Easy Grilled Gochujang Chicken

Gochujang chicken drumsticks grilled until caramelized and juicy are finger-licking good. The spicy glaze makes this a guaranteed knock-out. You’re going to love this easy chicken recipe served with rice and refreshing cucumber salad for a simple weeknight dinner.

Grilled gochujang chicken

Ingredients needed

  • Chicken drumsticks. Chicken thighs or wings can also be used.
  • Gochujang paste/gocjujang sauce. This Korean red chili paste is fermented so it adds an incredible amount of flavor. There isn’t really a suitable substitute but if you can’t find it use a chilli paste or chilli sauce of your choice.
  • Olive oil. Avocado oil can be used too. I often also add a teaspoon of sesame oil for extra flavor but this is optional.
  • Fresh garlic cloves. 
  • Fresh ginger.
  • Fresh lemon juice. Rice vinegar can also be used.
  • Honey. Brown sugar or maple syrup can be substituted.
  • Soy sauce. Use Tamari or Coconut Aminos if you want to keep this gluten free.
  • Sesame seeds and Spring/Green onion to serve. (optional)
Gochujang marinade for grilled chicken.

How to make Gochujang chicken

  1. Make the marinade: Whisk together gochujang, oil, soy sauce, honey, lemon juice and crushed garlic.
  2. Marinate the chicken: Pour 3/4 of the marinade/glaze over the chicken and rub in, making sure every piece is coated. Set the remaining marinade aside for grilling. Cover and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes but up to 24 hours in the fridge.
  3. Grill the chicken: Grill the chicken over medium heat, brushing with the remaining marinade, until golden, caramelized and cooked through.
  4. Serve: Scatter the grilled chicken with sesame seeds and chopped spring/green onion and serve.
  5. Alternative cooking method: This recipe can also be baked in the oven or cooked in an air fryer. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil then add the chicken in a single layer. Bake at 400ºF/200ºC, turning half way through, until caramelized and cooked through. Alternatively, air fry the chicken (also at 400ºF/200ºC) for 15-20 minutes until caramelized and golden brown.

How long to grill drumsticks

Chicken drumsticks will take approximately 25-35 minutes, cooked over direct heat on a medium-hot grill or grill pan. When grilling chicken, I prefer closing the lid to allow the accumulated heat to assist with the cooking of the chicken. It’s also helpful to have a cool-zone while grilling chicken to move it to if the chicken browns too quickly for your liking. Chicken is cooked when the interior temperature reaches 73ºC/165ºF or when the meat it opaque down to the bone.

Can I make this ahead?

This gochujang chicken recipe can be made up to 3 days ahead. The marinated chicken can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 24 hours before grilling. Leftovers can be kept for 2-3 days in the fridge. Reheat before serving.

Serving suggestions

We love the spicy chicken with rice/brown rice (cauliflower rice if you’re gluten-free/keto) and refreshing cucumber salad for a simple but delicious weeknight dinner. Other vegetables like sautéed broccolini, green beans or brussels sprouts will also be great.

Gochujang marinated chicken.

Grilled chicken recipes

  1. Curried Grilled Chicken Breast
  2. Lemon Rosemary Spatchcock Chicken
  3. Easy grilled chicken thighs
Grilled Gochujang chicken

Easy Grilled Gochujang Chicken

Gochujang chicken drumsticks grilled until caramelized and juicy are finger-licking good. The spicy glaze makes this a guaranteed knock-out.
4.50 from 18 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: Gochujang chicken, grilled chicken, Grilled chicken drumsticks
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Marinating time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Calories: 187kcal
Author: Alida Ryder
Servings: 6 – 8

Ingredients

  • 1 kg (2lbs) chicken drumsticks
  • ¾ cup Gochujang
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce

Instructions

  • Whisk together gochujang, oil, soy sauce, honey, lemon juice and crushed garlic. 
  • Pour 3/4 of the marinade/glaze over the chicken and rub in, making sure every piece is coated. Set the remaining marinade aside for grilling.
  • Cover and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes but up to 24 hours in the fridge. 
  • Grill the chicken over medium heat, brushing with the remaining marinade, until golden, caramelized and cooked through. Remove from the heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  • Scatter the grilled chicken with sesame seeds and chopped spring/green onion and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 187kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 467mg | Potassium: 248mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 61IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg

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3 Comments

  1. This made a good base, but it did make quite a lot. Next time I would cut back on the gochujang paste, increase the lemon juice (maybe add lime as well) and definitely hit it with some cumin. I think that would help round out the flavors and give it more depth. Open to other suggestions as well.

    I put it on boneless skinless chicken breasts, marinated for about 10 hours, and then grilled. ??