I have another meal prep idea for you guys!
I know I have said this a million and one times, but I love a good meal prep session. It’s just so…satisfying. I really feel as though I’ve accomplished something after prepping our meals for the week, or even for just a few days.
Plus, my future self really appreciates it as well. There’s nothing like coming home after a long day with a cranky kid and having dinner ready to go in minutes. GAME. CHANGER.
I love it.
Another thing I love? Korean-style chicken! OMG.
There is a restaurant in Philly (Serpico, for you local folks. If you haven’t been yet, GO! It’s incredible) that makes THE most insanely delicious Korean chicken wings. Dan and I ate them for the first time a few year ago and totally lost our shiz over them. They are a seasonal item, so you can’t get them all the time, but OMGoodness, they are insane.
I absolutely love the flavors of Korean food. Give me all the kimchi. All the funk of gochujang. And definitely give me a huge bowl of bibimbap. There is just so much FLAVOR in Korean food, and everything that I’ve had so far (which, admittedly isn’t a TON), I have loved. I am on a mission to discover more!
I have been working on a Korean chicken recipe of my own for a couple months now. And I finally figured it out! AND I figured out how to make it super easy using a crock pot!
Which means that this is an ideal meal prep dish. You can set it and forget it, and that makes life so much easier in every way.
Now, admittedly, this is MY take on Korean chicken. I am not claiming this to be the most authentic dish ever, but I will tell you this: it’s DELICIOUS. And it does highlight some of those classic Korean flavors. Gochujang chili paste is fermented and therefore a little funky, which I really love. If this isn’t your thing, though, feel free to sub in a different chili paste. Sambal, for example, would work just as well!
You can really tailor this to your tastes/needs. Don’t love spice? Cut the chili paste in half. Like it sweeter? Add in more honey. You do you!
I like to serve the spicy-sweet chicken over a bowl of rice. I have been on a cauliflower rice kick lately, so that’s what I used here, but you can do regular rice or even noodles!
And then! To cool everything down a bit and to tone down the aggressive flavors, I top everything off with some mango salsa. Sweet, tangy, and the perfect compliment to all the savory spice going on here. There’s something really awesome about the hot chicken and rice topped off with a cold salsa. Plus, mango is flippin’ yummy, so that helps too!
I think pineapple salsa would also be fabulous here. That sweet tropical flavor just works so well with heat.
All that’s left is some chopped scallions, a generous squeeze of fresh lime juice, and some sesame seeds!
Dinner is served.
For the Chicken:
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons Korean chile paste (gochujang)
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (about a 2-inch piece)
- 4 garlic cloves, grated or pressed
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
For the Mango Salsa:
- 2 ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted, and diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
- ¼ of a red onion, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- Juice of 1 lime
- Drizzle of honey (optional – I like the extra sweetness)
- Salt, to taste
- Cooked cauliflower rice (or rice of choice)
- Scallions, chopped
- Sesame seeds
- Lime wedges
For the Chicken:
- In the bottom of a slow cooker, whisk together the soy sauce, honey, chile paste, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
- Add the chicken thighs to the slow cooker, gently turning them to coat in the sauce.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 3-4 hours (or on HIGH for 2-3 hours).
- Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and set on a plate.
- Whisk the cornstarch into ¼ cup of cold water and add to the sauce in the pot. If your slow cooker has a SIMMER setting, use that (if not, use the HIGH setting). Whisk the sauce until it is thickened and glossy, about 5 minutes.
- Chop or shred the chicken and add it back to the pot with the sauce, tossing gently until everything is evenly coated in the sauce.
- Keep the chicken warm until you are ready to serve.
For the Mango Salsa:
- Combine the mangoes, jalapeno, red onion, and cilantro in a bowl.
- Juice the lime over and add a drizzle of honey. Toss to combine.
- Season, to taste, with salt. Keep cold until you are ready to serve.
- To each bowl or meal prep container, spoon in some rice (I do roughly 1 cup of regular rice or 1½ cups of cauliflower rice).
- Top with the chicken and then sprinkle the sesame seeds over top.
- Spoon on some of the mango salsa and garnish with chopped scallions and lime wedges.
- Serve immediately or allow everything to cool to room temperature before sealing and storing in the fridge for future meals.