Korean BBQ Chicken

  • For the Doenjang Mayo
  • 1/2 cup (90 grams) mayonnaise, such as Kewpie, or Korean mayo
  • 1 tablespoon Korean soy bean paste (doenjang)
  • For the Marinade and Chicken
  • 1 1/4 cups (300g) soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup (30g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Korean chilli paste (gochujang)
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 6 grinds black pepper, or to taste
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 6 cloves garlic, grated
  • 4 large spring onions or scallions, chopped finely
  • 8 boneless chicken thighs, skin on
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • Vegetable oil, to brush lightly on the grill
  • 2 ears corn, cut in half crosswise
  • 15 chilli threads, for garnish
  • Pinch of black sesame seeds, for garnish

For the Doenjang Mayo: Mix the mayonnaise and doenjang together well with a spoon in a small bowl. Cover and place in the fridge.

For the Marinade and the Chicken:

In a large bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, maple syrup, vinegar, chilli paste, ginger, sesame oil, sesame seeds, black pepper, salt, garlic and spring onions. Reserve about 1 cup (235 milliliters) to make the glaze.

Place the chicken thighs in a medium bowl and pour in the remaining marinade, making sure all sides are covered. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours and better yet, overnight, to let the flavors infuse.

Preheat the oven to 230°C. Bring the chicken up to room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour before grilling.

Wrap the sweet potatoes in a sheet of foil, sealing well. Bake until a small knife goes all the way through the potatoes easily, about 1 hour. Let cool slightly, then peel the skins off and discard. Place the potatoes in a small bowl and mash roughly with a fork. Cover and set aside in a warm place.

Place a saucepan over medium-low heat and tip in the reserved marinade to make a glaze to brush over the chicken. Simmer until thickened, 8 to 10 minutes.

In the meantime, bring a grill or griddle pan to medium-high heat. Brush lightly with vegetable oil. Shake the excess marinade off the chicken and place on the grill skin-side down first. Cook until cooked through, flipping once, about 15 minutes. Let rest in a warm place while you cook the corn.

Place the corn on the grill and cook, turning often, 9 to 10 minutes. Cut each piece down the center lengthwise.

To serve, transfer the chicken to a serving plate or platter. Brush the chicken very lightly with the glaze, or serve it on the side as a dipping sauce. Garnish the chicken with the chilli threads. Finish the sweet potatoes off with a sprinkle of black sesame seeds. Serve the corn with the doenjang mayo on the side or brush it on to the hot corn, letting it melt into the crevices.

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