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Dakdoritang (or dakbokkeumtang) is a spicy Korean chicken stew that has it all! Tender chicken, hearty potatoes and carrots, and a mouthwatering spicy sauce, all simmered together to perfection! Served with steamed rice, this dish is the ultimate comfort food that will satisfy your cravings and leave you wanting more.
Hi, spicy food lovers! Have you tried dakdoritang yet?
This is one of the most comforting dishes that I know of. Dakdoritang is bursting with tender chunks of juicy chicken and an array of delicious veggies, all swimming in a rich, spicy sauce that will send your taste buds into overdrive!
The other day I watched my Korean mom make it and measured the recipe quantities to write them down for you 🙂 My mom doesn’t really have written recipes, nor does she measure anything so when I want one of her recipes to share on my blog, we make the dish together, I grab a scale, spoons and cups and measure them all.
What is Dakdoritang?
In Korean, “dak” 닭 means chicken and “tang” 탕 refers to soup.
Dakdoritang is a popular Korean spicy chicken stew that typically features chicken, potatoes, carrots, onions, and a spicy sauce made with gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes), gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) and other seasonings.
What is the history of Dakdoritang?
Dakdoritang has a long and interesting history. The dish originated in the southwestern region of Korea, specifically in the city of Jeolla Province, which is known for its hearty and spicy cuisine.
It was traditionally a peasant dish made with simple ingredients like chicken, potatoes, carrots, and hot peppers, which were readily available and inexpensive. The dish was often made in large quantities and served to large groups of people, making it a popular choice for family gatherings and social events.
Over time, dakdoritang became more widely known and appreciated throughout Korea, and it eventually became a staple of Korean cuisine. Today, there are countless variations of the dish, with different regions and families adding their own unique twists and seasonings to the recipe.
difference between dakdoritang and dakbokkeumtang?
Dakdoritang is nowadays often called dakbokkeumtang (닭볶음탕). Another way to name it is also dakmaeuntang (닭매운탕). They roughly translate to “spicy stir-fried chicken soup” and “spicy hot chicken soup,” respectively. All of these terms refer to this same spicy chicken stew.
The name dakdoritang (닭도리탕) has been very controversial in the past decade.
This all happened since the Korean government (more specifically the National Institute of the Korean Language, 국립 국어원) has been trying to encourage the use of “real Korean words” as opposed to loan words. “dori” (도리) also means chicken in Japanese. However, there’s been another debate in recent years saying that dori is actually coming from old Korean “dorichida” (도리치다) which translates to cut up.
Nowadays both names coexist however I’ve always kept calling it by its original name and noticed dakdoritang has a much higher search volume on Google, as compared to dakbokkeumtang (even though, in practice, the latter is more widely used today).
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- bone-in chicken drumsticks – in Korea, we usually use a whole chicken sold already cut up. But you may not find it in other countries, so you can either buy a whole chicken and cut it up yourself or even easier, buy some bone-in chicken drumsticks or a mix of drumsticks, thighs and wings. I recommend using bone-in and skin-on chicken, as they release more juice into the sauce and yield a more flavorful result.
- carrots – chop the carrot into big chunks.
- green onions – slice the green onions into 4cm / 1.5-inch chunks. Add the white part together with other vegetables and keep the green part to add at the end since they cook much faster.
- onions – cut them into big chunks. Onions, carrots and potatoes are the best part of this dish, in my opinion. They soak up the sauce and release all of the flavors at once.
- potatoes – cut them into big chunks. I usually try to push them to the bottom of the pot at the beginning of cooking since they take the longest to cook.
- sesame seeds – sprinkle sesame seeds on top of the finished dish.
- garlic – if using Korean frozen garlic or garlic already minced in a pot, feel free to double up the amount. In my opinion, that type of garlic tastes much milder than fresh garlic. If possible, crush the garlic with a garlic press to release more of the garlic juice.
- ginger – mince the ginger finely or grate it.
- sugar – try not to decrease the amount of sugar to less than 1 tbsp. Sugar or other sweeteners are often used in Korean spicy sauce to counterbalance the heat of the spice. You can substitute sugar with maesilaek (Korean plum extract) in case you often cook Korean and already have it at home. This sweetener is often used in dakdoritang however note that maesilaek is sweeter than sugar so adjust the amount – in this recipe – to 1 tablespoon.
- gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes) – be aware there are different types of gochugaru, use the regular gochugaru for this recipe, not the extra spicy one. There is no substitute for gochugaru, other chili powders are too strong and have a completely different taste. However, you can easily adjust the amount of gochugaru to make your dish more or less spicy. Make sure to adjust the gochujang quantity by the same ratio, in order not to change taste and consistency.
