Korean BBQ Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Grilled Korean BBQ Chicken sandwich sitting on a wood cutting board

If you have been around here long enough, you should know I love incorporating Asian flavors into my cooking. Every bite just packs a ton of flavor. A little sweet, heat and acidity really make the taste buds pop. It’s just a well balanced bite. And this Korean BBQ grilled chicken sandwich is all of those things.

And this sandwich can be made completely from scratch or purchase the components you don’t want to make. Of course I made it all and it’s relatively easy enough. Plus you can make most of the items ahead of time. Then it’s just a mater of grilling the chicken and assembling the sandwich.

Homemade pickles in a jar.

Equipment/Ingredient Recommendations

  • Korean BBQ Dry Rub – This is my recipe and it’s been well tested. But if you want to buy one this one from Spiceology is also very good.
  • Grillos Pickles – These are the best store bought pickles and it’s not really that close. But making your own is much cheaper and more satisfying.
  • Bachan’s BBQ Sauce – Is my favorite Asian style bbq sauce off the shelf but I really recommend mine as I know it all works well together.
Korean bbq chicken thighs cooked an sauced on a sheet tray.

Pro Tips for your Korean BBQ Grilled Chicken Sandwich

  • Don’t burn the sauce – there is a fair amount of sugar in the sauce so be careful not to burn it. Just bring it to a simmer and cool. Also, sauce your chicken after cooking.
  • Don’t burn the seasoning – just like the sauce, be careful cooking the chicken so it doesn’t get all burned up.
  • Two zone grilling – One side for direct cooking and the other side of the grill for indirect heat. It’s the only way to go so you can sear the chicken and then move to the indirect side to finish cooking.

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Grilled Korean BBQ Chicken sandwich sitting on a wood cutting board
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Grilled Korean BBQ Chicken Sandwich

Sweet. Spicy. Saucy. Everything you want in a good sandwich.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Pickling time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Korean
Keyword: bbq chicken, korean bbq, korean bbq chicken
Servings: 8
Cost: $20


For the pickles

  • 1 whole seedless cucumber sliced into 1/8 inch rounds
  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup ice heaping cup
  • extra water to top off container

For the Korean BBQ Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons gochujang depends on your heat tolerance
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons Korean BBQ Rub
  • 2 tablespoons water for a slurry
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch for a slurry

For the sriracha mayo

  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons sriracha depending on your heat tolerance
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce

For the chicken

  • 2.5 pounds chicken thighs (boneless skinless and trimmed of extra fat) about 8 – 10 thighs
  • ¼ cup Korean BBQ rub
  • Sandwich buns or rolls


For the pickles

  • Slice cucumber and place into a non-reactive 32 ounce glass or plastic container
  • In a small pot or sauce pan over medium heat combine the rice vinegar, salt and sugar. Let it come to a simmer, mixing to make sure salt and sugar dissolve.
  • Remove from heat and add the ice to rapidly cool down mixture. Once all the ice has melted, pour the mixture over the cucumbers. Seal and store in the fridge for at least 4 hours. They will be best the next day though.
  • The pickles will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. After that they will start to get soft and loose their crispiness.

For the Korean BBQ sauce

  • In a small pot or sauce pan over medium heat, add the sesame oil followed by the grated garlic and ginger. Sauté for 30 – 60 seconds or until fragrant. .
  • Afterwards, add the soy sauce, gochujang, brown sugar, honey, rice vinegar and the Korean BBQ rub. Mix to combine and bring to a bare simmer.
  • Separately, in a small container mix/shake the water and corn starch to form a slurry. Once the sauce mixture is simmering, add the corn starch slurry and mix to combine. Once everything is incorporated and slightly thickened, remove from heat and let cool.
  • Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

For the sriracha mayo

  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix to combine.

For the grilled chicken

  • Set up grill for two zone cooking. One side medium/high direct and the other without direct heat.
  • Season the chicken thighs with the Korean BBQ rub. Oil the chicken before place on the grill.
  • Grill the chicken over direct heat, flipping every minutes to make sure the rub doesn't burn. Once the chicken has taken on enough color move to the indirect side of the grill and continue cooking until the internal temperature is at least 165℉.
  • After cooked, remove from the grill and coat with the Korean BBQ sauce.

Final Assembly

  • Coat the cut sides of the bun/roll with the sriracha mayo and then place on a sauced chicken thigh along with the pickles. Enjoy your efforts!