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Bring Korean BBQ home with this Korean kimchi chicken recipe. Chicken thighs are marinated in an Asian-style sauce with the flavors of kimchi, gochujang and soy. They are continuously basted with an amazing, flavorful sauce that caramelizes beautifully on the grill!

This recipe is very easy to prepare. With only 5 minutes of prep, most of the time is spent marinating the chicken and then grilling it.

Top view of kimchi chicken thighs and lemon wedges in light dish. Chopsticks and kimchi on the side on wooden background.

Kimchi Chicken Ingredients

Kimchi chicken ingredients prepped on wooden background.
  • bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • soy sauce
  • honey – you can use an alternative sweetener if preferred
  • rice vinegar
  • kimchi + the kimchi brine
  • gochujang – a spicy, sweet red chili paste
  • lemon juice
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • salt and pepper
Chicken thighs in a marinade in glass container with silicone brush, wooden background.

Serving Suggestions

The best side for this chicken dish is a bowl of plain white rice, udon noodles or another grain. The rice will soak up all of that delicious sauce and provide a filling, carb component to your dinner.

It’s important to add some veggies to complete your dish. Steamed or grilled vegetables and legumes like broccoli, green beans or asparagus will complement the chicken perfectly.

Kimchi chicken thighs in light dish with chopped parsley.

Salads like a simple green salad, Asian-style slaw or a pasta salad are more great options. Try a light, fruity salad like this watermelon salad.

If you’re looking for a drink suggestion, try a red wine like Pinot Noir or Zinfandel that pair well with the chicken thighs. For a white wine, you could go with something sparkling, Riesling, Moscato, etc. If a beer is what you’re after, crisp, light lager beers pair well with the spicy kimchi.

Kimchi chicken thighs in light dish with lemon wedges on the side.

Storage Info

If you want to turn this dish into a freezer meal, you can freeze the raw chicken thighs with the marinade ahead of time in a freezer-safe bag or an air-tight container. Then, you can simply thaw it in the refrigerator when you’re ready to get grilling.

Chicken thighs in a marinade in glass container, wooden background.

If you end up having leftovers, the cooked chicken thighs will last about 3 to 4 days in the fridge.

Kimchi chicken thighs in light dish with lemon wedges and chopsticks on the side.

Korean Kimchi Chicken

Joss D
Chicken thighs are marinated in an Asian-style sauce with the flavors of kimchi and gochujang and then grilled and basted until crispy.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Marinating Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Korean
Servings 4
Calories 470 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 2 pounds bone-in skin-on chicken thighs - (about 2 thighs per person)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup liquid honey
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup kimchi
  • 1/4 cup kimchi brine - (the liquid from the jar)
  • 1/4 cup gochujang
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 4 garlic cloves - peeled
  • 2 tablespoons ginger - minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh parsley - chopped (to garnish)

Instructions
 

  • For the marinade: In a blender, process the soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, kimchi, kimchi brine, gochujang, lemon juice, garlic, and ginger, until smooth.
  • Reserve 1/2 cup of the marinade for serving. Add the rest to a large zip-top bag.
  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add it to the zip-top bag with the kimchi marinade. Marinate the chicken for at least 2 hours in the fridge or up to 6 hours.
  • Preheat grill to medium-high heat and leave half of the burners off for an indirect heat section.
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade (but keep the marinade for basting). Place the thighs on the preheated grill, skin-side down, over the direct heat. Cook for about 5 minutes per side, until you see dark grill marks. Baste with the kimchi sauce when you flip the chicken.
  • Move the thighs to the indirect heat side of the grill, skin side up. Baste them with the marinade again. Cover the grill and let them cook for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  • Brush the chicken thighs with the reserved sauce (the sauce that wasn't used for marinating). Garnish with parsley and serve!

Equipment

Outdoor grill
Blender
Basting brush
Large zip-top bag

Nutrition

Calories: 470kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 32gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 189mgSodium: 402mgPotassium: 455mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 159IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 24mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information on In the Kitch is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. It may not include toppings and/or sauces.

Keyword chicken thighs, grilled chicken, kimchi
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