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Korean BBQ Chicken & Orzo

This delicious recipe has umami coming out the wazoo! Sesame, ginger, garlic, and kimchi (yup, that’s right!) bring so much depth of flavor without adding heat. You’ll love this comfort dinner without the heaviness!


This recipe pairs the bold, umami-rich flavors of Korean barbecue with a tangy and spicy kimchi orzo side dish. Prepare to elevate your culinary prowess as you craft this delightful meal for cozy fall evenings. Succulent, marinated chicken is expertly grilled and served alongside a flavorful orzo side infused with Korean seasonings.

Serving: 4

Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus marinating time

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Korean BBQ Chicken:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru, adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced (for garnish)

Korean-Inspired Orzo:

  • 1 1/2 cups orzo pasta
  • 1/2 cup kimchi, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish
  • Fresh cilantro or Korean perilla leaves (optional, for garnish)


  1. Finely mince the garlic and grate the ginger for the Korean BBQ marinade.
  2. In a bowl, combine the finely minced garlic, grated ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, rice vinegar, Korean red pepper flakes, and freshly ground black pepper for the Korean BBQ marinade.
  3. Carefully trim any excess fat from the chicken breasts. Place the chicken breasts in a resealable plastic bag or shallow dish, and pour the marinade over them. Seal the bag or cover the dish, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight for maximum flavor.
  4. Finely chop the kimchi, garlic, and green onion for the Korean-inspired orzo.
  5. In a mixing bowl, combine the finely chopped kimchi, gochujang, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, minced garlic, and thinly sliced green onions to create a flavorful sauce.
  6. Thinly slice the green onions for garnish and set them aside.
  7. Cook the orzo pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set it aside.
  8. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the kimchi mixture. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the kimchi becomes slightly caramelized and aromatic.
  9. Add the cooked orzo pasta to the skillet with the kimchi mixture. Stir well to ensure the orzo is thoroughly coated with the flavorful Korean sauce. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes to heat through.
  10. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill it for about 6-8 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C) and the chicken is cooked through.
  11. Remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes.
  12. To serve, plate a portion of the Korean-inspired orzo and elegantly arrange slices of the Korean BBQ chicken on top. Garnish with your sliced green onions, sesame seeds, and fresh cilantro or Korean perilla leaves if desired.