Grilled gochujang ginger chicken thighs are spicy, sweet, and absolutely bursting with flavor. Best part, they’re a cinch to make, even tonight!
4 T soy sauce
2 T gochujang
1/4 C dark brown sugar
1 T vegetable oil
3 inches ginger, sliced
1 garlic clove, sliced
1 tsp kosher salt
8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
Juice and zest of 3 limes
1/3 C creamy peanut butter
1/4 C water
Fresh herbs, sliced cucumber, and crushed peanuts for garnish (optional)
In a large bowl, combine soy sauce, gochujang, dark brown sugar, vegetable oil, ginger, garlic and kosher salt. Whisk to until sugar and salt are dissolved. Set aside half of the marinade for the peanut sauce. Add the chicken to the remaining mixture, tossing to coat. Cover, chill, and let marinate for four hours, or up to one day.
Make peanut sauce by combining reserved marinade with lime juice and zest, peanut butter, and warm water in a food processor or blender. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, sugar, or gochujang as you see fit.
Preheat a grill, grill pan, or heavy skillet over high heat. Remove chicken from marinade, letting any excess drain away. Place chicken on preheated pan, being careful not to crowd the pan (I cooked mine in two batches). Cook chicken until first side takes on a medium char, about 5 minutes. Flip and continue cooking until chicken is firm and opaque, or reaches an internal temperature of 170°F.
Top chicken with peanut sauce, fresh herbs, sliced fresh cucumber, and crushed peanuts. Serve with rice, noodles, or whatever.
This recipe calls for boneless, skinless thighs because they will finish cooking before the marinade has the chance to burn. If you choose a longer cooking cut of chicken (bone in thighs, breasts, etc.) then just lower your heat to medium, cook on both sides until you have some nice color and transfer to a 350°F oven to finish.
If you can’t find gochujang, feel free to substitute sriracha or sambal (chili garlic paste), but make sure to taste everything along the way so you don’t get in over your head, spice wise.
I used standard, creamy, not so good for you, peanut butter here. Natural peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter will also work fine, but you may need to adjust the sugar levels a little bit.
If you don’t have a food processor or blender you can still make the peanut sauce, just grate the ginger and garlic instead of slicing, and then whisk the sauce together in a bowl.
Don’t let the chicken marinade longer than 24 hours, the intense amount of salt in the marinade can make the meat a little spongey if left too long.
Keywords: gochujang chicken, grilled chicken thighs, asian grilled chicken, easy peanut sauce, easy grilled chicken