Monday, October 14, 2013

Dakbokkeumtang - Korean Spicy Chicken Stew

Lately I've been on a Korean food kick. I see my parents fairly often and usually my mom cooks dinner if I stay long enough but we usually eat the same dishes because my mom knows they're my favorite and I always prefer them first. But this means that lately I've been missing some of the other dishes that my mom no longer makes when I visit. There are a few dishes that I want to try out in the near future but funny enough the first Korean dinner I made all by myself is actually one my mom never made for me (or at least I can't remember if she ever did).

This dish is called dakbokkeumtang (formerly called dakdoritang) and it's a very spicy chicken stew that is best served with rice (or in my case, brown rice). You can get gochujang and gochugaru at any Korean/Asian market and don't worry about having a huge tub with no use - you can mix the gochujang with a bit of rice vinegar and dip veggies in it like broccoli or Asian cucumbers. You can also substitute other red pepper powders for gochugaru but it may make the dish taste a little different.  Dakbokkeumtang is meant to be very spicy but if you have a lower spice tolerance you can certainly cut down on the red pepper paste and powder, but you may want to increase the amount of soy sauce or salt to adjust the flavor. Also, if you're not used to eating spicy foods and you try making this super spicy, beware that may cause your tummy to get upset.  Dakbokkeumtang is also traditionally made with either dark meat or a mixture of white and dark meat, but since I favor white meat I used chicken breasts for this.  I've left some of the ingredient amounts flexible and made some modifications as I find that a lot of Korean cooking is about personal taste and variations.

Servings: 3-5

2 pounds chicken, cut into 1/2-1 inch pieces (or if dark meat, you can leave on the bone)
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks (approximately 1-inch pieces)
2 medium onions, cut into large chunks (approximately 1-inch pieces)
2-4 tablespoons chopped green onions
2-4 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and minced
1/4-3/4 cup soy sauce (depends on if you use low sodium and how salty you want it)
1 1/2-2 cups water (depends on how brothy you want it)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup gochujang (Korean red chili paste)
1-2 tablespoons gochugaru (Korean red chili powder)
1 6-ounce bag baby spinach
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, lightly toasted
6 dried shiitake mushrooms (optional)
1 green chili pepper, chopped (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste


  • Add in a large pot or Dutch oven 1/4-3/4 cup soy sauce, 2-4 tbsps garlic, 1 tbsp ginger, 4 tbsp gochujang, 1-2 tbsps gochugaru, and 1 tbsp sugar until sauce is well mixed.
  • Add in 2 lbs chicken, 2 chopped onions, and 1 1/2-2 cups water.
  • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then cover and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Optional: Place 6 dried shiitake mushrooms in a large bowl of warm water to soften. When softened enough, cut into strips. I like shiitake mushrooms so I added them to the dish, but they have a unique flavor and texture so if they're not your thing omit them.
  • After 20 minutes, add in 3 chopped potatoes, 6 sliced shiitake mushrooms, and 1 chopped green chili pepper. 
  • Stir together all the ingredients and then cover and cook for another 20 minutes. The potatoes will help thicken the stew.
  • After the second 20-minute period is up, remove lid and let cook uncovered for 3-5 minutes to let the sauce thicken.
  • Stir in 1 6-ounce bag of baby spinach and 2-4 tablespoons green onions until spinach is wilted and coated with the sauce.
  • Remove from heat and sprinkle lightly toasted sesame seeds on top of the chicken. Serve with some rice.

Of course no tasting for the girls since this had a ton of spicy things and onions. But I cooked a teensy bit of chicken for them separately as a birthday treat for them (Sunny turns 9 and Rosy turns 3 today!).
Adapted from My Recipes and Maangchi.

1 comment:

  1. I found you through buzzfeed a few weeks ago and have had this on my list of things to make ever since. I finally made it this evening, and it did not disappoint. Delicious!