Spicy Grilled Chicken (Dak Bulgogi)

Korean Barbecue is a communal meal. All the items are laid out on the table with a portable grill in the middle. The meal consists of lots of small side dishes. Eat the meats as described in the recipes as little lettuce packages, on their own, or with rice and kimchi—it's up to you!


Serves 4-6
1 ripe pear, peeled and cored
1 small onion, peeled
5 garlic cloves, peeled
1-in (2.5 cm) piece ginger, peeled
3 tbsp (45 ml) water
2 tbsp (30 ml) gochugaru (Korean chili powder)
2 tbsp (30 ml) gochujang (Korean chili paste)
2 tbsp (30 ml) soy sauce
1 tbsp (15 ml) sugar
2 tsp (10 ml) mirin
2 tsp (10 ml) honey
2 tsp (10 ml) pineapple juice
2 tsp (10 ml) sesame oil
1 lb (500 g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs
½ head green lettuce, washed, to serve
1 bunch perilla leaves, to serve (optional)
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced, to serve
2 Korean chili peppers or serrano peppers, thinly sliced, to serve
white short grain rice, cooked, to serve
Fermented Bean Sauce, make ahead (recipe in Fall issue) to serve


  1. With a blender, blend pear, onion, 5 garlic cloves, ginger and water until smooth. Add the gochugaru, gochujang, soy sauce, sugar, mirin, honey, pineapple juice and sesame oil. Blend to combine. Once combined, transfer to a container large enough to marinate chicken. Add chicken and mix well. Marinate, covered, in refrigerator, for 1 hour.
  2. Cook chicken pieces on Korean grill over medium-high heat until cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes per side. Cut into bite-sized pieces to serve.
  3. To eat, if desired, rip a piece of lettuce into a bite-sized piece, put a perilla leaf, a piece of chicken, sliced garlic, rice and some Fermented Bean Sauce.
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