Korean BBQ Sauce

Korean BBQ Sauce
Korean BBQ Sauce

Korean barbecue, also known as “Bulgogi,” is a dish that second only to kimchi is one of the most iconic dishes of South Korean cuisine. Our sauce today was inspired by a bulgogi-style sauce- like most traditional recipes, dishes like this tend to contain a few staple ingredients but recipes vary from home to home. The most recurring ingredients in the recipes that Jeff found were soy sauce and Asian pear, pineapple, or kiwi- all fruit that contain the same class of enzymes called “proteases.” In addition to the enzymatic aspects that fruit adds for a bulgogi marinade, there is also an element of sweetness that gives this sauce some complexity. Bulgogi is usually beef, with pork sometimes added in but usually indicated in the name.

For Chef Jeff’s rendition, fresh grated ginger is used to add brightness and sharpness to contrast the almost syrupy consistency the sauce takes on after being simmered. Beyond the stovetop simmering process, the sauce for this couldn’t be easier as you don’t even have to get stressed out about getting the bits all cut the same- they’ll be blitzed in the food processor to make everything an even consistency. Our Korean Beef Seasoning is used to help accent the more savory notes of soy sauce with some sesame nuttiness, and Korean Chili Flakes add a mild heat that elevates the sauce and gives just enough “oomph” to keep it far from cloying.

This sauce was paired with brisket, but it would also be an exceptional match to anything you’d like to throw into a bowl of bibimbap or tossed with some Sticky Kickin’ Chicken.

 Print Recipe

Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: 10 min.
Category: Sauces
Cuisine: Korean
  • 1 Cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ Cup Water
  • ½ Cup Low sodium soy sauce, or Liquid aminos
  • ½ Cup Rice vinegar
  • 1 Small sweet onion, rough chop
  • 1 Asian or Anjou pear, rough chop
  • 1 Kiwi, peeled and rough chop
  • 8 Cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 Inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and rough chop
  • 1 Tbsp Korean Chili Flakes
  • 1 Tbsp Korean Beef Seasoning
  • ¼ Cup toasted sesame oil
  1. In a bowl, combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, water, and brown sugar until is dissolved.
  2. Add liquid with all the rest of the ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth.
  3. Transfer mixture to a medium sized saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes on low, stirring.
  4. Remove sauce from heat and cool.
  5. Store in refrigerator for 2 weeks, or freeze for 2 months.