These saucy Korean BBQ beef skewers are a total lip-smacking treat! And they’re easy enough to throw on the grill on any given weeknight.

Overhead shot of skewers with beef, scallions, and mushrooms on parchment.

Sweet, salty, and saucy goodness.

Get ready to put your manners aside to lick your fingers and, quite possibly, your plate. These saucy skewers are everything. Korean BBQ isn’t known for being bland, after all. Despite the complex sweet and savory flavors, this recipe couldn’t be easier to prepare. This is a weekend favorite of ours, but you could easily enjoy these on any given weeknight. Just marinate your beef throughout the day and have these on the table after a quick trip on the grill. No sweat!

Korean BBQ vs American BBQ.

Here in the US, we have a ton of different BBQ styles, each of them proudly representing a certain region. We have Carolina pit roast, Texas smoked brisket, Kansas City BBQ, Memphis dry ribs… the list goes on. And though each style has its distinct flavor and special ingredient, all of them have one noticeable thing in common: smokiness. The smokey flavor is a must in American BBQ. But in Korean BBQ, sweetness is the heart of the flavor. Another thing that sets the two apart is the meat itself. In American BBQ, you’ll see large cuts of meat massaged with a dry rub slowly smoked or roasted on a spit, sometimes slathered with BBQ sauce later in the process. With Korean BBQ, the meat is typically cut into bite-sized pieces, marinated, then threaded onto skewers and grilled; some Korean BBQ is pan-fried.

Overhead shots of ingredients including meat, meat being marinated, bbq sauce, and skewers.

 

What do you need to make Korean BBQ Beef Skewers?

The ingredients list is actually pretty simple. If you like to dabble in East Asian cuisine, you probably have most, if not all, of the ingredients on hand already. The one inauthentic ingredient I’ve used here in the Korean BBQ sauce is ketchup. Before developing this recipe, I spoke to two of my Korean pals about this (one whose parents own a restaurant). I’d noticed that a lot of Korean recipes here in the US use ketchup. They informed me that although ketchup isn’t part of traditional Korean cuisine, it’s often used in Westernized East Asian cuisine to both get the level of sweetness desired in Korean cooking while also appeasing the American palate with that true thick and saucy BBQ feel. A lot of true Korean BBQ sauces will incorporate honey or brown sugar, and a grated pear. I opted for the ketchup for ease and, to be honest, because I’m a sucker for a good thick and messy BBQ sauce. What can I say. I’m French Canadian. Ketchup is our thing.

Here’s what you’ll need for the marinade:

  • Low sodium soy sauce
  • Honey
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Sriracha
  • Sesame seeds

And what you’ll need for the Korean BBQ sauce:

  • Sesame oil
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Low sodium soy sauce
  • Mirin (or rice vinegar)
  • Sriracha

The rest:

  • A good tender beef cut (here I used beef teres major, also known as Mock tenderloin or shoulder tender. You could also use sirloin tip.)
  • Scallions
  • Cremini or Baby Bella mushrooms
  • Sesame seeds

Overhead shot of serving plate full of Korean BBQ beef skewers.

Finally, how to make these Saucy Korean BBQ Beef Skewers!

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the marinade.
  2. Cut the beef into bite-sized cubes (about 1-inch x 1-inch) and place them in the marinade along with the mushrooms; toss to coat.
  3. Cover the mixing bowl and place in the fridge to marinate for at least 2 hours, or for the day.
  4. Before firing up the grill, make the BBQ sauce. Place all of the ingredients into a small saucepan and whisk until combined. Bring to a low simmer and let simmer for about five minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. You want the sauce to at least be warm when you slather it onto the skewers.
  5. Heat your grill to medium-high heat—about 450º F. Make sure your grill is clean.
  6. Thread the chunks of beef, scallions, and mushrooms onto skewers, and place them onto a baking sheet or large plate.
  7. Place the skewers onto the hot grill and cook for about 3 minutes. Carefully flip the skewers and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until the beef has an internal temperature of 135º F for medium-rare. Cook a bit longer for medium (internal temperature of 140-145º F).
  8. Carefully remove the skewers from the grill and place onto a clean plate or serving platter.
  9. Garnish with thinly sliced scallions and sesame seeds; serve warm.

Overhead shot of plate of rice, cucumber salad, and Korean BBQ Beef Skewers.

Vertical overhead shot of plate of rice, cucumber salad, and Korean BBQ Beef Skewers.

Equipment you’ll need:

  • Metal or wooden skewers (if wooden, make sure to soak them as per the directions on the package prior to grilling)
  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board
  • Microplane (optional)
  • Mixing bowls
  • Grill

What to serve with these Korean BBQ Beef Skewers:

Hope you enjoy!

If you plan on making this recipe, be sure to snap a pic and tag us on Insta! @killing__thyme.

Overhead shot of plate of rice, cucumber salad, and Korean BBQ Beef Skewers.

Get the Recipe:

Saucy Korean BBQ Beef Skewers

These saucy Korean BBQ beef skewers are a total lip-smacking treat! And they're easy enough to throw on the grill on any given weeknight.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Mock Tenderloin or Shoulder Tender, cut into bite-sized cubes, Or sirloin tip
  • 3 large scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 oz Cremini or baby bella mushrooms (about six large mushrooms, halved or quartered)

For the marinade.

  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 TBSP hoisin sauce
  • 1 TBSP sesame oil
  • 1 TBSP freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp Sriracha
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated to a paste or finely minced

For the Korean BBQ Sauce.

  • 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 TBSP low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 TBSP mirin (or rice wine vinegar)
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp Sriracha, more or less depending on your heat tolerance

Equipment

  • Metal or wooden skewers (if wooden, make sure to soak them as per the directions on the package prior to grilling)
  • sharp knife
  • Cutting board
  • Microplane (optional)
  • Mixing bowls
  • Grill

Instructions 

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the marinade.
  • Cut the beef into bite-sized cubes (about 1-inch x 1-inch) and place them in the marinade along with the mushrooms; toss to coat.
  • Cover the mixing bowl and place in the fridge to marinate for at least 2 hours, or for the day.
  • Before firing up the grill, make the BBQ sauce. Place all of the ingredients into a small saucepan and whisk until combined. Bring to a low simmer and let simmer for about five minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. You want the sauce to at least be warm when you slather it onto the skewers.
  • Heat your grill to medium-high heat—about 450º F. Make sure your grill is clean.
  • Thread the chunks of beef, scallions, and mushrooms onto skewers, and place onto a baking sheet or large plate.
  • Place the skewers onto the hot grill and cook for about 3 minutes. Carefully flip the skewers and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until the beef has an internal temperature of 135º F for medium-rare. Cook a bit longer for medium (internal temperature of 140-145º F).
  • Carefully remove the skewers from the grill and place onto a clean plate or serving platter.
  • Garnish with thinly sliced scallions and sesame seeds; serve warm.