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How to Make Our Korean BBQ Sauce

Stephanie Golub
Oct 24, 2022

Korean BBQ is everywhere. From cozy takeout spots to staple menu add-ons, this cuisine has taken the foodie scene by storm. So much so that interest in the East Asian delicacy skyrocketed to almost 90% this past year. Classic mains feature tender marinated meats, banchan (small plates served up with rice), and spicy kimchi stews. These meals are sublime on their own, but we certainly can’t forget the saucy stars of the show. 

If you’re looking for a go-to sauce, we’re going to let you in on our little secret. Our chefs cracked the BBQ code and cooked up a versatile, salty-sweet version of the crowd favorite. Give this Bulgogi a go in our Sticky-Sweet BBQ Beef Bowl, or whip up our recipe in your own kitchen to kick up your Korean BBQ night. 

The History of Korean BBQ 

Korean BBQ got its start with the Maek, a nomadic group of people in Central Asia. As they made their way east, they brought along pre-seasoned meats to save time while traveling. Since the meat was already tenderized and spiced up, all that was left to do was to cook the cuts over a fire. As the settlers arrived, the trusty shortcut started to gain traction throughout the Korean peninsula. In the decades ahead, locals started to experiment with sauces to make the meat all the more delicious. 

How to Make Our Signature Bulgogi Sauce 

Equipment needed: Blender, chef’s knife, measuring spoons, measuring cup


½ cup of soy sauce or tamari

⅓ cup of maple syrup

⅓ cup of  apple juice

2 garlic cloves

1 Tbsp of sesame oil

1-inch piece of ginger (peeled)

¼ tsp of black pepper

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and purée until combined. 

The Perfect Pairing

If it’s Saturday (or just a Monday—no judgment, here) we’d recommend serving soju. It’s the alcoholic drink of choice in Korea and is doled out everywhere from local watering holes to high-end restaurants. The famous distilled beverage is made out of rice and grains and is typically poured into small glasses and knocked back neat. A solid sober option to have on hand is milkis.  

Okay, onto the dessert department. After tapping into all that umami flavor,  bingsu and dalgona coffee will do the trick. Does this instant drink ring a bell? That’s because this fluffy whipped coffee was the talk of the TikTok town in spring 2020. Its milky base and sugary foam has just the right amount of sweetness to round out the meal. 

Once you try Korean BBQ and its tangy sauce, there’s no going back. Whether you’re dressing Asian tacos or sampling it in our meals, this sauce will definitely shake up your weeknight eats. 

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How to Make Our Korean BBQ Sauce