Korean BBQ Seasoning

Bring the heat to your grill with a healthy dusting of this Korean BBQ Seasoning, fortified with Korean chiles, chipotle, fennel, garlic, coriander, and more. This spicy and smoky blend pairs well with an ice-cold beer or two.

Dust a healthy amount of this spicy, smoky Korean bbq seasoning onto your meats.

Here’s a way to really kick up the flavor and heat with your barbecue. This Korean-inspired blend has foundational flavors from pastrami, with some sweet heat from the sugars and chiles.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Spicy, but not overwhelming. The Korean chile flakes (gochugaru) are earthy, sweet, and a little spicy. Smoky chipotle powder comes in to compliment this, leveling up the heat just a little more.
  • Rub or seasoning. This Korean BBQ seasoning was designed to use as a BBQ or grilling rub, however, this can also be used as a finishing seasoning for steak, chicken, rice, or any vegetables. the potent aromatic and chile flakes taste great with a little sprinkle.
Korean BBQ Seasoning on chicken drumsticks

Ingredients for this Seasoning

This Korean BBQ seasoning is not an authentic rub but is inspired by the flavors from many dishes of that culture.

There’s an amazing cookbook called Korean BBQ: Master Your Grill in Seven Sauces which uses fennel as a spice for a quick-kimchi recipe. Having tried it, I’ve come to realize the fennel almost creates this funky, aromatic note which reminds me of kimchi when paired with the other spices. Everything came together after many tests.

There are many ingredients which make up this incredibly flavorful Korean BBQ rub.

These seeds and peppercorns will be lightly toasted and ground before being added to the rest of the ingredients. Doing so will significantly improve the overall flavor:

  • Black peppercorns
  • Yellow mustard seeds
  • Cumin seeds
  • Coriander seeds
  • Fennel seeds

Once the initial spices have been lightly toasted and ground, they should be mixed with the rest of the ingredients. The potentially rare ingredient on the list is Gochugaru, which is the Korean chile flake used in the cuisine. This can easily be ordered online and is available in many Asian markets.

  • Kosher salt
  • Paprika
  • Brown sugar
  • White sugar
  • Gochugaru
  • Chipotle powder
  • Granulated garlic

Uses for Korean BBQ Seasoning

Chicken is the obvious choice (see photos above) but this works incredibly well with Pork Belly Burnt Ends, Smoked Pulled Chicken Sandwiches, or even as a seasoning in Southern Macaroni Salad.

I’ll be adding more specific recipe suggestions over time to share ideas.

More Seasonings to Love

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Featuring Korean BBQ Seasoning, which can be used for smoking or grilling.

Korean BBQ Seasoning

Bring the heat to your grill with a healthy dusting of this Korean BBQ Seasoning, fortified with Korean chiles, chipotle, fennel, garlic, coriander, and more. This spicy and smoky blend pairs well with an ice-cold beer or two.

  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: About 1 1/2 cups 1x


  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns (about 1 ½ tablespoons ground)
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds (about 1 ½ teaspoons ground)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (about 1 ¼ teaspoons ground)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds (about 1 ¼ teaspoons ground)
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds (about 1 ¼ teaspoons ground)
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons gochugaru
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic


  1. Toast the peppercorns, mustard, cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds on a dry skillet at medium heat for a few minutes until aromatic. Remove from heat and allow them to cool.
  2. Add to a spice grinder and grind to a medium coarseness.
  3. Combine with the rest of the spices to make the seasoning blend.
  4. Store in an airtight container. This dry rub recipe will stay the freshest for about a month.


  • Conversions are provided if you do not have whole spices. End results will not be as bold, but the measurements will be similar.
  • Author: Brad Prose
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 mintues
  • Category: Rubs & Seasonings
  • Method: Mixing
  • Cuisine: Seasoning

Keywords: seasoning, BBQ rub, Korean BBQ, Korean BBQ seasoning, dry rub recipe

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