Korean BBQ Sauce is a blend of savory soy sauce, sweet brown sugar, and fiery chili sauce to create a harmonious balance that will enhance your BBQ experience.
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This sauce is incredibly versatile. You can use it as a marinade to infuse your meats with mouthwatering flavors, as a dipping sauce to add an extra punch to each bite, or as a marinade for your grilled dishes. The savory, sweet, and spicy combination is a game-changer.
I love using this as a sauce over succulent beef short ribs, marinated chicken skewers, or juicy pork chops before they hit the grill. The sauce’s savory, sweet, and spicy notes seep into the meat, creating a caramelized, irresistible glaze. We enjoy using it when we grill chicken thighs.
If you’re not using it for meats on the BBQ, you can use it as a dip for grilled dumplings, spring rolls, or even as a condiment for your burgers or sandwiches.
What is Korean BBQ Sauce?
Korean BBQ sauce is a flavorful condiment that originates from the Korean cuisine. It is a key component in Korean barbecue, where it is used as a marinade, glaze, or dipping sauce for various grilled meats.
Instead of the typical American BBQ sauce that’s made with a tomato and vinegar base, Korean BBQ sauce starts with soy sauce. You can then add other elements like garlic, ginger, and sesame oil to round out the flavors.
The sauce is then cooked down into a thick sticky marinade or sauce that can be brushed on meats on the BBQ, or used as a marinade or dip.
- Low-Sodium Soy Sauce – It’s best to use low-sodium or lite soy sauce because regular can make this sauce too salty.
- Dark Brown Sugar – This is an essential element that will help to thicken the sauce and make it sweet.
- Garlic and Ginger – These two elements are crucial to Korean cooking. Use fresh and grate or mince it before adding.
- Red Wine Vinegar – If you don’t have it, you can substitute with apple cider vinegar.
- Gochujang Sauce – This is a delicious Korean chili sauce that’s fairly easy to find at the grocery store these days. You can use another chili sauce, or Sriracha, if you can’t find it.
- Ground Black Pepper
- Toasted Sesame Oil
- Cornstarch and water – These will help thicken the sauce so it’s the consistency you want for BBQ sauce.
How Long Does It Take To Make Korean BBQ Sauce?
Making Korean BBQ sauce typically takes around 10 to 15 minutes from start to finish. The process involves combining the ingredients, whisking them together, and simmering the mixture until it thickens slightly. This allows the flavors to meld and develop.
Once it’s cooked, you can use it right away as a BBQ sauce for your outdoor cooking. You can also cool it and use it as a marinade or dip.
How to Make Korean BBQ Sauce
Stir together all of the ingredients, except the cornstarch and water, in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Mix the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl until the cornstarch dissolves. Then pour it into the sauce.
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce thickens about 5 minutes.
Use immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 10 days.
Additional Helpful Tips
- If the sauce is too thick, add a little water or additional soy sauce to thin it out. If it’s too thin, simmer for a bit longer to reduce and thicken.
- For best results, marinate your meat in the sauce for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight to allow the flavors to penetrate.
- Feel free to adjust the amount of brown sugar and chili sauce to your preference for a perfect balance of flavors.
How to Store It
Allow the sauce to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. Ensure the container is tightly sealed to prevent air exposure and maintain freshness.
If you prefer a more convenient pouring option, consider transferring the sauce into clean sauce bottles with tight-fitting lids. This makes it easy to dispense the desired amount whenever you need it.
Before You Go
Since you made it to the end of this article, you might be interested in seeing more BBQ sauce recipes. Here are a few more articles we think you might enjoy.
- Irresistible Smoky Bourbon BBQ Sauce
- Alabama White BBQ Sauce
- Carolina Gold Sauce
- Does BBQ Sauce Go Bad?
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Delicious Korean BBQ Sauce
- 3/4 cup (177 ml) low sodium soy sauce important to use low-sodium
- 3/4 cup (165 g) dark brown sugar
- 1-2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) Gochujang sauce or other chili sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (3 g) ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon (2 g) fresh ginger grated
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon (8 g) cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) water
- Stir together all of the ingredients, except the cornstarch and water, in a saucepan. Bring to a boil.
- Mix the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl until the cornstarch dissolves. Pour it into the sauce.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.
- Use immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 10 days.
- 1 batch makes 1 1/2 cups of BBQ sauce.
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Laura is a passionate home cook and grill enthusiast who has spent years perfecting her culinary skills, with a particular focus on grilling techniques and flavor combinations. Her fascination with the grill, smoke, and the mouthwatering results they produce has led her on an exciting journey to discover the best methods for grilling delicious and unforgettable meals.