Juicy and tender Korean chicken skewers are packed with bold flavors bringing sweet, savory, and spicy your dinner table. The simple marinade is loaded with gochujang, garlic, ginger, sesame, and honey, that takes just minutes to whip up. Plus, marinate these chicken kebabs in advance and spend just 20 minutes grilling them (or make the in the oven or air fryer!). The best summer weeknight dinner.
Why You'll Love Korean Chicken Skewers
- Authentic Korean flavor. One of the things that make Korean cuisine so delectable is patience. Slow-roasted meats. Pickled vegetables. And yup, you guessed it, marinades. For this recipe, you need gochujang, a Korean red pepper paste that you can pick up at most grocery stores in the international foods aisle.
- It’s incredibly easy. Don’t let the total time fool you. This recipe is painfully easy. All you need to do is whip up the marinade, dice your chicken, and let it sit until it’s time to skewer and grill your chicken.
- Sweet, salty, savory, and spicy heaven. These Korean chicken skewers are marinated in a blend of red pepper paste, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, ginger, garlic, and vinegar—which brings all the best flavors out with mouthwatering umami.
Ingredients and Substitutions
To make these flavorful and delicious Korean chicken skewers, you will need the following ingredients:
- chicken breasts - boneless and skinless, cut into 1-5-inch thick cubes.
- Korean red chili paste (gochujang) - for the most authentic flavor, use gochujang. You can substitute with Sriracha sauce if you can't get your hands on any.
- vegetable oil
- soy sauce
- vinegar - I would recommend using white vinegar or wine vinegar.
- sesame oil
- green onions
- white sesame seeds
How to Make the Best Korean Chicken Skewers
- Marinate the chicken. Combine all the marinade ingredients including oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, honey, and chili paste (or Sriracha sauce) in a small mixing bowl and stir well until smooth. Add cubed chicken and stir with a spoon to coat all the chicken pieces. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate or at least 1 hour (or overnight for the best results). You can also store the marinated chicken in a sealed ziploc bag.
- Skewer the chicken. Add 4-5 pieces of cubed chicken to each skewer. Reserve the marinade.
- Cook. You can grill the chicken skewers, bake them, or cook in the air fryer.
- To grill the skewers: Lightly apply cooking oil over chicken skewers using a cooking oil spray or silicone brush. Preheat the grill over medium-high heat for 3 minutes until sizzling hot. Place the skewers evenly apart on the grill pan and grill for 8-10 minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 F. Do not overlap the skewers at any time to ensure even cooking for all the skewers.
- To bake the skewers: Preheat the oven to 425 F. Place the marinated chicken skewers on a parchment-lined baking sheet or on a lightly oiled roasting rack in a baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown and the internal temperature for the chicken reaches 165F. Turn on the broil function on the oven on high and broil for 2-3 minutes until nicely charred on the edges.
- To cook in the air fryer: Do not thread them and place about 10 cubed chicken pieces in the air fryer basket at a time. Cook at 350 F for 25 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through. You won't get the charred grill marks but they taste amazing and so tender.
- Make sauce. Transfer the remaining marinade from the bowl to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat for 2 minutes until it starts to boil.
- Serve. Transfer the skewers onto a plate and drizzle with the prepared sauce. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds and serve hot.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- How to store: Store leftover chicken skewers in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.
- Marinate longer if you have time: For the best results, marinate your chicken overnight (or 6-8 hours). You can easily make the marinade in the morning and cook the skewers in the evening, but you can also prep it the night before. The longer you marinate, the more time the chicken has to soak up all the flavors. Time also allows the vinegar to break down the meat for a tender, juicy skewer. But if you are short on time, you can absolutely still enjoy delicious skewers with just an hour of marination time.
- Know your spices: Depending on where you buy it from and what kind you get, gochujang can range from mild to very, very spicy. Taste your red pepper paste before adding it to the recipe so that you can adjust it according to your desired spice level.
More Chicken Skewer Recipes
- Teriyaki Chicken Skewers with Pineapple
- Chicken Satay Skewers with Peanut Butter Sauce
- Orange Chicken Skewers
- Easy Greek Chicken Souvlaki Skewers
- Persian Saffron Chicken Kebabs (Joojeh Kabob)
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.