Quick Korean Marinade

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A quick Korean marinade can tenderize and amplify the flavor of beef, pork, chicken, and many other proteins. This easy marinade recipe is sure to become a favorite.

Quick Korean marinade for pork, beef or chicken
Korean marinade for pork, beef or chicken.

I don’t usually plan on posting two Asian dishes in a row, but this recipe for quick Korean marinade appeared in November’s Bon Appetit, and I couldn’t resist!

When I’m pressed for time during the week, I’m drawn towards a recipe that I can make in under 30 minutes. While this isn’t exactly a 30 minute dish, the short-list of ingredients, minimal prep work, and tasty results, make it a sure winner for a busy weeknight. Prep the marinade in the morning and let the meat marinate during the day. When you start cooking, dinner will be ready in under 20 minutes!

For a low carb dinner, skip the rice and steam an extra vegetable.

Quick Korean marinade for pork, beef or chicken
Korean marinade for pork, beef or chicken

Sometimes I’ll pick up some pre-marinated Korean beef for a quick meal, but at 8-10 dollars a pound, that’s more of a luxury meal. I adapted this quick Korean marinade recipe slightly, to make it more “pantry friendly”.

The recipe calls for a “quarter of a pear”, but I substituted a couple of tablespoons of unsweetened applesauce, for a similar taste and texture. I used thinly sliced pork loin, but beef or chicken would work just as well. 30 minutes of marinating gives you just enough time to steam some rice, and prepare a salad or a vegetable. The thinly sliced meat cooks in just about 5 minutes.

Here is the quick Korean marinade recipe. Enjoy!

Korean marinade for pork, beef or chicken

Fast Korean Pork w/ Quick Korean Marinade

A fast and easy Korean inspired marinade for beef, pork or chicken. Slightly adapted from Bon Appetit, November, 2015.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Entree
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4


  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 2 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon peeled grated ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 lb. boneless short ribs boneless pork loin, hanger steak or chicken, sliced into very thin strips
  • 1 Tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt to season
  • 3 scallions or green onions thinly sliced


  • In a large bowl or zip-lock bag mix first 7 ingredients; applesauce to sesame oil. Add meat.
  • Allow to meat to marinate a minimum of 30 minutes at room temperature or up to 8 hours in the fridge.
  • Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat.
  • Lightly season meat with salt, and add meat, in small batches, cook in a single layer without moving, until lightly browned, about 1-2 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through and crisp at edges, about 2 minutes longer.
  • Serve with sliced green onions.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


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    1. Me too! But the Trader Joe’s Korean BBQ is too expensive for us to have very frequently, plus it’s a bit more fatty. This pork loin was very lean.

  1. Being out on the road we are bbq’ing almost every night and interesting marinades are what’s keeping us from being bored. Quick ones are even better because we don’t always plan ahead and being able to do something on the fly that imparts great taste is just what we need! Thanks for sharing this great recipe!

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