Korean BBQ Chicken Bulgogi

by Alice Currah on May 24, 2011. Updated May 26, 2011

Having mom live here has its privileges.  For instance, she hold holds me accountable to get dinner going around 5 p.m. instead of 6:30 p.m. because she knows if I haven’t started by 6:15 p.m. there is a strong probability we will either be eating out or having eggs, pancakes, and bacon for dinner -which isn’t a bad option if you ask me.

Flying home from Atlanta late Sunday night I hadn’t taken inventory of the food situation in our kitchen yesterday and was a bit panicked about what I could muster up for dinner.  Thank goodness for the two partially frozen chicken breasts in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator.  Yesterday was the only instance I could remember in a long time where I was actually glad the bottom fridge drawer was acting like a confused freezer.  However, the partially frozen mozzarella balls I found down there grossed me out.  The sliminess around each ball of goop screamed stomach flu to me, so I said goodbye to the cheese and embraced the chicken.

After finding broccoli, too, I was both relieved and confident dinner would be on the table within the hour well before Rob walked through the door.  I washed some brown and white rice together and set the rice cooker to cook.  If all went according to the plan in my head, dinner would be ready just after my Zojirushi plays its cute melody indicating the rice is done.

As I looked through the panty and found an unopened package of Korean roasted nori (kim/gim), I decided the only appropriate way to prepare the chicken was to slice it very thinly and make chicken bulgogi (Korean bbq chicken). Korean food to the rescue!

Slicing the chicken in its partially frozen state made it easy to get nice clean slices very quickly.  After whisking a quick marinade together and massaging the chicken with my hands,  I washed my hands thoroughly with soap immediately afterward in hopes of not having to smell like soy sauce the rest of the evening.  But the scent of the marinade still lingered on my hands.  In a strange way I liked it.  It was a pleasant reminder of the familiar meal I would be enjoying shortly.

I cut the nori in small squares, steamed the broccoli, and stir-fried the chicken just as the Zojirushi melody played its tune.  As I sat down for dinner, I was so happy and appreciative just to have a home cooked dinner after eating the whole weekend all over Atlanta.  I also was very thankful for the simplicity of the dinner before me and even gladder when there were no leftovers to be had.

Korean BBQ Chicken Bulgogi
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
 
Korean BBQ – Chicken Bulgogi
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup of soy sauce or for a Gluten-Free variation, use San-J Organic Tamari Wheat Free Soy Sauce found in the health food section of your local grocery store.
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 pinches of black pepper
  • ¼ tsp of red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1-1.5 lbs. of thinly sliced chicken breasts. Partially freezing the chicken helps with cutting clean slices.
  • ¼ of a medium yellow onion, halved and sliced into medium moon shaped slivers
  • 2 green onions including the white parts, finely sliced into small pieces
Instructions
  1. Whisk all the ingredients together in a medium bowl except chicken and onions. When most of the sugar has dissolved, add the chicken and onion slices to the bowl and massage the chicken with the marinade using your hands. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Just before frying, drain any excess marinade. To pan fry, place a few slices of chicken in single layers and completely flat on a hot oiled frying pan/wok and fry each side until cooked. Serve with a bowl of hot rice. Enjoy!
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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

KarenP May 24, 2011 at 6:35 pm

I love it when I can pull off a healthy, delicious meal at the last minute using ingredients I have on hand. This bulgogi looks delicious, and perfect for weeknight dinners! Thanks for sharing!

Reply

song May 24, 2011 at 6:37 pm

hi,
looks yummy
gonna have to try it
how did you cut your chicken so thin????

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Alice May 24, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Hi Song,
You’ll want to use partially frozen chicken.

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Amber May 24, 2011 at 7:08 pm

I love this!! We always crack an egg or two in the wok . YUM!

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cindy May 24, 2011 at 7:20 pm

I love cutting partially frozen chicken! It makes me feel less gross about chicken! I’m a bit crazy and I’ll buy a bunch of frozen chicken, clean them, get rid of all the fat and slice them into portions I know I’ll usually use. I’ll ration them into individual storage bags or the glad press n seal and mark how they were sliced (thin slices, chunks, full breast). And then tuck them away in a bigger storage bag and pop them in the freezer! Are you against using those nice asian plastic gloves? I use them all the time, especially when dealing with any sort of meat so that my hands don’t smell and so that I don’t have to constantly wash my hands during food prep! But I know some people don’t like to use them because it’s plastic and well, not good for the environment… Thanks for sharing your recipes. I love them!

