Korean spicy chicken stew!

This is one of those dishes that it’s so easy to make at home, although it needs to cook/simmer for an hour, the ingredient preparation will only take a few minutes.  I often eat it in the winter as it’s spicy and comforting but I was suddenly craving some so made it this week.

There are lots of recipes available but this is how I made it

  • In a casserole / heavy bottomed pan, mix the seasoning:
    • 3 tbsp gochugaru  (Korean red chili pepper flakes) with 3 tbsp gochujang (Korean red chilli paste).
    • Add 5 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbs sesame oil and 1 tbs brown sugar or honey.
    • Add 3 minced garlic gloves or a tbsp of garlic paste
    • optional add 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • Add your chicken pieces to this mix. You can use a whole chicken chopped into pieces or even fillets only, but I like to use drumsticks and/or thighs. You will need about 1 kg
  • Add 2 medium onions, roughly chopped and 1 liter water
  • Stir and bring to the boil. Once boiling reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes
  • Clean 4 medium potatoes and 3 carrots and cut into large pieces. Add to the pan, bring to the boil again, reduce heat and simmer for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Add some chopped green/spring onions just before serving with rice.

(If you prefer it spicier you can add more gochugaru or some chopped chillies)

My banchan (side dishes) were very simple but did include some home made cucumber kimchi!


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Comfort food: Kimchi guk

Kimchi Guk

Some days you just need come comfort food!

I don’t know why, but I find a lot of Korean food qualifies as comfort food. I guess it’s all the soups and stews, and of course the Bibimbap!

This Kimchi Guk (Kimchi soup) is very simple to make, it only needs 3 to 5 (+ water) ingredients and I can eat bowl after bowl of it. It’s also a great way to use up old kimchi, or to be more precise it needs old kimchi as it just doesn’t taste the same if made with fresh kimchi.  Ideally you use that half pot of kimchi that you have lurking in the depths of your fridge and that is a week over date or so 🙂


  • 2 cups of well fermented, old kimchi + juice.
  • 300 grams pork belly
  • 4-5 cups of water
  • 1 block of firm tofu
  • optional: gochujang
  • optional: green onion


  • Chop up the kimchi. I find it easiest to just take some scissors and chop it up in the pot itself.
  • Put kimchi and the kimchi juices in a heavy bottomed pan.
  • Slize the pork belly in bite size pieces and add to pan.
  • Add 4 cups of water.
  • Optional: depending on how spicy you like your soup, you can add a table spoon (or 2) of Gochujang.
  • Bring to the boil and cook for half an hour or so.
  • Cube the (drained) tofu, add to the soup and heat through for further 10 minutes.
  • Optional: add some green/spring onion.

If the kimchi is extremely sour, you could also add a little bit of sugar, or if it’s too fresh and not sour enough, you could add some vinegar instead.

Serve with steamed rice.

Shrimp burgers

shrimp-burger-recipeYou might remember that I made some mandu last year (see previous post here), and as I really liked the filling, I made the filling again this time but shaped it into burgers without bothering with mandu skins.

This is such a lovely burger, so I wanted to share the recipe with you but of course I forgot to take photo’s during the process. It’s really simple though,(and based on this recipe) from Misty Yoon.

Take A:

  • 12oz raw large shrimp, peeled and de-veined: chopped up (I prefer not to use a blender, as I like to have small pieces of shrimp in my burger, plus you have less chance it ends up “rubbery”)
  • 3 oz Korean chives: washed and chopped finely

Mix in a bowl B:

  • 1 table spoon sake
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • pinch of red pepper flakes, I use Korean Gochugaru
  • 1 table spoon of sesame oil
  • optional: 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, finely grated

Mix A + B

  • Add A to B and mix well. Add 2 table spoons of cornstarch and mix again.
  • Oil a non stick pan very lightly with vegetable oil and put on medium heat.
  • Divide the shrimp mixture into 8/9 burgers, I portion it up with an icecream scoop, but you can use two tablespoons.
  • Place each burger into the pan, lightly squash it down and fry on medium heat on both sides for approx 6- 8 min each until the middle has cooked through. As you can see, the burgers have that slightly rustic, home made look 🙂
  • Turn up the heat and fry for a final minute on each side until nice and golden brown.
shrimp burger

Shrimp burgers frying

Serve with:

  • rice
  • dipping sauce: 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon (apple) vinegar, 1 tablespoon water, 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • steamed green vegetables

Sundubu Jjigae

Sundubu jjigaeMy dinner tonight!

Spicy and comforting, just what I need with this kind of weather.

Sundubu Jjigae is a hot and spicy stew made with a seafood broth (sometimes meat is added as well), seafood, vegetables, spicy seasoning and extra soft tofu (sundubu). Often an egg is added at the last minute. It is served in a hot bowl, which will help cook the egg.

You can also make this dish with seafood only (as I do), meat only, or with Kimchi.

The stew is eaten with rice, I tend to scoop a bit of rice on my spoon, and with that scoop up some of the stew. Or just eat a large spoonful of stew and immediately some rice afterwards to counter- battle the spicy ness. Either way, it’s a great dish and easy to make.

I haven’t actually included a recipe here, but if you google it, you will find that there are many available. The reason why I didn’t include a recipe is because mine is a “cheaters” version…I don’t make the broth myself but buy a ready mix at the Korean supermarket…. I do add some personal touches by adding extra flavouring (fish sauce, anchovies broth powder, gochugaru and gochujang), and of course the tofu, seafood, vegetables and egg, but that hardly equates to a recipe.

Anyway, if you like seafood, tofu and spicy food , I can recommend making this dish. It’s delicious!

Dakbokkeumtang (Korean spicy chicken stew)


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.


  • 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!



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…

Onjigeo Bokkeum

This time no lunch, but dinner!

I made this spicy stir fried Korean squid for my dinner today, and wanted to share this as it’s very easy and quick to make and very good!

The recipe I used is one from Korean Bapsang, although I made a few small changes. I used some different vegetables and left out the chillies, I think the dish is spicy enough with the Gochujang and Gochugaru. I also bought my squid ready cleaned and scored from the Korean supermarket.

Here are my veggies in the frying pan. On the left my squid marinating plus the spring onion waiting to be added.

Spicy stir fried squid

And the end result! Mjammie!

Korean spicy stir fried squid served