- soy sauce – use regular soy sauce for this recipe. Don’t mistake it for dark soy sauce, which would be too salty for dakdoritang.
- mirin (rice wine) – in case you don’t have mirin at home, just skip it in this recipe. The result won’t be dramatically different. Do not confuse rice wine with rice vinegar, they are different ingredients and should not be substituted for one another.
- sesame oil – some people like to use sesame oil in dakdoritang, some don’t. If you use it make sure not to add more than stated in my recipe. Dakdoritang shouldn’t have a strong sesame oil flavor. I add it directly into the sauce but you can also drizzle it together with sesame seeds at the end.
- gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) – gochujang has a unique taste, don’t substitute it with any other chili paste. However, as mentioned earlier, you can easily adjust the spiciness of your dish by increasing or decreasing the amount. Just make sure to adjust it at the same ratio as gochugaru.
- black pepper powder – I prefer black pepper powder to season the sauce but you can also use regular black pepper.
How To Make Dakdoritang?
- Blanch the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes to get rid of dirty bits and blood.
- Mix all sauce ingredients together.
- In a pot, add chicken and spicy sauce. Mix together. Then add 480 ml / 2 cups water. Bring to a boil.
- When boiling, add potatoes, onions, carrots and the white part of the green onions. Reduce to medium heat and cook for 15 minutes lid on. Stir occasionally. Add the green part of the green onions and keep simmering for 15 minutes uncovered or until the sauce has slightly thickened and the chicken is cooked through.
Tip: don’t forget to uncover once the chicken and vegetables are almost cooked. This will allow the sauce to slightly thicken as the liquid evaporates. According to your type of stove and how strong it is, you may want to uncover it earlier or a little later. Typically after 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Sprinkle sesame seeds
- Serve with rice.
- Vegetables – if you’d rather customize dakdoritang, you can always use different vegetables. For instance mushrooms, zucchini or green capsicums go well with dakdoritang. Big green chili peppers are often used in dakdoritang also.
- Dangmyun (Korean sweet potato noodles), ramyun, or rice cakes – you can also add these for an extra hearty stew 🙂
- Chicken stock – instead of using water to cook the chicken and vegetables you can use chicken stock, which will add an extra depth of flavor.
How to serve Dakdoritang?
Serve it with a bowl of steamed rice. I use Korean short-grain rice but you can use any type of rice. Usually, I pick some of the chicken and braised vegetables and add them to my bowl of rice together with some of this fantastic sauce! My ‘ritual’ is to get at least one vegetable, some chicken and rice together in one bite.
How To Store, freeze and Reheat?
Let it cool down to room temperature, then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
You can freeze dakdoritang for longer-term storage. Let the stew cool down completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or freezer bag. Make sure to remove as much air as possible before sealing it. Freeze for up to 2-3 months. However, note that the texture of the braised vegetables may change and become slightly softer and mushier.
To reheat dakdoritang, you can use a microwave, stovetop, or oven.
- Use bone-in and skin-on chicken for a more flavorful and tender result.
- Use a variety of vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, onions, and green onions to add more depth of flavor and texture.
- Use a combination of gochujang and gochugaru for a balance of flavor and heat.
- Cook with the lid on then uncover for the last 15 minutes so that the liquid evaporates and the sauce slightly thickens.
- Use a non-stick pan to prevent the chicken from sticking to the bottom and to make cleaning easier.
- Garnish with chopped green onions and toasted sesame seeds before serving for a pop of color and flavor.
More spicy Korean recipes?
- Cheese Dakgalbi
- Creamy Carbonara Korean Buldak Ramen
- Spicy Dakgangjeong (Bite-SizeKorean Fried Chicken)
- Spicy Garlic Bread
- 5-Minute Shin Ramen
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Dakdoritang – Korean Spicy Chicken Stew
- 1 kg bone-in and skin-on chicken drumsticks | or mix drumsticks, thighs and wings
- 1 big carrot , cut into big chunks
- 3 big green onions , sliced into 4cm / 1.5 inch chunks
- 2 onions or 1 big-sized onion , cut into big chunks
- 2 big potatoes , cut into big chunks
- ½ tbsp sesame seeds
- Blanch chicken for 2 to 3 minutes to get rid of dirty bits and blood.
- Mix all sauce ingredients together.
- In a pot, add chicken and spicy sauce. Mix together. Then add 500ml / 2 cups water. Bring to a boil.
- When boiling, add potatoes, onions, carrots and the white part of the green onions. Reduce to medium heat and cook for 15 minutes lid on. Stir occasionally. Add the green part of the green onions and keep simmering for 15 minutes uncovered or until the sauce has slightly thickened and chicken is cooked through.
- Remove from heat. Sprinkle sesame seeds
- Serve with rice.