Korean Barbecue Sauce {a.k.a. THE Sauce}

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Korean BBQ Sauce. Let’s dive right into this awesomeness today. This sweet, tangy, garlicky, slightly spicy sauce? It is a game-changer.

As my friend Rebecca says so well, Korean Barbecue Sauce can go just about anywhere regular barbecue sauce can go, but is also wonderful with stir-fries, lettuce wraps, fried rice; this sauce is an instant flavor boost to almost any food.

I’ve made this Korean BBQ Sauce several times over the past year and I couldn’t agree with that description more.

Sweet, tangy, garlicky, slightly spicy Korean Barbecue Sauce - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.comI was lucky enough to do some recipe testing for Rebecca while she was writing Not Your Mama’s Canning Book. Basically, that means that I got my hands on all the awesome deliciousness in sneak peeks.

Korean BBQ Sauce

From my first taste of this sauce until today, it has made frequent appearances on our dinner table. I have impatiently waited for the release of her book and I am beyond excited to share this recipe with you today.

I’ve poured Korean Barbecue Sauce over pulled pork, marinated flank steak in the sauce for lettuce wraps, drizzled the sauce over grilled chicken, sautéed chicken and vegetables with the sauce for a stir-fry.

I’ve even caught my kids eating this sauce right off the stove with spoons when my back was turned.

Every chapter, every helpful tip, every single recipe is spectacular. I've been hesitant to can anything on my my own for years and this book has simplified the entire process. I can hardly wait to have an entire pantry filled with waiting jars of my favorites.

Where do I even begin with a review for this cookbook? Every chapter, every helpful tip, every single recipe is spectacular.

I’ve been hesitant to can anything on my my own for years and this book has simplified the entire process. I can hardly wait to have an entire pantry filled with waiting jars of my favorites.

Here’s just one reason why this book is a #1 Best Seller on Amazon right now and why it is like no other canning book you’ll find. The first half of the book is filled with canning recipes that look and sound so amazing they will literally make your mouth water, and then, as if that isn’t enough, the second half of the book gives you recipes to actually use all the things you have canned.

There’s a recipe in the book for Korean Flank Steak Lettuce Wraps that includes this barbecue sauce, and yes, that meal is every single bit as fantastic as it sounds.

I’ve already tried the Korean Flank Steak Wraps, Vanilla Fig Jam, Ginger Pickled Carrots, Bourbon Brown Sugar Peaches, and last but not at all least, the Candied Jalapeños are going to blow your mind! My whole family goes nuts over those jalapeños and I already know I’ll have to keep a jar of them in the fridge now at all times.

Even if you have no intention of actually canning anything, the recipes in this cookbook are easy to follow and you can simply keep the food in your refrigerator until it disappears. (and rest assured, everything will disappear fast!)

Korean Barbecue Sauce can go just about anywhere regular barbecue sauce can go, but is also wonderful with stir fries, lettuce wraps, fried rice; this sauce is an instant flavor boost to almost any food.

Korean BBQ Sauce Recipe

  1. Combine the soy sauce, light brown sugar, 1 cup water, soju, gochujang, honey, rice wine vinegar, garlic, ginger root, sliced scallions, grated pear, black pepper, and chili powder in a large stainless pot.
  2. Stir while bringing to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. In a small measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the canning starch with the water. While stirring the barbecue sauce vigorously, slowly pour the starch mixture into the sauce.
  4. Return the barbecue sauce to a boil and boil for 1 minute or until thickened. Pour the sauce into jars and store in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.

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Korean Barbecue Sauce {a.k.a. THE Sauce}

5 from 1 vote
Pin Print Review
Servings: 2 quarts

Ingredients 

  • 3 cups reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 3 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 1/4 cup water divided
  • 1 cup soju or sake
  • 1/2 cup gochujang Korean chili paste
  • 1/2 cup mild honey
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons minced garlic about 16-20 cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup grated fresh ginger root about a 4-inch piece
  • 4 scallions trimmed of the root end, thinly sliced
  • 1 ripe pear peeled, cored, and grated on the finest side of a box grater
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Korean chili pepper powder or crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons Clear Jel or canning starch see cook's notes

Instructions

  • Combine the soy sauce, light brown sugar, 1 cup water, soju, gochujang, honey, rice wine vinegar, garlic, ginger root, sliced scallions, grated pear, black pepper, and chili powder in a large stainless pot. Stir while bringing to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • In a small measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the canning starch with the water. While stirring the barbecue sauce vigorously, slowly pour the starch mixture into the sauce. Return the barbecue sauce to a boil and boil for 1 minute or until thickened. (If you intend to can this sauce, proceed to the next paragraph now.) Pour the sauce into jars and store in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. Enjoy!
  • OPTIONAL CANNING DIRECTIONS: Ladle the hot barbecue sauce into sterilized pint or 24 ounce jars, leaving ½-inch of headspace at the top of the jar. Moisten a paper towel with vinegar and wipe the rims of the jars clean. Position new, two-piece lids on the jars and tighten to fingertip tightness.  
  • Use canning tongs to transfer the jars to a canner full of boiling water that covers the jars by 2 inches. Put the lid of the canner in place, return the water to a boil, and process for 15 minutes. Carefully transfer the jars to a towel lined counter or wire cooling rack and allow them to cool completely, preferably overnight, before removing the rings, wiping the jars clean, and labeling.
  • Store the jars in a cool, dark place for up to a year. Once a jar is opened, it will be good for up to 3 weeks when stored in the refrigerator.

Notes

Yes, you can halve or even quarter this recipe if you don't need a full batch, but I'll be honest and tell you that I've never had extra sauce. If you make the full recipe and just toss it in the refrigerator, you'll have enough for a few different meals and you will be happy to have it tucked away.
If you don't intend to can this sauce, you can substitute cornstarch for the canning starch.
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

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Bottom photo used with permission, borrowed with thanks, from Not Your Mama’s Canning Book. All other photography is the property of Barefeet In The Kitchen.

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Lisa says

    I haven’t heard of those korean spices. Where can i find them? This korean bbq sauce sounds wonderful! Thank you,
    Lisa C.

    • Mary says

      I’ve found all of these ingredients except for the soju/sake at my Kroger grocery store. (I bought the soju at a liquor store.) The Asian food section of most grocery stores should have the gochujang Korean chili paste.5 stars

  2. february says

    Made this last night. I used a venison back strap from last fall. It was a hit. Very tasty and easy to prepare. Served with rice and beets. I love your recipes. Thank you for sharing.5 stars