15-Minute Spicy Korean Chicken

15-Minute Spicy Korean Chicken — Fast, EASY, perfectly SPICY chicken that’s so tender and juicy! Who needs takeout or a restaurant when you can make this AWESOME chicken at home in 15 minutes?

spicy Korean chicken in a metal skillet

Spicy Korean Chicken Recipe

I love spicy food whether it’s Mexican, Thai, Indian, or Korean, count me in. I love a recipe even more when it’s easy, made in a skillet, and ready in 15 minutes.

This Korean spicy chicken is a perfect recipe for busy weeknights or when you’re trying to up your what-to-do-with-chicken-again game. We’ve all been there. This gochujang chicken is wonderfully tender, moist, juicy, and perfectly spicy. The kind of heat that makes you want to keep eating more. And more.

There are layers of flavors from soy sauce, garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, and more. If you’re not a spicy food fan, then this probably isn’t the recipe for you. Or you’ll definitely want to reduce the amount of gochujang sauce you add.

What is Gochujang Sauce?

Gochujang sauce is a Korean sauce that’s great for dipping, marinating, seasoning, or glazing. I find it in the Asian section of my regular grocery store or you can always Amazon it.

In my opinion, it has a similar heat profile to chili garlic sauce (or possibly sriracha) and could probably be used interchangeably with either of those two (traditionalists, please no hate mail), noting the ultimate flavor profile will change a bit, but the overall heat level will likely remain about the same.

I throw this out there for anyone concerned about spending $4.99 on a sauce for one recipe. Now you have other recipe options to use it with!

close up of spicy Korean chicken in a metal skillet

How to Make Korean Chicken

Add the gochujang sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic to a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the chicken, cover, and place in the fridge to marinate for at least 1 hour, or up to 8 hours.

Use a slotted spoon to separate the chicken from the marinade and place in a well oiled skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until chicken is cooked through. While the chicken cooks, add cornstarch and water to a bowl and stir to combine.

Add the cornstarch slurry to the side of the skillet and turn the heat down. Gently stir the slurry into into the pan sauce. Keep stirring for about 1 to 2 minutes, or until sauce has thickened. Spoon the thickened sauce over the chicken pieces or just flip them around in the sauce to coat them evenly. 

Remove pan from the heat, add the green onions, sesame seeds, and serve immediately. I like to pair this spicy Korean chicken with rice, but you could also do fried rice, cauliflower rice, or just make a salad. Something cool to tone down the heat factor wouldn’t be a bad option at all!

15-Minute Spicy Korean Skillet Chicken - Fast, EASY, perfectly SPICY chicken that's so tender and juicy!! Who needs takeout or a restaurant when you can make this AWESOME chicken at home in 15 minutes!!

Tips for the Best Korean Chicken

When cooking the chicken, make sure to stir it a few times so that it cooks evenly throughout. If you’ve diced the chicken small enough, it should cook within 5 to 7 minutes.

The cornstarch slurry isn’t completely necessary, but I like to add it in to thicken up the sauce. I don’t like when the sauce is super runny, but if you don’t have cornstarch on hand or simply prefer not to use it that’s fine! 

Note that there’s really no substitution for the gochujang sauce in this recipe. It gives this Korean spicy chicken its signature flavor — I promise it’s worth buying a bottle! 

Lastly, I find reduced-sodium soy sauce best for this recipe. Regular soy sauce is a little too salty for me, and I much prefer the lower sodium versions for the Korean chicken marinade. 

15-Minute Spicy Korean Skillet Chicken – Fast, EASY, perfectly SPICY chicken that’s so tender and juicy!! Who needs takeout or a restaurant when you can make this AWESOME chicken at home in 15 minutes!!

More Asian Chicken Recipes: 

  • P.F. Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps {Copycat Recipe} – Skip the restaurant version and make at home in 20 minutes! Easy, healthier because you’re controlling the ingredients, and they taste way better!
  • Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps – EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and layered with FLAVOR galore!! High protein, gluten-free, and the Thai twist is AMAZING! Your NEW GO-TO chicken wrap recipe!!
  • Easy Better-Than-Takeout Chicken Fried Rice – One-skillet, ready in 20 minutes, and you’ll never want takeout again after tasting how good homemade is!! Way more flavor, not greasy, and loads of juicy chicken!
  • Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken — This Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken is coated in the most incredible peanut sauce. Serve it over rice for an easy meal, and garnish with green onions and extra peanuts for added crunch! 
  • Sesame Mango Chicken — An EASY Asian-inspired recipe with tender sesame chicken, juicy mango, and soy-garlic-ginger infused cabbage and carrots!
15-Minute Spicy Korean Chicken

15-Minute Spicy Korean Chicken

Fast, EASY, perfectly SPICY chicken that's so tender and juicy! Who needs takeout or a restaurant when you can make this AWESOME chicken at home in 15 minutes?

