Korean Chicken

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These easy Korean Chicken are packed with tons of sweet and spicy flavors but make a surprisingly light dinner with just 250 calories.

254 CAL 11g CARBS 8g FAT 30g PROTEIN

You seriously can't beat the flavor of this easy Korean Chicken! It's an easy weeknight meal that will quickly become a family favorite when you are craving Asian take-out. Plus the leftovers are absolutely delicious for lunch when the flavors have even more time to soak into the chicken.

For a long time, I have been pretty obsessed with Korean flavors. I love the mix of sweet and spicy, like in these Korean Beef Bowls and Bulgogi Bowls

When it comes to making really delicious Korean food, one of the secrets is using a Korean chili paste called gochujang. It's a sweet, spicy, and savory paste made of fermented red chilies, sticky rice, and soybeans.

It may sound a little out of your comfort zone, but I promise it's delicious. Plus as Korean flavors become more popular, I am able to find gochujang in my local grocery stores in the Asian section.

To make this an easy weeknight meal, I usually try to toss the chicken into the marinade in the morning so it will be ready to go when dinner time comes around. Then when it's time for dinner, I just toss the chicken into the pot and get some rice or quinoa cooking.

Since I am always trying to sneak in some extra veggies, I usually either steam or roast some broccoli as well to add to the dish. In about 30 minutes, dinner is ready and if your family is anything like ours, everyone will be going back for seconds so you may want to consider doubling up the recipe.

Korean chicken thighs with white rice and spinach on a blue plate with chopsticks.

Tips for Making Korean Chicken

  • If you prefer chicken breast to thighs, you could use those instead. Just watch the cooking time since chicken breasts tend to become dry when cooked too long. I would reduce the simmering time to about 10 minutes.
  • Gochujang can really vary when it comes to spice. Taste your marinade before adding the red pepper flakes. If it is already plenty spicy for you, leave out the extra red pepper flakes. If it isn't spicy enough, add some extra.
  • The leftovers from this dish are amazing so plan on making extra. Personally I love using them in lettuce wraps, rice bowls, and Asian inspired tacos with some crunchy cabbage on top.
  • Since the sodium level can be high in this dish from the gochujang and soy sauce, make sure to look for a low sodium soy sauce or consider using coconut aminos, which have significantly less sodium than soy sauce.

What is gochujang?

Gochujang is a spicy Korean paste that is made from chilies, fermented soybeans, and some kind of sweetener. It is used in all kinds of Korean dishes and often used to marinate meat. The exact level of spice and sweetness vary between brands so it is always best to taste the paste before adding it to a recipe. It can be found in many grocery stores or Asian specialty stores.

Can I cook this on the grill?

Sure! Keep the chicken thighs whole and marinate them for at least 1-2 hours before cooking. Then remove the chicken from the marinade, letting the excess drip off. Cook on the grill for 4-5 minutes per side or until cooked through. Saute the spinach on the side or choose a different vegetable.

Side Dish Ideas

There are so many options for serving this sweet and spicy chicken. Rice is the natural choice since it is a staple in Korean cooking. You can also grab some kimchi, sprouts, or pickled carrots to serve on the side. Sauteed or roasted vegetables pair well with the flavors of the chicken. Usually, I like to roast the veggies in sesame oil to keep a similar flavor profile. Some favorites include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, or sugar snap peas. 

For a lower carb option, you could serve this with some cauliflower rice, zucchini noodles, or spaghetti squash. It's also delicious wrapped up in lettuce wraps with some crunchy raw veggies on top. 

Korean chicken with spinach, rice, and Asian chili paste on a blue pate.

Looking for more Asian style chicken recipes?

The Recipe
Korean chicken with spinach, rice, and hot sauce on a plate with chopsticks.

Korean Chicken

254 CAL 11g CARBS 8g FAT 30g PROTEIN
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  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, sliced
  • 1/3 cup gochujang (Korean hot sauce)
  • 2.5 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup green onions, sliced (divided)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 8 oz baby spinach

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Mix together the gochujang, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, and half of the green onions. Add the chicken and marinate for at least 30 minutes.


When ready to cook, add the water to a heavy bottom pan over medium high heat. Add the chicken and marinade. Bring to a simmer. Once simmering, reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes.


Uncover the chicken and let simmer for an additional 10 minutes. During this time, the sauce should thicken. Add the spinach and green onions. Stir until spinach wilts. Taste and season with more red pepper flakes, soy sauce, or gochujang as needed.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 2/3 cup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 254
Calories from Fat 23
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g
Saturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 132mg
Sodium 576mg
Total Carbohydrate 11g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 12g
Protein 30g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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On Korean Chicken
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January 16, 2024 - 05:16
Also the brown sugar is to be included in the marinade mix (it is not listed in Step 1)
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March 29, 2020 - 04:33
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This dish was so delicious and flavorful! I tossed in shredded carrots and noodles at the end of cooking and you were right, everyone went back for seconds. Thanks for sharing your recipe!
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