Sweet Spicy Gochujang Chicken. Crispy chicken bites smothered in a glossy spicy, sweet, smoky sauce with a gochujang base. Ready in 30 minutes.
The perfect main to steamed rice and leafy greens. This is a winner-winner chicken dinner or lunch! Also great for meal prep too!
This spicy gochujang sauce chicken is so amazing and addictive in flavor! The sauce is bursting with sweet, spicy with savory flavor. It goes so well with the fried chicken bites.
I love pairing this Korean fried chicken dish with white rice or brown rice and vegetables for one of those delicious meals! For a lower calorie diet, feel free to pair the chicken in lettuce wraps or lettuce leaves.
What is Gochujang Chicken?
Gochujang Chicken is fried pieces of chicken coated in a glossy sweet, spicy, smoky sauce with onions. The gochujang sauce is a mixture of gochujang (Korean red chili paste), soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, cornstarch, and water. The gochujang gives the sauce that umami flavor takes this whole chicken dish to another level!
This is one of those scrumptious easy recipes that doesn't take a lot of time, with a handful of ingredients! The cooking process only takes 10 minutes. Most of the time towards preparing the gochujang chicken thighs.
Not a fan of spice?
If you're not a fan of spice, I recommend you to check out my Korean Sweet & Sticky Chicken instead. It has a similar taste profile but no spice at all! Perfect for the whole family and young kids.
You’ll need the following ingredients for Gochujang Chicken. Please scroll down to below recipe card for exact measurements.
Note: Most Asian grocers will carry these ingredients. You may find some at your select grocery store or online, like on Amazon.
- Boneless skinless chicken thighs: I prefer using juicy chicken thighs without chicken skin for that tender dark meat. But feel free to substitute with chicken breast if you wish. If you do, please reduce the cooking time.
- Onion, or red onion: to add a sharp flavor to our spicy sauce!
- Cornstarch: or substitute with potato starch. This helps make our sliced chicken crispy and golden.
- Neutral oil: like avocado oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil or canola oil. Avoid olive oil, coconut oil or any heavy scented oils.
- Green onion or spring onions: these add vibrant color and flavor to our gochujang chicken recipe! They are optional.
- Toasted sesame seeds: I highly recommend this optional garnish. It adds delicious flavors to our spicy gochujang sauce.
- Garlic cloves: to add a delicious garlicky flavor to our hot sauce!
- White granulated sugar: or substitute with honey, maple syrup or brown sugar. The sugar is necessary for that signature sweet flavor that you find in Korean gochujang chicken.
- Gochujang paste: a Korean chili paste. It's a thick, sweet, dark red paste with a smoky flavor. It's made of Korean chili flakes, sticky rice (aka glutinous rice), soybeans that have been through the fermentation process, and salt. It's a building block of many Korean recipes. There are different ways to use this Korean red chili paste in Korean cooking. In fact, it's commonly used in Korean BBQ grill for those big bold flavors! You can find this ingredient at the Korean grocer or at select Asian grocery stores.
- Regular soy sauce: aka all-purpose soy sauce. The label will simply say "soy sauce". This is different from dark soy sauce, which is darker in color and thicker in viscosity. You may also substitute with light soy sauce or low sodium soy sauce.
- Toasted sesame seeds: another common ingredient used in Korean cuisine. This easily adds great flavor to any Korean food.
- Toasted sesame oil: to add a potent sesame flavor to our spicy Korean chicken recipe. This is a must!
- Cornstarch: or substitute with potato starch. This helps thicken our spicy glaze.
- Room temperature water: create a luscious and glossy sauce for our Korean spicy chicken.
How to Make Gochujang Chicken
Dice chicken thighs into 1-inch pieces. Place chicken in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine Sauce ingredients as listed. Set aside.
Into your large bowl of diced chicken, add cornstarch. Mix until chicken is coated in starch.
In a large wok or large pan on medium-high heat (around 350-375 degrees F), heat vegetable oil or any neutral oil. Once hot, add coated chicken.
Fry until golden brown and crispy, about 7-10 minutes. Remove and set aside on a baking dish or large plate lined with paper towel to absorb excess oil.
Back into the pan on medium high heat, fry onion until translucent, about 30-45 seconds.
Pour in sauce. Allow it to simmer to thicken.
Once the sauce has thickened, reduce to medium heat. Add in fried chicken. Mix to coat evenly.
Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!
This gochujang chicken will last up to 4 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge. To reheat, microwave for 2-3 minutes or on the stovetop over medium heat.
Can I fry the chicken in the air fryer?
Yes! To air fry, follow these instructions:
- Line the air fryer basket with air fryer parchment paper or lightly spray the basket with neutral oil.
- Place coated chicken in a single layer giving each piece enough space. Do not overlap. You may need to air fry in small batches depending on the size of your air fryer.
- Lightly spray the coated chicken with neutral oil.
- Air fry at 400 degrees F for 10-14 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.
Where can I buy gochujang?
Most Korean grocers or select Asian grocers will carry this Korean red pepper or red chili paste. It comes in a red tub, like this. There are different spice levels, so go for the mild version.
Is there a substitute for gochujang?
The next best substitute for my sweet spicy gochujang chicken is ssamjang with gochugaru. Both are Korean ingredient that most Korean grocers will carry.
Can I make this gluten free?
Yes, substitute the soy sauce with tamari sauce, coconut aminos, or gluten free soy sauce. The rest of the ingredients are gluten free.
Other recipes you may enjoy!
If you enjoyed this chicken recipe, you may like these other recipes:
- Mongolian Chicken (this went viral on social media and has been made countless times!)
- Ginger Chicken
- Honey Sesame Chicken
- General Tso Chicken
- Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Orange Chicken
- Lemon Chicken
- Bang Bang Chicken
Easy Sweet Spicy Gochujang Chicken
- Dice chicken thighs into 1-inch pieces. Place chicken in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine Sauce ingredients as listed. Set aside.
- Into your large bowl of diced chicken, add cornstarch. Mix until chicken is coated in starch.
- In a large wok or large pan on medium-high heat (around 350-375 degrees F), heat vegetable oil or any neutral oil. Once hot, add coated chicken.
- Fry until golden brown and crispy, about 7-10 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside on a baking dish or large plate lined with paper towel to absorb excess oil. Keep the residual oil in the pan.
- On medium high heat, fry diced onion until translucent, about 30-45 seconds.
- Pour in prepared sauce. Allow it to simmer to thicken.
- Once the sauce has thickened, reduce to medium heat. Add in fried chicken. Mix to coat evenly.
- Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!