• Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Total Time: 3-4 hours
  • Serves: 6-8

Note: I’m kicking myself for forgetting to take a photo of this one. Next time I make this, I’ll be sure to share a photo.

If you’ve ever eaten at CupBop, you know why I love sweet-spicy-tangy Korean-inspired barbecue bowls. This isn’t an exact lookalike, but Stefani reports liking this recipe better than the gluten-free options at the restaurant.

Task 0: Brine the Chicken (5-24 hours in advance)

Since we won’t be very kind to the chicken in the fryer, brining will help it stay relatively tender and retain more moisture.


  • About 12 ounces of chicken. That’s 1 large, 2 medium, or 3 small breasts. 12 ounces of boneless skinless thighs would also work for this if you’d prefer that.
  • 1 quart water
  • ½ to 1 tbsp salt


  1. Prepare a bowl with about a quart of water and about ½-1 tbsp of salt. If the chicken is frozen, using warm water will help it thaw evenly.
  2. Place the chicken in the bowl so the chicken is entirely covered.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. If you’re using fresh chicken and brining for a few hours, put the bowl in the fridge. If you’re trying to thaw frozen chicken, it’s probably safe on the counter for around 4-5 hours.

Task 1: Make the Sauces (2+ hours in advance)

Make all 3 sauces at once well before you begin. You’ll thank me later.

Sauce 1: Spicy Mayo


  • ½ cup mayo
  • 1 tbsp gochujang paste
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice


Make this one in a tupper or condiment squirt bottle for the easiest experience. Mix all the ingredients very well (use a whisk or shake the condiment bottle well). 1 tbsp gochujang makes a mild sauce (think Cupbop level 1.5); add more to taste. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.

Sauce 2: Stir Fry Sauce


  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp gochugaru flakes (optional)
  • 1 tbsp gochujang paste
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp (non-alcoholic) mirin
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar


Mix everything until homogeneous. Mix it in a liquid measuring cup for easy pouring and set it out of the way. If you’re making it way in advance, put it in the fridge.

Sauce 3: Chicken Sauce


  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp fridge garlic (or 2 garlic cloves)
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger OR ½ tsp powdered ginger
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp gochujang paste, and add to taste
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2-3 tsp corn starch slurry: mix 2 tsp corn starch in 2 tsp water


  1. Over medium-low heat in a small saucepan, heat sesame oil, garlic, and ginger until garlic barely begins to brown and ginger is fragrant.
  2. Add sugar, water, gochujang paste, and soy sauce and heat until bubbly.
  3. Reduce heat to low, whisk in 1 tsp at a time of the cornstarch slurry until it becomes the consistency of Great Value maple syrup.
  4. Turn off heat and whisk until homogeneous. Set the pan out of the way on a hot pad until chicken is ready. If you’re making it way in advance, let it cool and refrigerate.

Task 2: Ingredient Prep (1 hour)

If you play your cards right, you’ll only dirty one knife and one cutting board. These are the rest of the ingredients in the recipe; prep them as described in this order for maximum easiness.


  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 2 tsp gochugaru (sub ½ tsp cayenne if needed)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 red bell peppers (red matches the sweet-spicy profile best)
  • 1 onion
  • 3-5 ounces sweet potato glass noodles
  • 1 ½ cups white or jasmine rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • Enough vegetable oil to give you ¾ to 1 ½ inches in the bottom of a dutch oven
  • 2 tsp salt


  1. Fill a breading bowl (one of those hybrid bowl-plates works well) with flour, cornstarch, and gochugaru (or cayenne) and set next to the stove.
  2. Beat 1 egg in a small bowl and set next to the stove.
  3. Line a bowl with a paper towel. Slice 3 bell peppers very thin (around ⅛-¼ inch) and put the cut peppers on the paper towel to reduce moisture and prevent spitting while stir frying.
  4. Slice an onion very thin (around ⅛ inch) and put the cut onion in a bowl.
  5. Make sure the glass noodles are around 8 inches long. Fill a bread pan with hot water and start soaking the glass noodles. They’ll need 30-45 minutes to soak, and they’re hard to overcook this way. Alternatively, follow the instructions on the package if you’d rather boil them.
  6. Remove chicken from brine and slice as thin as you can (ideally less than ¼ inch). To do fewer dishes, pour out the brine and put the sliced chicken back in the bowl.
  7. To an Instant Pot, add rice, water, butter, and salt. Set pressure to high and time to 6 minutes, turn off “keep warm”, set the rice to cook, and forget it’s there.
  8. Sprinkle 1 tsp salt on the peppers and the other tsp on the onions to draw out moisture.
  9. Set 2 tsp lemon juice in a small bowl next to the Instant Pot.
  10. Start heating vegetable oil in a dutch oven over (probably) medium-high heat. Regularly check the temperature; we’re looking for 350 F.
  11. Heat your oven to 225 and put a cookie sheet in it. Line it with parchment for easier cleanup.

Task 3: Cooking (30 minutes)

Now you’ve prepped everything, the meal actually comes together pretty fast. There are no new ingredients at this step, which is nice.

  1. Bread chicken by soaking a small amount at a time in the egg then in the breading mixture. You’ll probably want to do 3 batches in total.
  2. When oil is 350 F (and when it returns to 350 after each batch), add chicken and cook until golden brown (around 2-5 minutes depending on your stove and the type of flour you use). Don’t worry about overcooking the chicken; the brine will help take care of that.
  3. As each batch of chicken finishes, put it on the cookie sheet so it stays warm and crispy.
  4. While chicken cooks, heat a small amount (2 tsp or so) vegetable oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  5. Pat onion dry and add to oil. Stir onion until just softened.
  6. Pat peppers dry and add to the pan. There won’t be much oil left; this is okay.
  7. When the peppers and onions are cooked to your preferred level of doneness, add a couple tablespoons of the stir fry sauce until it’s all coated.
  8. When the last batch of chicken starts cooking, add the rice noodles to the stir fry along with sauce to taste. You might not need all the sauce you made. The noodles will absorb quite a bit of sauce, so you might want to add sauce in a second phase once you see how much sauce they soaked up.
  9. During the last batch of chicken, rice should also be done cooking. Finish releasing the pressure on the Instant pot and mix the lemon juice you set aside into the rice.
  10. Once all the chicken is done, use a large bowl to mix it with the chicken sauce. Tossing the bowl helps get the chicken evenly covered.
  11. Congratulations – you’ve finished cooking this insane meal!

Task 4: Serving (0 minutes)

Serve this however the heck you like, but I like to put rice in the bottom of my bowl, then top half with stir fry and half with chicken. Then I drizzle the spicy mayo on the whole thing. Enjoy!