Let’s face it, chicken tends to be home cooks’ go-to for a quick meal, but most of us are beyond bored with our regular chicken menu options.
Well, our Go-To Gochujang Chicken roundup offers three new and weeknight-achievable alternatives to shake up your routine.
I’m glad you asked! It’s going to be your new, favorite condiment.
Gochujang is a fermented red chili paste popular in Korean food and is made with red chili flakes. You get both a sweet flavor from the fermented rice (sticky rice) and umami flavor from the fermented soybeans used in making Gochujang. Heat is probably a better word than spicy.
Oh, geez…Pandora’s box opened. Umami is the savory “fifth” flavor that goes along with the universally recognized flavors of sweet, salty, sour and bitter. Umami is subtler than those four tastes and it’s the one that makes your mouth water. Sounds delicious, right?
These three recipes will have you jumping on the Gochujang-umami bandwagon. And, with a little planning and prepping, all three recipes come together in less than 45 minutes.
Simple to Make — 15-Minute Sticky Korean Chicken
Source: The Flavours of Kitchen
Weeknights are hard. Especially during a Pandemic. If you’re trying to manage work, remote learning for your kids and all your other responsibilities, getting dinner on the table may put you over the edge.
Rescue yourself from the weeknight wearies with The Flavours of Kitchen’s 15-Minute Sticky Korea Chicken.
Sticky…Sweet…Spicy. This easy, impressive weeknight meal will bring your family to the table FAST!
Six things to know about the 15-Minute Sticky Korean Chicken recipe:
- This recipe is scalable! Go to the Print Recipe page and scale up or down to meet your needs.
- This recipe requires gochujang. You’ll find it at Asian markets, in the Asian section of most major grocery stores, or you can order it online. Gochujang keeps in the fridge for two years, but trust me, you’ll go through it well before it expires.
- I used chicken breasts instead of boneless chicken thighs. It’s the chicken we had on hand and when it comes to a weeknight meal, sometimes you go with what you have.
- If you’re using chicken breasts, cut them into strips so the cooking time stays in the 7-10 minute range. While you could use full chicken breasts, this will increase your cooking time. Two minutes cutting the chicken into strips will save you 5-8 minutes cooking time.
- Be sure to toast the sesame seeds! Toasting deepens their nutty flavor and enhances their texture, giving them a crunch. Use a small frying pan over medium heat, continually shake the pan, and do NOT walk away. They can go from nutty goodness to burned in a heartbeat.
- The 15-Minute Sticky Korean Chicken really does come together in about 15 minutes but tastes like it took hours to make.
Grab some gochujang and get this meal on your table ASAP!
Easy to Elevate– Sticky Gochujang-Honey Chicken
Source: Nerds with Knives
Are you seeing a pattern (or two) here? Sticky and gochujang. Yum and yummy.
The ingredient list for this elevated option for Sticky Gochujang-Honey Chicken from Nerds with Knives is similar to the Sticky Korean chicken but includes the addition of honey and lime. The honey provides even more stickiness while the lime provides a needed dash of acid.
Eight things to know about the Sticky Gochujang-Honey Chicken recipe:
- The chicken needs to marinate at least 30 minutes but no more than 24 hours. The 30-minute marinade works great for a quick meal and you can marinate it longer but be sure not to go more than 24 hours as the acid will begin to break down the protein in the chicken.
- Prep the chicken and marinade the night before or in the morning for quicker meal-time cooking.
- I used a cast iron skillet. Not only does cast iron heat evenly, your chicken will brown better, and it’s non-stick which makes clean up easier.
- Put any extra marinade in the pan with the chicken to make it extra sticky. While this isn’t specifically mentioned in the instructions, we added it and used it to baste the chicken. Sticky, sticky. Yum, yum.
- Cooking time will vary with the type (thigh vs. breast) and size of your chicken. Be sure your chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°. The chicken breasts I used were larger and took nearly 40 minutes to cook.
- Once you glaze the chicken, broil it until it reaches your desired level of brown and bubbly. I broiled ours for about 4 minutes. Play around with the time, just make sure it doesn’t burn under the broiler.
- Be sure to toast the sesame seeds and add them as a garnish! You’ll enjoy the crunch from the seeds and toasting them deepens their nutty flavor. Use a small frying pan over medium heat, continually shake the pan, and do NOT walk away. They can go from nutty goodness to burned in a heartbeat.
- The lime is a MUST. It adds an acidic note that brings the entire dish together. Don’t skip the lime!
This Sticky Gochujang-Honey Chicken is golden, bubbly, glistening cast iron goodness.
Made to Impress — Korean Fried Chicken
Source: Kitchen Sanctuary
And now, we combine sticky, gochujang and FRIED CHICKEN. Welcome to gochujang heaven!
This Korean Fried Chicken has me officially requesting sanctuary in Nicky’s Kitchen Sanctuary
Honestly, I’ve never been the greatest at making standard fried chicken mostly because my paranoia of undercooking the chicken inevitably forces me to overcook it.
But in steps Korean Fried Chicken, a recipe utilizing chicken breast strips. Now, this I can fry without fear!
Six things to know about the Korean Fried Chicken recipe:
- You must marinate the chicken strips in the buttermilk mixture for at least an hour.
- You can prep and marinate the chicken in the morning or the evening prior to cooking, but do NOT marinate longer than 24 hours.
- Do I really need to use buttermilk? YES! Buttermilk adheres to the chicken and gives the crispy coating sticking power. Better crispy coating = better fried chicken. Buttermilk also tenderizes the chicken and breaks down the proteins, making the fried chicken tender and flavorful.
- Use a cast iron or enameled cast iron Dutch oven to help keep your oil at the correct temperature between batches.
- Do not overcrowd the chicken while cooking. Overcrowding will more quickly lower the oil temperature and alter your cooking time.
- If you’re keeping the fried chicken warm in the oven, do NOT add the sauce. If you do, it will soak into the crispy skin you’ve just spent time achieving and the end result will be mushy. Wait until all the chicken is fried and then add the sauce immediately prior to serving.
The Korean Fried Chicken was hands-down my family’s favorite of the three recipes. But both the 15-Minute Sticky Korean Chicken and the Sticky Gochujang-Honey Chicken were hits as well.
Everyone will come running no matter which recipe I put on the table. And I’ll be the only one who knows that none of these took longer than 45 minutes (minus marination time).
Drop us a note and let us know which one was your favorite!