Spicy miso grilled chicken is a Korean inspired dish worthy of your next backyard grilling party. Bright Korean flavours work beautifully here. And it’s no surprise. How long have the Koreans been serving BBQ.
I’ve been getting into miso lately. The salty, earthy, savory flavour just seems to add magic to everything it touches. I saw recipe for Japanese broiled miso chicken. Looked really good. Subtle and understated in that Japanese way. But so tasty.
Then I started thinking. What if I made that but slammed it up against Korean zing? And tossed it on the grill? It worked. In the end, spicy miso grilled chicken is more Korean than Japanese. Subtle Japanese inspiration crushed by a big dollop of gochujang.
Gochujang is like miso jacked up with Korean flavours. It’s chili and fermented soybean. Straight up it’s pretty assertive. Mix miso and gochujang and you mellow out the bite. That’s why this works. The miso smooths things out nicely.
What you wind up with is grilled chicken that tastes Korean but tempered somehow by the miso. It’s an umami bomb. No doubt about that. But there’s more Japanese influence here. Mirin and sugar lend a sweet note. Sake adds a little something too. And in the end it comes together in a way that’s hard to put a finger on. Just tasty Asian inspired grilled chicken.
Grilling technique is really important in this recipe. There’s sugar in the marinade. There’s skin on the chicken. Direct heat invites burning. Burning badly.
Indirect, medium hot heat is what you are after. Set your grill up so there’s no fire directly under the chicken. It’s a good idea to put a drip pan under the grill grate too. The fat dripping from the chicken will make a big mess otherwise.
Once the chicken is almost done it over the direct heat to char up a bit. Do this a few pieces at a time. You are going to get flare-ups. Stay cool. Use long tongs. It will be OK. Once you have the char you want move the pieces back to the safe zone. Keep doing that until all the chicken is just the way you want it.
Spicy miso grilled chicken. It could become one of your favourites. It’s one of mine…
- 2 Tbsp shiro miso
- 2 Tbsp gochujang
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp sake
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp garlic ginger paste - or a 1/2 tsp garlic and 1/2 tsp ginger, finely minced
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 12 boneless skin-on chicken thighs
- Combine all the ingredients except the chicken and mix thoroughly.
- Toss the chicken in the marinade and refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours.
- Set your grill up for indirect, medium high heat.
- Place a drip pan under the grill where you will be putting the chicken.
- Grill until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 175F, about 20-25 minutes.
- Working in batches of 2 or 3 pieces, place the chicken over direct heat to colour up.
If you don't have gochujang, you can use a different chili paste. Use 4 Tbsp shiro miso and add chili paste to taste.