korean bbq sauce in bowl

Here at Mashed, we take our condiments very seriously. We aren’t kidding — you should see our refrigerator doors! We believe there is a perfect condiment for every occasion, which is why we always have a variety of sauces on hand at any one time. You never know when you will need just the right touch to accentuate a dish’s flavor. As the saying goes, you should always be prepared, right?

Which brings us to this recipe. Recipe developer and health coach, Miriam Hahn, shares with us this recipe for Korean BBQ sauce. This sauce is similar to American BBQ sauces, but has a kick of ginger, sriracha, and a hint of sesame flavor. Hahn suggests serving this sauce "with lettuce wraps or as a dip for spring rolls or eggrolls. You can use it with tofu and all kinds of meats. {It’s also} really great as a pizza sauce [and] on BBQ cauliflower wings."

Gather the ingredients to make Korean BBQ sauce

ingredients for korean bbq sauce

To make this Korean BBQ sauce, you can start by gathering your ingredients. For this recipe, you will need soy sauce, water, brown sugar, coconut sugar, sesame oil, rice vinegar, sriracha, garlic granules, ginger powder, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and cornstarch. While you may not be accustomed to using coconut sugar, Hahn loves adding it to this recipe. She says "it adds sweetness but also some caramel flavor that takes it a notch up!"

Heat up the ingredients for the sauce

korean bbq sauce ingredients boiling

Hahn tells us "I think the biggest difference between an American BBQ sauce and a Korean is that the American versions are usually smoky, and Korean versions are sweeter." Her Korean BBQ sauce recipe is rather sweet with two types of sugar in it.

Add the sugars along with soy sauce, ¼ cup of water, sesame oil, rice vinegar, sriracha, garlic granules, ginger powder, red pepper flakes, and black pepper to a medium saucepan. Bring this mixture to a boil and continue to boil for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Make the cornstarch slurry

cornstarch slurry ingredients

Next, make a cornstarch slurry by placing the remaining 3 tablespoons water and the cornstarch into a small bowl. Stir these ingredients together until they are smooth. The cornstarch, when mixed with water, creates a thickened liquid that can help improve the texture in more watery sauces.

Thicken the sauce by adding the slurry

pouring cornstarch slurry into saucepan

Pour the cornstarch slurry into the sauce. Give the entire mixture a stir, and allow it to cook on medium heat for about 8 minutes. After 8 minutes, the sauce should be thickened. If you are not using this sauce right away, make sure to pour it into a sealable jar and store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup water + 3 tablespoons, divided
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon garlic granules
  • ½ teaspoon ginger powder
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the soy sauce, ¼ cup water, brown sugar, coconut sugar, sesame oil, rice vinegar, sriracha, garlic granules, ginger powder, red pepper flakes, and pepper. Bring it to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the remaining water and cornstarch. Stir until it is completely smooth.
  3. Pour the cornstarch slurry into the pot. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 8 minutes, or until thick.
  4. It’s now ready to serve. Store the leftovers in a glass jar for up to 2 weeks.