This soy butter pan-grilled chicken is juicy, sweet, garlicky, salty, buttery, nutty and rich! Sound good? It’s also so fast to prepare. After a short time marinating you just mix the chicken with the sauce and put it on your hot grill pan right away. Then it’s just some minutes cooking and done!

Butter is not a usual Korean cooking ingredient. As I mention in the video, I learned this dish from my grandmother who was one of the best cooks I’ve ever known. She used margarine because in those days in Korea, butter was a rare thing. Over the years I’ve tweaked the recipe to this current version. The goal is to make a juicy, shiny dish that’s delicious and quick to make. The butter makes it creamy and the rice syrup makes it a little sweet and shiny looking. The soy sauce adds saltiness and of course lots of garlic always goes well with chicken.

Paired with side dishes and rice, this chicken makes for a wonderful meal, and it especially goes well with kimchi. It still tastes great even when cooled down, so it’s perfect to use in lunchboxes that are prepared in the morning and eaten later. I use boneless chicken thighs but you can use legs or breasts as long as they are without bones, so that they can cook quickly on the pan.

I’ve been making this dish for my family for so long, I’m happy to finally make a video and share it with all of you. Enjoy!


  • 2 pounds chicken thighs, cut into 2 x 1 inch chunks
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • ¼ cup rice syrup (corn syrup, honey, or sugar to your taste)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 or 2 green onions, chopped


Prepare chicken:

  1. Mix the chicken chunks with the milk in a large bowl.mixing chicken with milk
  2. Cover and refrigerate for at least for 30 minutes.

Make seasoning sauce:

  1. Combine soy sauce, black pepper, garlic, ginger, and rice syrup in a small bowl.making the sauce
  2. Mix well with a wooden spoon.

Season the chicken:

  1. Drain the chicken in a colander and squeeze out excess milk with your hands.
  2. Put the chicken back to the bowl and pat dry with paper towel to remove excess moisture.pat dry chicken
  3. Add the seasoning sauce to the chicken in the bowl.adding the sauce
  4. Mix well with the wooden spoon or by hand.


  1. Prepare a cast-iron skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Drizzle the vegetable oil all over the grill. Put the chicken on the grill pan, spreading it out so it cooks in an even layer.grill chicken
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and cover. Cook for 5 to 6 chicken
  4. Open and turn the chicken over. Increase the heat to medium high, and scrape the marinade in the bowl onto the chicken, flipping the meat from time to time and moving it around so that it doesn’t burn or overcook.
  5. Using tongs, rub the butter all over chicken, turn over and cook or another minute.rubbing chicken with butter
  6. To check to see if the chicken is fully cooked, insert a skewer; if the juice runs clear, it’s fully cooked. If it’s a little pinkish it needs to be cooked longer.testing with skewer


  1. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with the chopped green onion. Serve with rice, kimchi, and a few more side dishes.

Soy butter chicken

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