If you happen to have been coming to my place for a soccer viewing get together and I instructed you that I used to be making spicy rooster that’s slaked in flavorful, finger-licking sauce, you’d in all probability count on an enormous platter of wings…perhaps even grilled wings. However in the event you thought that, you’d be fallacious. As a result of the spicy, finger-licking, beard-staining rooster I’m making this 12 months is Korean Fireplace Hen with Cheese.

Referred to as buldak in its homeland, this dish has all the pieces you could possibly need for a Large Sport get together. It’s grilled, spicy, drenched in cheese, and its taste profile is turned all the way in which as much as 11. You may pile it in a tortilla or a pita or make positively superior nachos out of it, or you possibly can simply stack a heap of it in your plate and eat it along with your fingers. It’s excellent soccer meals.

On this submit, we’ll cowl what this dish is, the vital temperatures it’s worthwhile to comply with to ensure you cook dinner it safely and accurately, and offer you an outstanding recipe for buldak hearth rooster from SeriousEats.com’s Sasha Marx. Get hungry and maintain studying.

Korean buldak—fire chicken

What’s buldak?

Buldak is a dish of cubed rooster that’s marinated and cooked in a savory/spicy/somewhat-sweet sauce made from Korean fermented chili paste (gochujang), floor dried chilies, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. The rooster may be broiled, grilled, and even stir-fried. Some variations, such because the one we’re making right here at present, are additionally coated in a blanket of melted, broiled bubbly cheese. This may increasingly appear odd for an Asian dish, however Korean meals has lengthy had an affinity for melty cheese. And it works.

Buldak with melted cheese

Buldak—which accurately means “hearth rooster”—doesn’t get its identify from being grilled (as I mentioned, some variations are even stir-fried), however from the copious use of chili within the dish, which can be fairly excessive. On this recipe, we’ve the warmth set at a pleasant “mmmm…my mouth feels heat and comfortable” stage that you could possibly serve to company with out a lot trepidation, however you possibly can definitely make it as sizzling as you want! Simply add extra minced contemporary chilies to the sauce as you cook dinner it. The powdered and fermented chili will add a pleasant baseline warming buzz, however the contemporary chilies give it a pointy, offended spice that you simply may be trying to find.

Making the sauce for Korean buldak fire chicken

The right way to cook dinner hearth rooster

To start, we’re going to begin with bone-in, skin-on rooster thigh. We’ll lower the bones out by hand, and we’ll really marinate and grill them with the rooster so that folks can gnaw on the left-on bits of grilled rooster meat. The pores and skin will char superbly, giving us deeper taste. If you wish to begin with boneless-skinless thighs that’s positive, too! However the pores and skin provides one thing good and the bones are enjoyable.

Fire chicken grilling over charcoal. Bones grilling to the right.

Why rooster thighs? For the perfect ends in all however very particular rooster dishes, you must all the time use rooster thigh as an alternative of rooster breast. Breast meat overcooks simply, drying out if it overcooks by solely a few levels. In reality, something over about 155°F (68°C) will get dry quick. The darkish meat of the thighs, although, can face up to a wider vary of temperatures with out complaining.

Thigh meat isn’t even very appetizing till it will get as much as 175°F (79°C).

Vital temps for grilled rooster

To get most tastiness and glorious texture for this hearth rooster, we use thigh meat and char-grilled it to about 165°F (74°C), then lower it into smaller—massive bite-size—items and end them to 175°F (79°C), making use of extra of the marinade as a glaze whereas they cook dinner. The result’s deeply flavored in addition to tender and juicy—in reality, it finally ends up with the feel that folks hope to get from rooster breast, however which they typically miss.

Measuring the temps in these small items of rooster cooking over sizzling coals is an ideal job for Thermapen® ONE. Its sensor tip is sufficiently small to take the temperature in even the smallest cuts of meat, and the one-second full readings get you away from the warmth quick sufficient to keep away from cooking your hand. In any case, we would like hearth rooster, not hearth grill cook dinner.

temping fire chicken
Nearly there…simply one other couple levels

Bubbly, brown cheese on buldak

As soon as the rooster is correctly cooked by way of, we toss the saucy, grill-y rooster in a forged iron pan, smother it in a layer of low-moisture mozzarella, and pop it below the broiler for a couple of minutes till the cheese is melted and brown and bubbly and even a bit of crispy in locations.

Lastly, we sprinkle the entire thing with sesame seeds and contemporary chopped scallions. Wow and yum!

Cheesy, gooey fire chicken

Korean hearth rooster 100% belongs at your home-gating get together. The odor alone will rating you additional factors, and as soon as folks dig in to it, they aren’t going to cease. After they style it and see how tender and juicy it’s, you possibly can wager they’ll ask if it’s rooster breast. You may smile and inform them “no, it’s really correctly cooked rooster thigh” then share the thermal secrets and techniques and the recipe. Regardless of which workforce wins the sport, you’ll have gained the get together.


