Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Korean Grilled Chicken

Korean dinner: grilled spicy chicken, kimchi cucumber and some simple green beans
It's still grilling season and here's a delicious combination of flavors. There are a lot of ingredients in the marinade but they are all easy to find. If you can find Korean crushed red pepper - it's much milder than the stuff you shake on pizzas - use that. Rather than searingly hot, it's slightly hot and fruity. On the heat/flavor scale, I think it's close to Aleppo pepper, though that isn't much easier to locate than Korean chile! If you must, use the crushed red pepper. Or you can leave out the chile because there is a lot of flavor going on here.

This marinade is also great on veggies, such as chunks of red peppers, shiitake mushrooms, whole scallions, or spring onions.

Korean Grilled Chicken
(serves 8)

2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breasts

3 Tablespoons soy sauce
⅓ cup rice wine or dry vermouth
3 scallions, white and light green part, finely minced
8 cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 Tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
4 walnut halves, toasted and finely chopped
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon Korean red chile flakes or Aleppo pepper OR ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 ½ ground black pepper
pinch of salt

oil for greasing grill

Cut the chicken breasts into 1" thick slices. Mix together the remaining ingredients in a large glass baking dish. Add the chicken and coat with marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat up your grill on high. Brush with oil to prevent sticking. Reduce heat to medium. Remove chicken from the marinade, sprinkle lightly with salt, and cook until done, about 20 minutes, flipping to get some light char on both sides. Serve as whole pieces, or slice on the bias (as in photo above).

From Growing Up in a Korean Kitchen: A Cookbook by Hi Soo Shin Hepinstall, Ten Speed Press, 2001.

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