky so that it clings to the meat as it cooks.
This recipe for Korean BBQ sauce hits all those marks, and it’s easy to make at home with a few simple ingredients. Soy sauce is the base for the sauce, and it’s combined with sesame oil, brown sugar, rice vinegar, ginger, and garlic.
The result is a delicious and authentic-tasting sauce that will make your next Korean barbecue meal even better.
What To Serve With Korean BBQ Sauce
Korean barbecue sauce is a versatile and flavorful sauce that pairs well with a variety of meats from chicken, pork, beef and tofu. Here are a few suggestions for meats that go especially well with this sauce:
Beef is a popular choice for Korean BBQ, and for good reason – the rich, savory flavor of beef pairs perfectly with the sweet and spicy notes of the sauce. Try marinating thin slices of beef in the sauce for at least an hour before grilling or pan-frying for a delicious and easy meal.
You can also try using your homemade Korean BBQ sauce as a dipping sauce for beef hors de’oeuvres.
Pork is another great option for Korean BBQ sauce. Thinly sliced pork belly, also known as samgyeopsal, is a popular cut for Korean cuisine and can be easily marinated in the sauce. Alternatively, you can use the sauce as a glaze for grilled or roasted pork chops or pork ribs for a sweet and spicy kick.
Chicken is a versatile protein that can be used in a variety of dishes, including Korean BBQ. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs work well with the sauce and can be marinated for a few hours before grilling or pan-frying.
You can also use the sauce as a glaze for grilled chicken wings or drumsticks.
For a vegetarian or vegan option, try using the sauce to marinate tofu. Firm or extra-firm tofu works best for this, as it can hold its shape and absorb the flavors of the sauce.
Grill or pan-fry the tofu and serve with steamed rice and vegetables for a delicious and healthy meal.
How To Make Korean BBQ Sauce
Combine Soy Sauce, Rice Wine Vinegar, And Sesame Oil
Start by getting a medium saucepan and adding 1 cup of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil to it. These three ingredients will form the base of your Korean BBQ sauce.
Heat & Simmer
Over medium heat, whisk the ingredients together and bring to a boil. This step helps to ensure that all of the flavors are mixed together properly and that the soy sauce and vinegar start to infuse with the other ingredients.
Add Brown Sugar, Garlic, and Ginger
Next, reduce the heat to low and add ¾ cup of dark brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of minced garlic, and 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger to the saucepan. Stir the ingredients together until the brown sugar has fully dissolved. The brown sugar gives the sauce a slightly sweet flavor, while the garlic and ginger add depth and complexity to the sauce.
In a small bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water until the cornstarch has fully dissolved. This will act as a thickener for the sauce, helping to give it a smooth and glossy texture.
Thicken the Sauce
Add the cornstarch mixture to the saucepan, and stir until the sauce has thickened. You’ll want to make sure to stir constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Once the sauce has thickened, it will coat the back of a spoon and have a smooth, syrupy texture.
Add Black Pepper and Chili Sauce
Add 1 ½ teaspoons of ground black pepper and 1 tablespoon of chili-garlic sauce (like Sriracha®) to the saucepan, and stir until everything is well combined. The black pepper gives the sauce a little bit of heat and adds a bit of depth to the flavor. The chili-garlic sauce adds a spicy kick that will make your taste buds dance.
Allow to Cool
Remove the saucepan from the heat, and allow the Korean BBQ sauce to cool to room temperature. This will help the flavors to meld together even further and make the sauce taste even better.
Use or Store
Once the sauce has cooled, pour it into a glass jar or container with a tight-fitting lid. This will help to preserve the sauce and keep it fresh.
Store the Korean BBQ sauce in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. You can use it right away or save it for future use. It’s a versatile sauce that goes great with grilled meats, vegetables, and even noodles.
