Mom’s BBQ Chicken (Umma’s Dak Gogi)

Mom’s BBQ Chicken (Umma’s Dak Gogi)
Chef Judy Joo's recipe for a tasty chicken dish.
  • 1 ¼ cups soy sauce
  • ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced on an angle
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean chile paste)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds
  • 6 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • Pinch of kosher salt or sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • Vegetable oil, for grilling
  • Doenjang Mayonnaise, for serving (recipe below)

Doenjang Mayonnaise:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise, preferably Kewpie or a Korean brand
  • 1 tablespoon Doenjang (Korean soybean paste)

Grilled Corn On The Cob:

  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon Doenjang (Korean soybean paste)
  • ½ scallion, thinly sliced on an angle
  • Vegetable oil, for grilling
  • 4 ears corn, shucked


Mom’s BBQ Chicken:

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the soy sauce, brown sugar, scallions, vinegar, maple syrup, chile paste, sesame oil, ginger, sesame seeds, garlic, salt, and a generous amount of pepper until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Transfer 1 cup of the marinade to a container, cover, and refrigerate. Add the chicken to the bowl with the remaining marinade and toss to coat. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator, tossing once or twice, for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
  3. Before grilling, let the chicken come to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, put the reserved 1-cup marinade in a small saucepan and simmer until it has thickened to a glaze-like consistency, 8-10 minutes; set glaze aside.
  4. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat.
  5. Lightly brush the grates with vegetable oil. Shake any excess marinade off the chicken and arrange on the grill without crowding. Grill, flipping the thighs halfway through, until cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  6. Keep an eye out on the temperature; if the grill is too hot, the outside of the thighs will burn before the inside is done. Transfer the chicken to a platter and brush very lightly with the glaze. The glaze can also be served on the side as a dipping sauce, along with the Doenjang Mayonnaise.

Doenjang Mayonnaise:

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and soybean paste until smooth. Cover and store in the refrigerator if not using immediately.

Grilled Corn On The Cob:

  1. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the butter and soybean paste until smooth.
  3. Stir in the scallion and set aside.
  4. Lightly brush the grill grates with oil.
  5. Grill the corn, turning occasionally, until charred in spots, about 10 minutes.
  6. Transfer the corn to a platter and slather with the doenjang butter, or serve the butter on the side.
  7. Serve immediately.

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