Korean BBQ Marinade Recipe 

 Last Update September 14, 2022

By Jenny Z

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BBQ Korean style is one of my favorite type of barbecue. The marinade is sweet, salty, garlicky, and a little nutty. It is full of umami flavors. Rather than buying marinade from the store, I like to make my own Korean BBQ marinade recipe because I can make it to my liking. Store brought marinade is usually loaded with added sugar and sodium, full of preservatives, and not so great for you ingredients. Plus, making your own is super easy. It will only take you a few minutes, and you will know exactly what goes into it. 

I love this homemade Korean BBQ marinade recipe because this recipe is vegan, gluten-free, Paleo, Keto, and Whole30 friendly. There is no added sugar in this recipe! Store brought, and other recipes usually call for sugar as an ingredient. For this recipe, I am using Asian pear as a sugar substitute. Asian pear is naturally super sweet, and it will add a significant amount of sweetest to this recipe. If you don't have Asian pear on hand, you can substitute with Asian pear juice or any other sweet fruit type like an apple.

Korean BBQ Marinade Recipe

Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time

Serving Size

Korean BBQ Marinade Recipe


1/2 Cup Coconut amino/ Soy Sauce
1/4 Cup Tablespoon Of Water
1/4 Tablespoon of Cooking Wine
1/2 Medium Onion
4 Cloves of Garlic or 2 teaspoon minced garlic or 1/2 teaspoon Ground garlic 
2 Whole Green Onion Chopped
1 Whole Asian Pear or 1/4 Cup Of Asian Pear Juice Remove the core if fresh is being used
1 Teaspoon of Ground Ginger Or Fresh Ginger Grated
1 Teaspoon Whole Sesame Seeds
1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper


Method 1

1. Put in all the ingredients except for sesame and green onion in a blender or an immersion blender. Blend until it is smooth. 

2. Once it is done, add sesame and green onion into the marinade and stir. 

Method 2

1. Chop all your ingredients into small pieces. Some may require minced and grated.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, throw on the ingredients together and whisk. You want to make sure it is well mixed together. 

marinating in bowl

3. Pour it to your marinating bag or bowl. You want to make sure your protein is covered with the marinade. Then put it in the fridge overnight or for at least two hours.

marinating in bag


  • Depending on how much meat you are planning on marinating, you may need to make 2 cups or more of the marinade. This recipe will yield close to a cup.
  • If, for any reason, the amount of marinade you made is not enough to cover your meat, you can either make more or pour in an additional two tablespoon of water. If you added the water and it is still barely enough, add more soy sauce. Which method will go with will depends on how much more marinade you need. 
  • Method one offers the most flavor because when you blend the ingredients, the flavor just gets released!
  • Taste your marinade before adding it to your meat. From there, you can make adjustments to your liking.
  • If you don't have fresh Asian pear or Asian pear juice, you can substitute with apple, dates, or other fruits that is high in sugar content. If you don't have any fruits available, you can add sugar as alternatives. The sweetener I recommend includes coconut sugar, brown sugar, dates, dates syrup, and honey.

Did you make this recipe?

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how to use korean bBQ marinade

To use the Korean BBQ marinade, simply put your meat in a large plastic bag or a bowl and then pour it on top of the protein. Either zip or place the lid on top. If you are going to marinade in a bowl, I recommend that you shake it slightly to make sure the sauce gets spread out evenly and then put it in the fridge. You want to make sure your protein is cover in the marinade. Please keep it in the refrigerator overnight or let it sit for at least 2 hours.

how to make korean bBQ marinade

Making Korean BBQ marinade is super easy, and all you need is 5 minutes. It is up to you to use an immersion hand blender, a small blender, or throw it all in a mixing bowl. Blending is my personal preference because it offers the most flavor.

What can you marinade with this sauce

You can marinate anything from chicken, beef, pork, to shrimp, and even vegetables. It will add amazing flavors to whatever you put it on.

My favorite ways of using it include beef short ribs and make kalbi. With rib eyes and make beef bulgogi. Kalbi and bulgogi are my must-eat dish when I go to a Korean restaurant.

How To Store Korean BBQ Marinade

To store your BBQ marinade, simply put your marinade in an airtight container, and store it in the fridge for up to a week. Recommend making it when need it.

Jenny is a health-conscious, organic and natural lifestyle influencer with a Bachelor's degree in science. With years of experience working in food sciences with organic products and health & nutrition companies - she firmly believes that a natural lifestyle is healthier for you and better for the environment as well.

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