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Joanne Molinaro: Omma’s Korean BBQ Sauce



½ red onion, cut into chunks3 scallions, trimmed
8 to 9 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup soy sauce
¼ cup brown rice syrup (or your preferred sweetener)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons mirin
½ cup rough-chopped Korean pear or apple
½ cup rough-chopped red bell pepper
1 knob fresh ginger
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup Mushroom Dashi or water
2 tablespoons potato starch


1. Make the marinade: In a high-powered blender, combine the red onion, scallions, garlic, soy sauce, brown rice syrup, rice vinegar, mirin, Korean pear, bell pepper, ginger, sesame oil, and pepper and blend until smooth and frothy.
2. Make the sauce: Transfer the marinade to a medium pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook the liquid until reduced by about one-third, about 20 minutes.
3. In a small bowl, stir together the mushroom dashi into the potato starch to create a slurry. Gradually stir the slurry into the cooking marinade and continue stirring until the sauce thickens.
4. Once the sauce has thickened, remove it from the heat and let it cool (allowing it to thicken a little more). Once cooled, store it in the refrigerator for use in the next several days or freeze it for future use.