Not as common as the beef and pork dishes at a Korean barbecue restaurant, this underappreciated chicken dish, known as dak gui, is just as tasty and has a flavor reminiscent of teriyaki chicken but with a more complex, grown-up slant.
What to buy: Korean malt syrup or mool yut is a very thick and sticky syrup made from ground corn or sprouted barley (or sometimes both) and is used to give sweetness and shine to meat dishes. It can be found in Korean markets or online, but if you can’t find it you can substitute half the amount of barley malt syrup with light corn syrup, honey, or sugar.
- Yield: 6 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 50 mins, plus 2 hrs marinating time
- 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 6 medium garlic cloves, smashed
- 3 medium scallions, ends trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 (4-inch) piece ginger, cut into 1/4-inch coins
- 3/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup Korean malt syrup
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
- Vegetable oil, for prepping the grill
- Lay the chicken in a single layer on a cutting board. Cover with plastic wrap and, using a meat mallet or rolling pin, evenly pound to a 1/2-inch thickness.
- Place everything except the chicken and the sesame seeds in a large, nonreactive dish or a resealable plastic bag and mix until evenly combined. Add the chicken and turn to coat evenly. Cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 2 hours.
- Heat a gas or charcoal grill to high (about 400°F) and rub the grill with a towel dipped in vegetable oil. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature while the grill heats up, at least 20 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and let any excess drip off. Place the chicken on the grill and cook uncovered, turning rarely, until it’s charred and the juices are running clear, about 10 minutes total. When ready to serve, garnish with the sesame seeds.