Korean Black Bean Chicken

This Korean Black Bean Chicken might look scary but it is so delicious to eat and, like a lot of authentic Korean dishes, it’s really easy to make. It is essentially just marinated chicken that is then stir-fried. You can use any protein you like. Pork belly is more traditional but fish would be great too or keep it vegetarian with vegetables and tofu. I used chicken thighs as they’re more flavoursome than breasts and they don’t dry out. Making the marinade involves some light grating, though you can finely mince the garlic and ginger instead if you prefer, and adding of some essential Korean store cupboard ingredients like soy sauce, sesame oil, gochujang (Korean chilli paste) and, most importantly, chunjang (Korean black bean paste). This is not to be confused with Chinese black bean paste! While it has become a nationalised import from China, the Koreans have sweetened it, making it more caramely and unique. Gochujang and chunjang may be hard to find but they should be in most Asian supermarkets. If nothing there has the Roman alphabet, look out for their big glossy tubs that will be red and black respectively, as seen in the video below. If you don’t have an Asian supermarket nearby, these are perfect for online shopping.

Koreans have a largely plant based diet and this dish contains no veg at all but Korean dinners serve a number of side dishes or banchan which would provide the vegetables for this dish. Some type of Kimchi is served with every meal and usually rice though with chunjang, thick, slippery noodles are traditional where the louder you slurp them down, the more you enjoy them.

Korean Black Bean Chicken


  • 1 clove of garlic, finely minced, grated or crushed
  • half a tsp or finely grated ginger
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame seed oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp ketchup
  • 4 tbsp chunjang (Korean black bean paste)
  • 4 tbsp gochujang (Korean chilli paste)
  • 800 g of skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds for garnish


  1. Make the marinade by combining the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame seed oil, sugar, ketchup, chunjang and gochujang in a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Chop the thighs into chunky strips and mix them into the marinade so they are all coated. Cover the bowl with cling film and store in the fridge overnight.
  3. The next day, heat the oil in a pan and add the chicken, leaving as much of the marinade behind as you can.
  4. Then stir-fry for 20-30 minutes or until the largest piece of chicken is cooked through.
  5. Transfer to a serving bowl, sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve.
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