Korean Barbecue Sauce can go just about anywhere regular barbecue sauce can go, but is also wonderful with stir fries, lettuce wraps, fried rice; this sauce is an instant flavor boost to almost any food. 

I’ve poured Korean Barbecue Sauce over pulled pork, marinated flank steak in the sauce for lettuce wraps, drizzled the sauce over grilled chicken, sautéed chicken and vegetables with the sauce for a stir-fry. 


  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chile-garlic sauce (such as Sriracha(R)) (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Asian (toasted) sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. Stir soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, rice wine vinegar, chile-garlic sauce, ginger, sesame oil, and black pepper together in a saucepan; bring to a boil.
  2. Whisk cornstarch and water together in a small bowl until the cornstarch dissolves; pour into boiling soy sauce mixture. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the sauce is thick, 3 to 5 minutes.

2nd - HIGHER LEVEL - Bill Kim

I learned the essence of American barbecue when I worked as a cook in Atlanta, and I still crave that sticky, smoky, tender meat. We capture those memories when we cook with this sauce at our restaurants. With sweetness coming from the brown sugar, kiwi, and pear, plus the sharpness from the onion, soy sauce, and garlic, this sauce has everything you need for barbecue with a Korean touch. 

JAMES BEARD AWARD FINALIST • A casual and practical guide to grilling with Korean-American flavors from chef Bill Kim of Chicago’s award-winning bellyQ restaurants, with 80 recipes tailored for home cooks with suitable substitutions for hard-to-find ingredients.

Born in Korea but raised in the American Midwest, chef Bill Kim brings these two sensibilities together in Korean BBQ, translating Korean flavors for the American consumer in a way that is friendly and accessible. This isn’t a traditional Korean cookbook but a Korean-American one, based on gatherings around the grill on weeknights and weekends. 

Kim teaches the fundamentals of the Korean grill through flavor profiles that can be tweaked according to the griller's preference, then gives an array of knockout recipes. Starting with seven master sauces (and three spice rubs), you’ll soon be able to whip up a whole array of recipes, including Hoisin and Yuzu Edamame, Kimchi Potato Salad, Kori-Can Pork Chops, Seoul to Buffalo Shrimp, BBQ Spiced Chicken Thighs, and Honey Soy Flank Steak. From snacks and drinks to desserts and sides, Korean BBQ has everything you need to for a fun and delicious time around the grill.


  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 small white onion, coarsely chopped 
  • 1 Asian pear, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 kiwi, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil


Combine the brown sugar, water, and soy sauce in a bowl and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Transfer the mixture to a food processor, add the onion, pear, kiwi, garlic, and ginger, and process for about 2 minutes, until completely smooth. Add the sesame oil and blend until fully combined.

Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 2 months. Or freeze in standard ice cube trays, then transfer the cubes (they’ll be about 2 tablespoons each) to plastic freezer bags and freeze for up to 2 months.

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