Dakbokkeumtang (Korean spicy chicken stew)

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As we’re heading from Autumn towards Winter, I feel more and more the need for warm, spicy comfort food like soups and stews. The other day I bought some chicken thighs, and was looking for a recipe to use them when I found one for Dakbokkeumtang.

Dakbokkeumtang (or dakdoritang) is Korean spicy braised chicken, and the perfect dish as it’s easy to make, I had most of the ingredients at home, it can be made in advance and (re)heated up, and it’s just so yummie & comforting!

My version is  based on the recipe from Maangchi, which you can find here. (I just saw this recipe on Beyond Kimchee, which also looks great)

  • 1 kilo of chicken thighs or drumsticks or a mix of this, cut into smaller pieces. You can use skin on, but be prepared for some fat floating on top of the stew if you do. I used chicken thigh, skinless and halved these.
  • Mix in a bowl: 1/4 cup Gochugaru (red pepper flakes), 1/4 cup Soy sauce, 1/4 cup Gochujang (red pepper paste), 1/4 cup minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of sugar.
  • Add the chicken pieces and mix together.
  • Add 2-3 onions, cut in largish pieces, mix together and transfer to a large pan.

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  • Add 2 cups of water, bring to the boil and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes, lid on, stir one or twice.
  • Meanwhile, clean 3-4 large potatoes and cut into largish pieces. I didn’t have potato but used sweet potato instead, which made the end result slightly sweeter as well. If you use potatoes, try to use waxy ones that will keep their shape.
  • Add to the stew and cook on medium heat for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Maangchi recommends adding 2 chopped green chillies at this point as well, but a) I didn’t have those and b) I think it’s spicy enough without.wpid-20141111_112513.jpg
  • After the second 20 minutes of cooking, take off the lid and boil for another 5-10 minutes to reduce the liquid a bit.
  • It is now ready and Maangchi recommends adding some chopped green onions just before serving.
  • However…I wanted to pack in a few more vegetables, so I chopped up some boksoi and added the stalky bits to the stew to cook for a few minutes.
  • I added the greener leafy bits of the boksoi and some green onions just before serving.
  • Enjoy! Jal meokkesseumnida!

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P.S. the rice that I’m eating with this stew is the JFC Yumenishiki. This was the European grown Japonica rice as recommended by Just Hungry.  (I wrote about trying out different brands of rice in this post). This dish doesn’t really need rice, but on the other hand…no Korean meal seems to be complete without it 🙂

The Yumenishiki rice looked very round, almost like a risotto, arborio rice when uncooked, but once cooked, the grains looked more like a medium grain rice. The taste is very clean, quite neutral and the grains stick together in a nice way. But again…It still doesn’t taste as nice as Koshihikari, the Yumenishiki missed that sweet, nutty flavour the Koshikari has…. The rice journey will be continued…

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5 thoughts on “Dakbokkeumtang (Korean spicy chicken stew)

  1. This dish looks like it’ll last you awhile. That’s one of the things I like about stews and soups – there’s usually plenty left over for future meals. Maangchi’s great; I watched so many of her YouTube videos. I like her personality.

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