Korean BBQ Marinade
Our take on a traditional Korean BBQ marinade uses ginger, garlic, and green onions to infuse soy sauce with the deep, slightly salty, umami flavors that make Korean BBQ so delicious.
This Korean marinade works equally well with chicken, beef, pork, or vegetables.
Tips for a Better Korean BBQ Marinade
A couple of tips when using this marinade. Try and make sure to let whatever you’re marinating sit in the sauce for at least an hour, we often let things marinate overnight. Also, occasionally turn over whatever is being marinated to make sure the marinade is evenly distributed.
A lot of Korean BBQ marinades include sesame seed oil in them. In our testing, we found that versions with the oil didn’t penetrate what we were marinating as deeply as versions without it and that the toasted sesame seeds gave the marinade the sesame flavor that Korean BBQ is known for. We also ended up adding some lime juice to add a little more citrus and acid and to slightly cut down on the saltiness in the soy sauce.
What we love about this marinade is how easy it is to make and how much flavor it delivers. It’s the kind of thing you can throw together when you get home from work and be able to make something that tastes amazing.
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tsp fresh ginger, minced or grated
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 3 to 4 green onions, chopped
- Pinch of pepper
- Start by mincing the ginger and garlic and dicing the green onions.
- In a small pan, toast the sesame seeds for a couple of minutes over medium heat. Make sure to keep the seeds moving while the seeds are toasting, so they toast evenly and don’t burn. The seeds are done when they’ve browned a little and have a nice toasted smell to them.
- In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, sesame seeds, and green onions, along with a pinch of black pepper.
- If you have the time, let the marinade sit for 15 minutes or so to let the flavors come together, before using it. Marinate whatever you’re cooking in the sauce for at least an hour before cooking. This marinade can be made ahead of time and is fantastic when it’s allowed to work it’s magic overnight.
The nutrition information shown is an estimate based on available ingredients and preparation.
Mark is an experienced food writer, recipe developer, and photographer who is also Umami’s publisher and CEO. A passionate cook who loves to cook for friends, he can often be found in the kitchen or by the grill testing new recipes.
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