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Slow cooker Korean-style chicken

Slow cooker Korean-style chicken. #crockpot

Ever since Ken, a long-time reader of The Perfect Pantry, sent me a pile of Hawaiian cookbooks a couple of months ago, I've been having a wonderful time reading recipes and learning more about the island's multicultural cuisine. The book I reach for most often, Hurry Up and Wait: Hawaii's Favorite Recipes for the Pressure Cooker and the Slow Cooker, has yellow stickies on dozens of pages. When the oven is occupied with roasting and baking, both the slow cooker and the pressure cooker get pressed into service in my kitchen. I used my pressure cooker to make Hawaiian sweet potato salad, and the slow cooker to cook a batch of this chicken. If you like Korean barbecue, you'll love this dish, which mimics the spicy-salty barbecue flavor. I always have chicken breasts in the freezer, so I use those instead of thighs. The chicken is delicious hot, as the star of a rice bowl, but I think it's even better cold, sliced and served with crunchy munchy vegetables like crisp celery sticks, bell pepper strips, green beans or snap peas -- and that makes it perfect for take-to-work lunch.

Korean-style chicken, made in the slow cooker.

Slow cooker Korean-style chicken

From the pantry, you'll need: chicken breasts, reduced-sodium soy sauce, dark soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, chili paste with garlic, fresh garlic, sesame seeds.

Adapted from Hurry Up and Wait: Hawaii's Favorite Recipes for the Pressure Cooker and the Slow Cooker. Serves 4-6.


3-1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed of visible fat (approximately 6 large chicken breasts)
1 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1/2 - 1 Tbsp chili paste with garlic (or sambal oelek)
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbsp water
Sliced scallions and sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)


Line a 4-quart slow cooker with a liner bag, or spray with cooking spray.

Cut each chicken breast into three large pieces, and place all of the chicken in the slow cooker.

In a bowl, mix the soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, chili paste and garlic. Pour the sauce over the chicken, and turn the chicken pieces to make sure each one is coated with the sauce.

Cook on LOW for 2-3/4 hours. Lift the lid and turn the chicken pieces, then continue cooking, covered, for 30 minutes more.

Remove the chicken from the pot. Turn the heat to HIGH, and when the sauce comes to a low boil, stir in the cornstarch mixture. Stir for one minute, until the sauce thickens slightly. If necessary, strain the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer into a small bowl or pitcher. Pour the sauce over the chicken.

Serve hot, at room temperature, or chilled, garnished with scallions and sesame seeds.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More slow cooker chicken favorites:
Slow cooker tandoori pulled chicken
Slow cooker Middle Eastern garlic chicken
Slow cooker soy-braised chicken
Slow cooker chicken curry with sweet potatoes, tomato and raisins
Slow cooker chicken and pinto bean burrito bowl

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Soy sauce chicken, from Appetite for China
Chicken adobo (chicken cooked in soy sauce and vinegar), from Kalyn's Kitchen
Honey soy baked chicken thighs, from She Wears Many Hats
Hainan chicken and rice, from Viet World Kitchen
Taiwanese noodles with meat sauce, from Steamy Kitchen

Korean-style chicken, via Hawaii, and made in the slow cooker!

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This sounds delicious! I bought some spicy Korean chile paste a few months ago and I bet that would be perfect in this recipe.

Kalyn, Korean red pepper paste is wonderful (and very hot!). It would be great in this dish.

could you adapt this for a dutch oven? thanks.

I'm just wondering why use a slow cooker to cook boneless, skinless chicken breasts? Why not marinate for a few hours and stir fry/saute?

Kay, Rachel: The slow cooker allows you the flexibility to walk out the door and have your dish cook untended for several hours. Of course, absolutely anything you can make in a slow cooker can be made on the stovetop.

Wondering if you could use 1 TBSP Molasses instead of the brown sugar. Also, has anyone tried this without adding the additional sauce at the end? Perhaps, just cooking it in the sauce and then discarding the extra would lower the caloric and sugar counts?


Erica, I'm sure you could use molasses instead of brown sugar (molasses has brown sugar in it). But I would not skip the sauce at the end; it's really delicious.

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