Buldak, Korean “fire chicken”

Buldak, Korean “fire chicken”

A fried chicken dish known for its extreme spiciness, you can control the amount of heat by using less chilis (or chili paste or powder). What I do not recommend “less” of is the marinating time. The chicken just won’t get the depth of flavor and coloring without sitting overnight in the fridge in the soy and spice marinade.

If you want a faster cooking buldak, use chicken fillets. But fried chicken is so much tastier when bone-in chicken pieces are used so I opted for thighs — bone in and skin on.

Based on a recipe from Trifood.

Recipe: Buldak: Korean spicy fried chicken


  • 8 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
  • 3 tbsp. of soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. of ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsps. of honey
  • 3 tbsp. of rice wine
  • 1 scallion stalk, finely sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. of sesame seed oil

For the sauce: Buldak: Korean spicy chicken

  • 2 bird’s eye chilis
  • 1 tsp. of chili powder
  • 1 pear, cored
  • 1 onion or 2 shallots
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 4 tbsps. of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. of rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. of sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp. of honey


  1. Rinse the chicken thighs and pat dry. Place in a bowl. Add the soy sauce, pepper, honey, rice wine, sliced scallion and sesame seed oil. Mix well. Cover and marinate in the fridge for several hours or overnight.
  2. Buldak: Korean spicy chicken
  3. In a blender or food processor, finely chop all the ingredients for the sauce. Taste, adjust the seasonings according to your preferences and set aside.
  4. Buldak: Korean spicy chicken
  5. Lift the chicken thighs from the marinade (reserve the marinade — it’s so very good with Korean potato stir fry, the recipe for which will be┬áhas been posted next). Fry the chicken thighs or if, like me, you hate frying because it’s messy, arrange the chicken thighs in a baking pan and stick in a preheated 375F oven for 20 minutes.
  6. Buldak: Korean spicy chicken
  7. Heat the sauce in a pan and allow to caramelize a bit (DO NOT ALLOW TO BURN!).
  8. Add the chicken thighs and cook over high heat, turning often, until the sauce thickens and coats the chicken thighs.
  9. Buldak: Korean spicy chicken
  10. Arrange the chicken on a serving plate. Sprinkle with finely snipped scallions (or toasted sesame seeds) and serve hot.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

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  1. says

    Oh my gosh, I’m heavily drooling here. :D These looks sooooo delicious. All I need right now is a bowl of steamed rice, and I’ll be chowing down without saying a word (besides DELICIOUS!). Really scrumptious looking chicken!

  2. Connie says

    LOL Thanks, Nami! But, wait! I paired the chicken with Korean stir-fried potatoes and that’s coming up. :)

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