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Korean Chicken Galbi Goes Gluten-free

Submitted by on August 23, 2010 – 10:36 amNo Comments
Korean Chicken Galbi Goes Gluten-free

Barbequed meat is a beautiful thing to meat lovers everywhere, and most countries have a traditional dish that anyone would enjoy.  Whether it’s Southern smoked barbeque, Indian tandoori, or Korean galbi, there’s something for everyone.

One of my family’s favorites is Korean Galbi – meat marinated in a soy sauce, garlic and sugar marinade, often flavored with sesame oil, fruit juice, and sometimes lemon-lime soda.  It is sweet & salty barbeque perfection!  Unfortunately, the soy sauce used in restaurants typically has wheat in it.  But fortunately, that doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying this Korean treat.

Galbi is typically made with beef short ribs cut across the bone in 1/2 inch-thin slices.  You can request this cut from your grocery butcher.  We have also found that the marinade works great with chicken, especially chicken thighs, which have more flavor and don’t tend to dry out on the grill.

Gluten-free Korean Chicken Galbi Ingredients

  • 1 cup gluten-free tamari sauce (we recommend San-J Reduced Sodium)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup lemon-lime soda (7-up, Sprite, etc.)
  • 1 6 oz. can crushed pineapple with juice
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp crushed garlic (2-3 cloves)
  • 6 green onions, diced
  • 1 small chunk fresh ginger, finely diced
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional, if you like the heat)
  • 10-12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 peeled, cored pineapple, cut in slices
  • light oil or cooking spray


  1. In a large, non-reactive bowl or baking dish, combine tamari sauce and sugar until sugar is dissolved.  Add next eight ingredients (lemon-lime soda through red pepper flakes) and stir marinade until combined.
  2. Add chicken thighs to marinade.  Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or, better, overnight.
  3. Preheat grill.  Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.  Lightly coat the sliced pineapple with oil or cooking spray.
  4. Cook chicken thighs on medium heat for 4-5 minutes.  Turn thighs and cook for another 4-5 minutes.  Watch the thighs carefully – they will blacken if the heat is too high.  The thighs are done when the juices from the chicken are clear and the internal temperature is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.  Remove thighs and cover with foil.
  5. Grill the pineapple for about 2-3 minutes per side on medium heat.  Layer the pineapple with the chicken thighs on a serving tray.  Garnish with green onions and serve with steamed rice.

Galbi is typically made with beef short ribs cut across the bone in 1/2 inch-thin slices, but the recipe also works great with chicken thighs.

This recipe is great for entertaining because it makes a lot of food and is always a hit.  If you have leftovers, it also makes a great addition to fried rice.  Just chop the chicken into bite size pieces, stir fry with your choice of vegetables, scrambled eggs, and rice.  Enjoy!

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