Korean-Inspired Grilled Chicken Thighs


A very simple way of marinating chicken thighs to barbecue with Korean-inspired flavor. Serve with Calrose rice and a salad.

Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
10 mins
Additional Time:
12 hrs
Total Time:
12 hrs 20 mins
8 servings


  • 1 cup white sugar

  • ½ cup soy sauce

  • ½ cup water

  • ¼ cup minced onion

  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil

  • 4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs


  1. Combine sugar, soy sauce, water, onion, garlic, pepper, and sesame oil in a blender; process until well blended.

  2. Put chicken into a large glass or ceramic bowl. Pour marinade over top and toss to evenly coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.

  3. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate.

  4. Remove chicken from the marinade and shake off excess. Discard the remaining marinade.

  5. Cook chicken on the preheated grill until slightly crisp on the outside, no longer pink in the center, and the juices run clear, about 4 to 8 minutes per side. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).

Cook's Notes:

You can use whole chicken wings, drumsticks, or thinly sliced chicken breast instead of chicken thighs, if preferred. The sesame oil is optional but if you use it, do not substitute any other oil.

You can cook this in a frying pan on the stove (do not use oil) but it will not have the same taste as grilled. This is meant to be cooked on the barbecue.

You can prepare the chicken and marinade and freeze in zip-top bags for up to 2 weeks. Thaw in the fridge overnight and grill the next day. It's one of my favorites to make for BBQ parties or camping as it saves a lot of time!

Editor's Note:

Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of marinade ingredients. The actual amount of marinade consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

422 Calories
16g Fat
28g Carbs
40g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 422
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 5g 23%
Cholesterol 140mg 47%
Sodium 1033mg 45%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 26g
Protein 40g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 27mg 2%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 404mg 9%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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