Adjusting The Flavor Of Korean BBQ Sauce
Korean BBQ sauce is a delicious and versatile sauce that can be used for a variety of dishes. One of the best things about this sauce is that it can be easily adjusted to suit your taste preferences. Here are a few ways you can tweak the recipe to make it perfect for you:
If you find the sauce to be too sweet for your liking, you can reduce the amount of brown sugar used in the recipe. You can also add a small amount of maple syrup or molasses to balance out the flavors. On the other hand, if you prefer a sweeter sauce, you can increase the amount of brown sugar used or add a splash of pineapple juice for a fruity twist.
If you love spicy food, you may find that the amount of chili garlic sauce in the recipe isn’t enough for you. In this case, you can increase the amount of Sriracha sauce or add some red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper. Conversely, if you don’t enjoy spicy food, you can reduce or omit the chili-garlic sauce altogether.
The rice wine vinegar in the recipe provides a nice acidity to the sauce. However, if you prefer a more acidic sauce, you can increase the amount of rice wine vinegar or add a splash of lime or lemon juice. If you prefer a less acidic sauce, you can reduce the amount of vinegar, but we don’t recommend omitting it completely.
Tips & Tricks For Making Korean BBQ Sauce
Making Korean BBQ sauce is an easy process that requires a few simple steps. However, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you take your BBQ sauce game to the next level. Here are some tips that any beginner would want to know:
Don’t Overheat The Sauce
While it’s important to bring the sauce to a simmer, you don’t want to overheat it. Overheating can cause the sauce to become too thick and can affect the overall taste. Keep an eye on the heat and make sure to reduce it once the sauce has come to a simmer.
Adjust The Heat
If you want your sauce to be spicier, add more Sriracha or increase the amount of black pepper. On the other hand, if you’re not a fan of spicy food, you can reduce or omit the chili-garlic sauce altogether.
Use Fresh Ginger
Fresh ginger adds a unique flavor to the sauce that you just can’t get from ground ginger. If you don’t have fresh ginger on hand, you can use ground ginger, but the flavor won’t be quite the same.
Use Low Sodium Soy Sauce
The recipe calls for regular soy sauce, but if you’re concerned about your sodium intake, you can use low-sodium soy sauce instead. This will help to reduce the overall sodium content of the sauce without sacrificing flavor.
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Korean BBQ Sauce Recipe
- Small bowl
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp Asian (toasted) sesame oil
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp fresh ginger
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp chile-garlic sauce (such as Sriracha®) (Optional)
- Combine soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, pepper, and chili-garlic sauce in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk the cornstarch and water together until the cornstarch dissolves.
- Pour the cornstarch-water mixture into the boiling soy sauce mixture.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce is thick, 3 to 5 minutes.
Korean BBQ Sauce FAQs
What is Korean BBQ sauce?
Korean BBQ Sauce is a tangy and slightly sweet sauce made with soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, dark brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and other flavorful ingredients. It is often used as a marinade or dipping sauce for grilled meats and vegetables.
What makes Korean BBQ Sauce different from other BBQ sauces?
Korean BBQ Sauce is unique in that it incorporates Asian flavors such as sesame oil, garlic, and ginger, which give it a distinct taste. It also tends to be sweeter than other BBQ sauces, with a balance of sweet and savory flavors.
Can I use Korean BBQ Sauce on any type of meat?
Yes! Korean BBQ Sauce is versatile and can be used on any type of meat, including beef, pork, chicken, and even shrimp skewers. It’s a great alternative to teriyaki sauce and is also popular in stir fry.
Is Korean BBQ Sauce gluten-free?
Korean BBQ Sauce is not gluten-free, as it contains soy sauce. However, you can use a gluten-free soy sauce or tamari to make the sauce gluten-free.
How Long Should I Marinate My Meat In Korean BBQ Sauce?
For best results, marinate your meat in Korean BBQ Sauce for at least 30 minutes, and up to overnight. This allows the flavors to penetrate the meat and infuse it with delicious Korean BBQ flavor.