That sounds a little off, doesn’t it?
But cola has been secretly (?) used in many modern interpretation of traditional Korean meat/poultry dishes. Well…, it is not much of secret anymore, though. Many home cooks in Korea sneak in leftover cola that has been fizzed out into their beef/pork/chicken dinner and the result? An outstanding meal ready in one pot.
This Cola Braised Korean Chicken (콜라 찜닭, cola jjimdak) is very easy to make. So easy that even a novice to the Korean cooking can whip this up with ‘fan-ta-bulous’ (fantastic + fabulous) result. And you won’t even taste the licorice flavor of cola but leave with the flavor that soy sauce alone can’t create. Hard to imagine?
Don’t skip on the noodles. It soaks up all the good flavor of sauce and you will love the charming sounds of slurping this clear Korean sweet potato noodles, aka dangmyeon.
Now, go and have your chicken man to cut up a whole chicken into pieces for you. If you don’t have a friendly chicken man to cut a whole chicken for you, use any combination chicken parts you like, boned-in pieces, pease!
Here are the ingredients you need; soy sauce, cola (coke), rice wine, Korean corn syrup (optional, I ended up not using it), garlic, ginger, chilies, potatoes, carrots, onion, sweet potato noodles and chicken, of course. I trimmed the skin from the chicken pieces only because I am not a huge fan of skin. You don’t need to if you don’t care about it.
Add the chicken pieces and chilies. I used dried chilies. Dried chilies are great to use in braising and they tend to bring spicier kick to the dish. You can use fresh chilies if you can’t find the dried kind.
I only used 4. Feel free to increase the number of chillies if you want the spicy stimulation on your tongue.
Add your vegetables chunks. I left my potato in whole since they are small. Don’t cut your vegetable too small. You need to adjust your braising time or when to add the vegetables depends on the size of your vegies.
Cover with a lid and simmer over med-low heat for 20 minutes.
The meat and the vegetables are almost fork tender.
Continue to braise, UNCOVERED, stirring once or twice, about 5-7 minutes over medium heat. When you see the sauce gets reduced and the noodles are soft, it is done.
Let everything to rest for a few minutes so the liquid will soak through the noodles and to all the other yummy stuff in the pot.
Yummy, yummy, in my tummy…
Gently spicy with a little sweetness coming from the coke, tender vegetables, and oh! yes to the noodles…
You don’t need any fancy side dishes to go with. It is a great Korean style one pot meal on its own but I serve myself with a little rice to soak up all the good juice, though.
Who knew the very *American* soft drink can cast their magic to make Korean chicken so flavorful? I gotta think of something Korean to make American chicken proud in return. Any ideas?
With lots of love,
- 1 kg (2.2 lb) bone-in chicken pieces, trimmed and cleaned
- 100g Korean sweet potato noodles (aka dangmyeon)
- 1 lb small whole potatoes (size of a baby fist. Cut into big chunks if large)
- 2 carrots, cut into 1½" chunks
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4-7 dried red chillies or fresh chilies without the stem
- 500ml cola (preferred Coca-Cola)
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon rice wine
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon powdered ginger or 1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
- Soak the Korean sweet potato noodles in warm water to soften. Set aside.
- Bring water to boil in a medium pot. Add the chicken pieces and let the water come up to boil again. Remove the chicken from water. Set aside.
- In a braising pot combiner Coke, soy sauce, rice wine, garlic, ginger together. Return the chicken to the mixture and add the dried chillies.
- Bring to boil. If you see any scums on the surface, scoop out with a spoon to get the clear sauce. When the whole thing comes to boil, add the potatoes, carrots and onions to the pot, and stir to coat evenly. Cover with a lid and simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes.
- Raise heat to medium or medium-high, add the noodles and continue to cook for another 5-7 minutes, uncovered, stirring once or twice. When you see your sauce gets reduced by half and the vegetables are tender, it is done.
- Let the stew rest for a few minutes before serving so the flavor will settle into everything in the pot.
- Serve warm with a little rice.