This chicken bulgogi, flavored with a simple low sodium and no added sugar marinade, is an easy and healthy weeknight dinner for the whole family, including babies!
Chicken Bulgogi (Dak Bulgogi) Sauce
"Bul" means fire and "gogi" means meat in Korean. And while it's traditionally made with beef, you really can use any meat.
This dak (chicken) bulgogi is absolutely satisfying and, just like with my baby-friendly bulgogi, very simple to make.
The classic marinade includes soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, rice wine, and garlic. Pear or kiwi is often added to tenderize the meat.
I developed this recipe with babies and young toddlers in mind, so the marinade contains minimal sodium and no added sugar. I made every attempt to cut back on the sodium level without sacrificing the flavor too much.
And I believe you are going to love it!
You may also enjoy: Korean Beef Bulgogi
- Chicken - It is best to use boneless chicken thighs but you can use breast or a mix of both.
- Carrots and onion - vegetables are optional but highly recommended! Adds great flavor and texture, and it's a delicious way to incorporate more vegetables into your child's meals.
- Pear - Acts as a tenderizer and helps sweeten the marinade. If you can get your hands on Asian pear, it works best. But you can use any variety that you have available .
- Coconut aminos - made from coconut nectar and sea salt, it tastes sweeter and lighter than soy sauce. It also contains significantly less amount of sodium (this includes low-sodium soy sauce). It's soy and wheat-free, so if your baby is allergic, this will be a great alternative to soy sauce. But you can certainly use low-sodium soy sauce, if you'd rather.
You may also be interested in: Low-sodium Homemade Teriyaki Sauce
- Add all the marinade ingredients into a food processor or blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Pour over chicken, carrots, and onion. Massage chicken thoroughly, cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
- Pan fry in a skillet or grill.
Tips for Success
- Slice chicken thinly if planning to cook in a skillet. If grilling, cut into big strips so they don't fall through the grill grate.
- Marinate for at least 30 minutes for thinly sliced chicken. For bigger pieces, marinate for at least 4 hours.
Pan Frying Bulgogi
If you want the chicken to get slightly charred and caramelized, preheat the pan so it's nice and hot and don't overcrowd the pan. You will need to work in batches.
But if planning to enjoy with your baby, add all the chicken and vegetables to the pan and let them cook in their own juices. You will also end up with a delicious sauce that you can serve over rice.
In a bowl, finely chop the chicken and vegetables using a kitchen shear. Serve over any cooked grain of choice or lentils like you see here for an additional boost of iron.
You may be interested in: Top iron-rich foods for babies
Introduce them to lettuce wraps! You can serve separate as pictured. Encourage them to make and try on their own by showing them through modeling. We like to play a game of who can take the bigger bite.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is best to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs for flavor and texture. However, you can use chicken breast or a combination of both.
Transfer to an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. If you want to double or triple the recipe to have extra for the future, transfer any marinated uncooked portion to a freezer-safe bag or container. Freeze for up to 2 months.
Other Recipes to try
Did you make this recipe? Leave a rating below and let me know how you liked the recipe! Your feedback means so much to me!
Chicken bulgogi (low sodium)
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, sliced
- 1 medium carrot, sliced thinly
- ¾ medium onion, sliced thinly
- Optional: green onion
- 3 tablespoons coconut aminos or low-sodium soy sauce
- ½ Asian pear, chopped (170g)
- ¼ medium onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- Slice chicken (see note). Combine marinade ingredients in blender (or food processor) and puree until smooth.
- In a large bowl, add chicken, marinade, onion slices and carrots. Massage meat thoroughly, cover, and marinate for at least an hour in the fridge.
- Preheat skillet or grill pan over med high heat. Cook chicken and veggies until cooked through. See note.
- Garnish with chopped green onion when serving.
- Slicing chicken
- Slice chicken thinly if planning to cook in a skillet. If grilling, cut into big strips so they don't fall through the grill grate and marinate for at least 4 hours.
- Pan frying chicken
- If you want the chicken to get slightly charred and caramelized, preheat the pan so it's nice and hot and don't overcrowd the pan. You will need to work in batches.
- If enjoying with your baby, add all the chicken and vegetables to the pan and let them cook in their own juices.
- To store: transfer to an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. If you want to double or triple the recipe to have extra for the future, transfer any marinated uncooked portion to a freezer-safe bag or container. Freeze for up to 2 months.