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Korean Fire Chicken

Grilled Korean Fireplace Hen With Cheese (Buldak With Cheese)


Tacky, melty Korean hearth rooster, tailored from a recipe discovered at SeriousEats.com

This recipe requires at the very least 45 minutes of marinating however is even higher if marinated in a single day. Plan accordingly!

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 C rooster inventory
  • 1/2soy sauce
  • 1/4 C corn syrup or honey
  • 1/4gochujang (Korean chili paste)
  • 1/4 C positive floor gochugaru (Korean chili powder), or different medium-spicy floor chili
  • 2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 8 massive garlic cloves, minced
  • One (1-inch) piece of contemporary ginger, finely grated—about 1 Tbsp
  • 2 contemporary crimson Asian chili peppers, minced. In order for you hotter hearth rooster, add extra of those. 
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp freshly floor black pepper
  • 1Sprite or different lemon-lime soda

For the Hen:

  • 6 bone-in, skin-on rooster thighs (about 2 lb) (boneless, skinless can be utilized)

To Serve:

  • 6 oz low-moisture mozzarella, shredded
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Ingredients for Korean fire chicken


Put together the marinade/sauce and marinate the rooster

  • Whisk the gochujang, chili powder, sesame oil, rooster inventory, corn syrup/honey, and soy sauce collectively in a bowl. 
  • In a medium saucepan, warmth the vegetable oil over medium warmth. Sauté the garlic and ginger within the sizzling oil till very aromatic, about half a minute. 

Sautéing the ginger and garlic

  • Add the minced chilies and black pepper. Sautee one other half minute till these elements additionally turn into aromatic. (You may need to run a vent for this half—the air can get a bit of spicy.)
  • Add the gochujang combination in addition to the Sprite. Stir to mix and to scrape up any cooked-on bits from the underside of the pan. 

Making sauce for buldak

  • Convey the combination to a boil, cut back the warmth to a simmer, and cook dinner to scale back by about half. You must find yourself with a sauce that may simply coat the again of a spoon, and that ought to be about 1 1/2 cups of liquid. 
  • In the meantime, debone the thighs by making an incision alongside the bone, then sliding the knife below the bone. Minimize the ends of the bones free from the meat. Don’t fear about getting the bones tremendous clear and meat-free, they are going to be grilled up, too. 
  • As soon as the sauce is decreased, cool it to room temp. 
  • Place the rooster and bones in a gallon zip-top bag. Pour half of the sauce, about 3/4 C, into the bag with the rooster. 
  • Combine the sauce and rooster till all the pieces is effectively coated. 

Buldak in a bag to marinate

  • Marinate the rooster within the fridge for at the very least 45 minutes or as much as in a single day. Cowl the remaining sauce and refrigerate, as effectively. 

Grill and end the rooster

  • When able to cook dinner, gentle one chimney stuffed with charcoal. When it’s effectively lit, pour it into your grill, heaping it considerably in order that one half of the grill is hotter than the opposite half. 
  • Preheat the broiler in your oven. 
  • Place the rooster, pores and skin facet down, on the warmer half of the grill. Place the bones on the cooler facet of the grill. 

Grilling buldak fire chicken

  • Prepare dinner till effectively charred on the primary facet. Flip over and proceed to cook dinner till the rooster reaches an inside temperature of 165°F (74°C). Examine the temps steadily along with your Thermapen ONE.
    • Additionally, be turning the bones from time to time to offer them good char and to cook dinner them absolutely. 
  • As soon as the rooster reaches 165°F (74°C), use kitchen shears to chop every thigh into items which are too large to fall by way of your grill grate however sufficiently small to eat comfortably in a single chew. Minimize them proper again onto the grill. 

Temping fire chicken

Cutting fire chicken into pieces

  • Use a silicone brush to baste the rooster and bones with the remaining sauce. 
  • Prepare dinner a pair extra minutes, checking temps along with your Thermapen ONE. When the items attain 175°F (79°C), take away them to a forged iron pan. Put the bones within the pan, too. If there’s any sauce left within the container, pour it over the rooster now. 

basting the fire chicken with more suace

  • Sprinkle the cheese excessive of the rooster evenly and broil it for about 3–5 minutes, till the cheese is bubbly and browned. Maintain a detailed eye on it whereas broiling!

Broiling buldak with cheese

  • Prime with sesame seeds and scallions. 
  • Serve! Individuals can use forks, however I loved simply going at this with my fingers. 

Cheesy buldak

Thermapen ONE
Hi-temp silicone brush
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