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup gochujang sauce
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 4 to 5 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 scant teaspoon cold water
  • green onions, diced into thin rounds for garnishing
  • sesame seeds, for garnishing

Instructions

  1. To a large bowl, add the gochujang sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and stir to combine.
  2. Add the chicken, cover, and place in the fridge to marinate for at least 1 hour, or up to 8 hours.
  3. To a large skillet, add the olive oil, and using a slotted spoon add the chicken (discard leftover marinade), and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through; flip intermittently to ensure even cooking.
  4. While the chicken cooks, to a small bowl add the cornstarch, water, and stir to combine until dissolved.
  5. After the chicken has cooked through, add the cornstarch slurry to the side of the pan (don’t dump it over the chicken), turn the heat to medium-low, and gently stir the slurry into into the pan sauce. Keep stirring for about 1 to 2 minutes, or until sauce has thickened up to desired level. Spoon the thickened sauce over the chicken pieces or just flip them around in the sauce to coat them evenly. Note – the cornstarch addition is not absolutely necessary but I prefer the sauce thicker and with more body rather as opposed to runny and find the extra 1 to 2 minutes worth it.
  6. Remove pan from the heat, add the green onions, sesame seeds, and serve immediately. Chicken is best warm and fresh but will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Damn Delicious.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 575 Total Fat: 24g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 18g Cholesterol: 145mg Sodium: 2029mg Carbohydrates: 31g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 20g Protein: 57g

Even More Easy Asian Recipes: 

Spicy Pork Lettuce Wraps – EASY, ready in 20 minutes, perfectly SPICY yet wonderfully fresh!! Just enough heat to keep you going back for more! A new dinnertime WINNER!!

Spicy Pork Lettuce Wraps - EASY, ready in 20 minutes, perfectly SPICY yet wonderfully fresh!! Just enough heat to keep you going back for more! A new dinnertime WINNER!!

Easy Sweet and Sour Asian Noodles - So much flavor in these easy noodles that are ready in 30 minutes!! Plenty of vegetables add great crunch! You won't miss takeout when homemade tastes way better and is healthier!!
 
Easy Better-Than-Takeout Shrimp Fried Rice — One-skillet, ready in 20 minutes, and you’ll never takeout again!! Homemade tastes WAY BETTER!! Tons more flavor, not greasy, and loaded with tender shrimp!!
 
Easy Better-Than-Takeout Shrimp Fried Rice - One-skillet, ready in 20 minutes, and you'll never takeout again!! Homemade tastes WAY BETTER!! Tons more flavor, not greasy, and loaded with tender shrimp!!

9 comments on “15-Minute Spicy Korean Chicken”

  1. I’d love to try this too! We have been getting some good thai, korean and vietnamese restaurants in the past couple of years and have enjoyed trying them all. I think I have seen gochujang sauce at one of my regular grocery stores–now I know what to use it for!

  2. We loved this! The gochujang by itself has a pretty good amount of heat to it but after cooking the chicken, it was toned down with all the other ingredients that went into the marinade (I’m sure the brown sugar helped a bit)! I served it over cauliflower rice and the finished sauce was wonderful over that too.

    Rating: 5
    • Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad that you thought this was wonderful! I agree, the sauce mellows a bit after cooking it down, along with the other ingredients too. Cauliflower rice sounds great!

  3. I made this for company last night! OMG!!! It was so easy (as are most of your recipes) but it tasted better than a restaurant any day. I discovered you a few weeks back while looking for a coconut curry recipe. Since then, I’ve not made one dinner that wasn’t absolutely delicious. Thank you Averie for your blog. You deserve to be in the top 10. I’ve been referring you to all my friends and family.

    Rating: 5
    • Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad you are so happy with my recipes! I remember your comment the other day regarding the curry and thanks for continuing to comment and try out more of my recipes. And thanks for the recommendations to your friends and fam and for saying I deserve to be in the top 10. I really appreciate it :)

  4. I just posted a 5 star review on this Korean chicken recipe and forgot to mention that it is indeed spicy. But it’s not that heartburn spicy (no tums needed), just a nice throat warming comfortable spiciness. I would cut back on the gochujang sauce if you don’t like that much heat but we all loved it as is.

  5. This chicken came out amazing. It reminded me of what I get at korean restaurants! The corn starch gave the sauce a good stickyness

    Rating: 5

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