This Korean bbq sauce is the perfect combination of sweet, savory and spicy… this Korean BBQ sauce is perfect on pretty much anything. I love it in these braised Korean pork taco recipe!

You guys we need to discuss this sauce.

So versatile, sticky and delicious.

Korean BBQ Sauce l #recipe #BBQ

It’s the perfect combination of sweet, savory and spicy. Oh and sticky. Did I mention that? It’s also a cinch to make.


I originally found this recipe via a Google search one day. I didn’t have the right amount of ingredients (story of my life) so I had to improvise it and it turned out amazing! Over time I’ve up’d this and changed that and this sauce is the result. Since then I’ve slathered it on grilled chicken, used the whole jar as a sauce for wok-seared chicken and stir-fry veggies over rice as a sauce for braised pork tacos. It’s also scrumptious on grilled shrimp, salmon, a shoe… anything really.

Here’s how it all went down.

Korean BBQ Sauce l brown sugar

Like all good sweet and savory sauces, you’ll need 3/4 cup of dark brown sugar.

Korean BBQ Sauce l tamari

Next add in 3/4 cup of low-sodium tamari.

Korean BBQ Sauce l water

Then pour in a 1/4 cup of water. Is it me or does this picture make my hands look O-L-D? I’m wearing sparkly nail polish annnd yet there they are. I blame all the dish washing.

Korean BBQ Sauce l rice wine vinegar

Next measure and add in 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar.

Korean BBQ Sauce l chili paste

And then 1-1/2 tablespoons of chili paste. This adds the back-of-the-throat heat so feel free to dial it up or down to your tastes.

Korean BBQ Sauce l sesame oil

Next add in 1-1/2 teaspoons of sesame oil…

Korean BBQ Sauce l black pepper

Then 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper…

Korean BBQ Sauce l whisk

Next, give it a whisk to break and dissolve the brown sugar.

Korean BBQ Sauce l grated ginger

Then grate up about a heaping teaspoon of fresh ginger…

Korean BBQ Sauce l peeled garlic

Peel 5 cloves of garlic…

Korean BBQ Sauce l garlic in press

And squeeze the life out of them…

Korean BBQ Sauce l squeeze


Korean BBQ Sauce l pour into sauce pan

Give it one final whisk before pouring the sauce into a saucepan. Of course you could whip this this whole recipe up in the actual pan itself and save yourself from washing one more bowl. (Protect those hands!)

Korean BBQ Sauce l corn starch

Measure out one tablespoon of cornstarch and add it into a small cup or bowl…

Korean BBQ Sauce l tablespoon of water

Measure in one tablespoon of water…

Korean BBQ Sauce l smooth

And stir until smooth.

Korean BBQ Sauce l bring to a boil

Place the Korean BBQ sauce onto your stove top and heat on high.

Korean BBQ Sauce l simmer

Bring the sauce up to a boil and whisk, whisk, whisk.

Korean BBQ Sauce l add cornstarch water

Once it’s at a good boil, pour in the cornstarch and water thickener.

Korean BBQ Sauce l pour

Once the sauce is thick it’s good to go and you can just pour it right on into a bowl, jar or into a hot wok filled with chicken and veggies.

Korean BBQ Sauce l sauce

Truly it’s that easy.

Korean BBQ Sauce l spoon1

There are endless options with this sauce. Make this sauce when you’re in the mood for something outstanding or keep it in the fridge and use it later in the week for that night you are in no mood to cook. Either way this sauce is the answer.

Korean BBQ Sauce l drip

I mean seriously.

Korean BBQ Sauce l chicken

Today I slathered it on chicken in the last few minutes of grilling. The sugar in the sauce caramelizes beautifully, wouldn’t you say?

Korean BBQ Sauce ll

So simple.


Korean BBQ Chicken l sauce

Korean BBQ Sauce
Yield: about 2 cups

Korean BBQ Sauce

The perfect combination of sweet, savory and spicy. This Korean BBQ sauce is perfect on pretty much anything.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Additional Time 2 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium tamari (or low-sodium soy sauce)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons of chili paste (like Sambal Oelek)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 heaping teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 5 cloves fresh garlic, finely grated or squeezed through a garlic press
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water


In a saucepan combine the brown sugar, tamari, water, rice wine vinegar, chili paste, sesame oil, black pepper, ginger and garlic. Heat on high and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, combine the cornstarch and water until smooth.

Once the sauce is at a boil, add in the cornstarch slurry and whisk until thick.

Once thick, let cool slightly before pouring into a clean jar. You could also add immediately to any stir-fry, or let it completely cool and brush on grilled chicken, shrimp skewers or salmon in the last few minutes of cooking.

Store in an airtight container for two to three weeks.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.