Irresistible Korean-Style BBQ You'll Want to Eat All Summer

When chef Sohui Kim isn’t in the kitchen at one of the Brooklyn restaurants she co-owns with her husband, she can’t help herself—she cooks anyway. On the menu: irresistible Korean-style BBQ.


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Chef Sohui Kim & Her Take on Korean-American BBQ Fusion

Sohui Kim

Photo by Linda Pugliese

Photo by Linda Pugliese

Sohui—restaurant owner and author of the Good Fork Cookbook and the forthcoming Korean Home Cooking—lived the first decade of her life in Korea, a picky eater surrounded by delicious food that she still remembers. When her family moved to America, she and her brother went crazy over pizza and hamburgers (each gaining 10 pounds their first year here) while her dad opened a produce market with some fellow Korean immigrants. Working by his side, Sohui learned all about fruits and veggies she’d never seen before. Her hardworking father had hoped she’d go to law school after college, but Sohui followed her heart to cooking school, then various restaurant kitchens, where she perfected her skills and refined the homey, comforting food she describes as “influenced by everything” she’s ever known, tasted and liked. Her Brooklyn backyard, a frequent gathering spot for friends, is the perfect place for the mom of two to infuse traditional Korean flavors into classic American cookout fare: chicken and ribs. 


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Charred Summer Squash and Zucchini Salad

Charred Summer Squash and Zucchini Salad

Photo by Linda Pugliese

Photo by Linda Pugliese

Makes 8
Prep 10 m
Grill 14 m
Cool 5 m

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Grilled Eggplant and Peppers with Soy and Sesame

Grilled Eggplant and Peppers with Soy and Sesame

Photo by Linda Pugliese

Photo by Linda Pugliese

Instead of defaulting to the usual cool, crisp green salad, try grilled veggies with bold dressings. Even the eggplant-averse
will get on board with this savory, spicy side dish.

Tip: Japanese eggplants, while purple like their Italian counterparts, are skinnier, thinner-skinned and sweeter. 

Makes 6
Prep 10 m
Grill 7 m
Cool 5 m

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Grilled Romaine with Korean Dressing

Grilled Romaine with Korean Dressing

Photo by Linda Pugliese

Photo by Linda Pugliese

Tip: Briefly grilling lettuce varies its texture and adds flavor for a more interesting side dish.

Makes 6
Prep 10 m
Grill 5 m

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Gochujang-Glazed Spare Ribs

Gochujang-Glazed Spare Ribs

Photo by Linda Pugliese

Photo by Linda Pugliese

Tip: Korean-style ribs are pretty similar to traditional baby backs, but with a little more heat from the chile paste.

Makes 8
Prep 15 m
Grill 72 m
Rest 15 m

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Spicy Chicken Stew

Spicy Chicken Stew

Photo by Linda Pugliese

Photo by Linda Pugliese

Tips: 

  • Pop this pot of stew right on your grill and cook as if it were on a stovetop burner.
  • Two Korean must-haves: gochugaru (ground red chile flakes) and gochujang (red chile paste). Both products give finished dishes a fiery yet slightly sweet punch. 
  • If you don’t have a Korean green chile, try using 1 serrano or 2 jalapeños.
Makes 6
Prep 15 m
Grill 8 m
Cook 40 m

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Hotteok: Korean Dessert Pancakes

Hotteok: Korean Dessert Pancakes

Photo by Linda Pugliese

Photo by Linda Pugliese

Doughnut-like pancakes with gooey brown sugar filling are a great spin on hand pies.

Makes 10
Prep 30 m
Rise 90 m
Cool 5 m
Cook 5 min per batch

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About our expert

Korean Home Cooking

Photo courtesy of Abrams Books

Photo courtesy of Abrams Books

Sohui Kim is chef-owner of the Good Fork and Insa restaurants in Brooklyn, NY. She is the author of the Good Fork Cookbook. Her second cookbook, Korean Home Cooking (published by Abrams Books c 2018), is available October 16.