Korean BBQ Marinade

This Korean BBQ Marinade Recipe Has The Deep, Slightly Salty, Umami Flavors that Make Korean BBQ So Delicious

By Mark Hinds  |  Updated April 14, 2021  |  0 Comments 

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.

Korean BBQ Marinade Ingredients
Our take on a traditional Korean BBQ marinade uses ginger, garlic, and green onions to infuse soy sauce

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.

Korean BBQ Marinade
It’s best to let items marinate for at least an hour before cooking

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.

This marinade is featured in our Korean BBQ Short Ribs and Korean BBQ Chicken Wings recipe.

Korean Short Rib Recipe Featured

A couple of delicious side dishes that go with this marinade are our Instant Pot Ginger White Rice and Garlicky Refrigerator Pickles.

Korean Bbq Marinade Featured

Korean BBQ Marinade

4.5 from 4 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 1 cup


  • 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.
Making this RecipeTag us on Instagram at @umami.site and hashtag it #umami_site

Mark Hinds

A passionate writer, overly curious cook, and Umami's founder. Mark can often be found cooking for friends.

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