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Kay May 24, 2011 at 9:33 pm

I love how you use your hand, Alice!! Recipe looks fabulous!

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Rachel S. May 24, 2011 at 9:43 pm

Chicken, rice, broccoli, and giim always come to the rescue in our household. Your chicken dish looks delicious! And I’m glad your mom is there to help keep you accountable. If I haven’t started dinner by 5:30, I know I’m in trouble – it’ll throw our night off. We like to feed the boys early so we can get them ready for bed earlier!

Hope you had a wonderful time in Atlanta! You looked fabulous in the tagged pictures on FB, and it looked like you had a good time.

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Michelle May 24, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Oh can I have a big bowl please!

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Strawberry CAKE May 25, 2011 at 12:26 am

I think I have all these ingredients. Looks really yummy and I think my kiddos would approve.

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Katrina May 25, 2011 at 12:36 am

This looks lovely!

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Winnie May 25, 2011 at 8:25 am

Looks simple and delicious Alice, and might just be dinner tonight!

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Soyon May 25, 2011 at 9:30 am

Sometimes these on-the-fly meals are the best kind! I’m curious how you cook white and brown rice together since the rice to water ratio is different… is is the short-grain Korean rice? When I try it, I either get mushy white or still too hard brown.

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kristina@beancakes May 25, 2011 at 10:06 am

mmm, this looks delicious. moms are the best at cooking aren’t they??
http://beancakes.wordpress.com/

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brandi May 25, 2011 at 10:12 am

I’ve used the partially frozen meat trick to slice steak before, but not with chicken. this sounds so good! My husband would love it.

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Yuri May 25, 2011 at 10:48 am

Ohh my little cousin LOVES bulgogui, he will flip out when I make this for him. Really like the idea of using chicken instead of beef or pork :)

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mominrome May 25, 2011 at 2:57 pm

WOW!!!!!
IT LOOKS SO GOOD!!!

:))

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Rocky Mountain Woman May 25, 2011 at 4:26 pm

Nothing is better than being able to put together something from what you have on hand..especially when you live like six hours from the nearest grocery store…

lol

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alice May 26, 2011 at 2:43 am

You live six hours away from the store? You poor thing!!

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kathy May 25, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Hello, for those of us unfamiliar with Korean food and/or Nori, are you using it as a garnish or to be eaten? Thanks.

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alice May 26, 2011 at 2:43 am

Hi Kathy: Yes, Korean nori is called kim/gim. It is different from Japanese nori commonly used for sushi because it is salted and roasted. Korean people often place a spoonful of rice in each square and fold the nori over the rice and eat it. It is quite delicious!

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Tracey May 25, 2011 at 9:34 pm

I will definitely try this. I’m pretty sure my kids will love it. Thanks, Alice.

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MJ May 26, 2011 at 12:42 am

YUM! Love how comforting this looks… kid friendly too!

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Jeanine May 26, 2011 at 2:09 am

Made this tonight–nice flavor, but I was confused about one thing: Did you drain the marinade before frying the chicken? I just threw everything in the pan and there was so much liquid, I suspect the chicken boiled as much as fried. At the end, it was soupy enough where I threw in some cornstarch to make it more saucy. We liked it, but it didn’t really look like the photo in which you were frying it. Thanks for the recipe!

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alice May 26, 2011 at 2:41 am

Hi Jeanine: I’m sorry I didn’t make that step more clear. I’ve corrected the recipe to drain the meet before frying.

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Lunette de soleil Versace May 26, 2011 at 5:22 am

This is really good information. You have done an excellent job of research and writing.

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kimberlycun May 26, 2011 at 10:49 am

aight i’m gonna try slicing frozen chickens next :D

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Kelley May 26, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Ha Ha… Love what your mom says about getting dinner started early enough. If I don’t I resort to eggs, cereal or PB&J. What is it about breakfast food that it makes such a yummy dinner too?

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Chris May 27, 2011 at 3:53 pm

This looks so good I think I’ll try it “stir fire” style by wokking it over my hot grill! Nicely done, can’t wait to try it.

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Susannah June 1, 2011 at 7:57 pm

This looks delicious and, fortunately, I have all the ingredients on hand…Can’t wait to try it. Thanks for rescuing dinner tonight.

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Susannah June 21, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Just wanted to add that this recipe has become a favorite….Even given 2 thumbs up by my Korean husband! I added a bit of ginger too…MMMMMM!

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alice June 22, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Hi Susannah,
Glad your husband approves!

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Lou M. March 26, 2012 at 12:10 am

Me and my family loves korean bbq’s….definitely will try this.

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