1/2 cup (125ml) soy sauce
optional: 1 to 2 tablespoons Korean chili paste (gochujang) or Sriracha, depending on how hot you like things
1 in small onion, peeled and grated or pureeda food processor
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon mirin or rice wine*
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced or finely grated
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger (peeled or unpeeled)
freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
4-5 boneless skinless chicken thighs (1 to 1 1/4 pounds, 450-575g)
1. Mix the soy sauce, chili paste or hot sauce, onion, brown sugar, mirin or rice wine, garlic, sesame oil, ginger, a few generous turns of black pepper, and sesame seeds in a large zip-top freezer bag.
2. Lay the thighs on a cutting board, cover with a sheet of plastic wrap, and pound them so theyíre about 1/3-inch (1cm) thick with a meat pounder, rolling pin, or another heavy object. (You can also pound them, a few at a time, in a separate freezer bag to make clean-up easier.) Trim off any excess fat.
3. Put the thighs in the plastic bag with the marinade, press excess air out of the bag, seal it closed, and massage it so the marinade covers the chicken. Refrigerate for several hours, or overnight. The chicken can also be marinated in a stainless steel or glass bowl, covered and turned several times while itís marinating.
(Optional: You can cut lengths of scallions and put them in the bag with the marinade, then grill them with the chicken, too.)
4. To cook, heat your grill to high heat. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and lay them flat on the hot grill. When well-seared on the bottom, turn them over and cook another few minutes until the thighs are cooked through. The total cooking time will be less than 5 minutes. (You can baste the thighs with any leftover marinade while grilling.)
To cook in a skillet, cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces before marinading and put them in a large, lightly oiled skillet. When the chicken is seared on the bottom, stir the chicken and add any leftover marinade and let it reduce in the pan while the chicken finishes cooking.
Serving: Bulgogi is often eaten wrapped in lettuce or perilla, with kimchi, thinly sliced raw garlic, perhaps slivers of fresh chili, and a dollop of Ssamjang, sometimes with a spoonful of rice in there. I like it at home served over rice with kimchi and other condiments.
*If you donít have mirin or rice wine, you can use rice vinegar or a sweet/fruit vinegar, like balsamic or apple cider.