This sauce is inspired by the Bulgogi flavors that Nyesha Arrington’s Korean grandmother used to serve her. She always keeps it on hand. It’s a soy-based, spicy-sweet mixture with fish sauce, sesame seeds, scallions, and gochugaru. Gochugaru is a Korean spice based on ground peppers. It is available in gourmet markets and online. Use red chile flakes as a substitute. 


Yields 1 1/2 cups


  • 1 cup lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions (about 4 scallions)
  • 3 tablespoons gochugaru (or red chile flakes)
  • 2 tablespoons crushed toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic (about 3 garlic cloves)


1. Whisk together soy sauce, 1/2 cup water, and sugar in a bowl until sugar dissolves. Whisk in canola oil, sesame oil, and fish sauce. Whisk in scallions, gochugaru or chile flakes, sesame seeds, and garlic.
2. Use immediately, or store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 3 months.