This spicy Korean chicken soup (dakgaejang) is delicious and full of flavor. With plenty of vegetables, like leeks and mushrooms, this recipe is nourishing and comforting. Plus, learn my secret tips to keeping the broth bright red.

Korean spicy chicken soup (dakgaejang) with vegetables is showing its devilish red look in a white pot.

When the weather outside is cold and wet, I am thinking of a bowl of very spicy soup. Koreans love their winter soup with strong heat and this spicy Korean chicken soup (dakgaejang) will hit the spot.

If you are fond of Yukgaejang (spicy Korean beef stew), you will love its chicken version but simplified.  The traditional way of making yukgaejang takes time and some effort, but this Korean chicken soup is much easier to make.

I like things simple even in the recipe. So here is my version of spicy Korean chicken soup recipe (dakgaejang) that is easier to make.

I will also share a secret on how to maintain the devilish red broth all the way through until you finish the entire batch of soup. Now that’s a devilish good news. Don’t you think?

Homemade Chicken Stock for Chicken Soup

a whole chicken and vegetables are simmering in a stock pot
A boiled whole chicken is being shredded into bite size pieces.

Most Korean soup and stew recipes often require a good stock. Use a whole chicken, preferably organic chicken.

How to make homemade chicken stock

  1. Place a whole chicken in a large stock pot.
  2. Add onion, leek, garlic, chunks of radish, and dried sea kelp. Pour enough water to cover and bring them to boil. Reduce to heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes.
  3. Transfer the chicken on the side to cool, discard the vegetables, and reserve the stock. Shred chicken and set aside.

Recipe Instructions and Tips

Vegetables for dakgaejang

Asian chives, mushroom, and bean sprouts are placed on the wooden board.

I use mung bean spouts, oyster mushroom, Asian leek, and Asian chives. You can leave out Asian chives if you can’t find. You can also substitute Asian leek with a bunch of green onion instead.

 How to make Chili Oil

Minced garlic is cooking in a chili oil in a pot.

Heat Korean chili flakes and garlic in oils over low flame until the oil turns to red color, about 1-2 minutes.

You can adjust the amount of chili according to your desired heat tolerance. Be careful not to burn your chili flakes. Use low heat, otherwise it will easily burn the chili flakes.

Leeks. chives, and bean sprouts are added to the chili oil in a pot.

Add the leek, and Mung bean sprouts and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until they get softened.

How to Keep the Broth Red

Most times, soups made with chili oil turn the broth very red at the beginning but easily disappears once cooking is finished. It leaves the soup somewhat less attractive.

Here is my tip to maintain the devilish redness in the broth.

A teaspoon of gochujang is added to the Korean chicken soup.

Add 1/2-1 tablespoon of Korean chili paste. It won’t change the texture of the broth, but holds its redness all the way through until you finished the whole batch of soup. It adds a slight body to the soup and brings a better taste.

Season Spicy Korean Chicken Soup (Dakgaejang)

Various vegetables are simmering in a spicy broth in a pot over the stove.

Boil the soup with vegetables until they are soft.

Shredded chicken is added to the spicy vegetabel in the broth.

Add the chicken and heat through.

Bottles of Korean soup soy sauce and tuna sauce are shown next to the white soup pot.

Season the soup with Korean Soy sauce for soup and tuna sauce (if you have).

I like to add tuna sauce since it adds a more depth to the broth, but you can leave out if you don’t have. Season with extra salt and pepper if needed.

Asian chives are added to the simmering spicy chicken soup in a pot.

Lastly, sprinkle Asian chives to the soup. Chives are optional, so you can leave them out and add more green onion, instead.

A white pot of spicy Korean chicken soup is placed with a pink kitchen towel next to it.

As you can see, this spicy chicken and vegetable soup presents with a devilish red broth. It will maintain its redness all the way through until you finish the entire batch.

Although it looks so devilish red, it’s not overly spicy and tolerable. You can always adjust the amount of chili flakes depends on your preference.

Serving and Storage Suggestion

Spicy chicken soup is served in a bowl with rice next to spoon and chopstick.

Simply serve with rice and kimchi as a side dish. You don’t need anything else. It’s a hearty soup and perfect for cold weather when you need extra kick to keep you warm.

Leftover soup should be kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. This soup freezes well, too. Cool the soup and pour that in an airtight zip bag. It should keep for 3 months in the freezer. To reheat, thaw the soup and warm it up on the stove or use a microwave.

Check out my Korean Cooking Favorite Cookbook for more authentic Korean recipes.

More Delicious Korean Soup Recipes

A ladle of chicken and vegetable soup is resting in a white soup pot
Korean spicy chicken soup (dakgaejang) with vegetables is showing its devilish red look in a white pot.

Spicy Korean Chicken Soup (Dakgaejang)

This spicy Korean chicken soup (dakgaejang) is delicious and full of flavor! With plenty of vegetables, like leeks and mushrooms, this recipe is nourishing and comforting. Plus, learn my secret tips to keeping the broth bright red.
5 from 3 ratings

Ingredients

For chicken stock

  • 1 2.5-3 lb whole chicken
  • 2-3 thick slices of Korean or daikon radish
  • 1 onion, cut in half
  • 1 Asian leek, sliced, see note below
  • 6-7 cloves garlic
  • 1 dried sea kelp (dashima)
  • 12 cups water

For chili oil

For soup

Instructions 

To make the chicken stock

  • Add all the stock ingredients in a stock pot and pour water. Bring to a gentle boil, then simmer for 45 minutes over low heat. Transfer the chicken on the side, discard the vegetables and reserve the stock. Shred chicken and set aside.

To make the chili oil

  • Heat oils in a large soup pot over low flame, add the chili flakes and garlic. Cook until oil turns red and fragrant, stirring constantly; about 1 minute. Be careful not to burn the chili flakes.

To make the soup

  • Add the leeks and mung bean sprouts to chili oil in a pot, stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until softened. Add the mushrooms and toss. Pour the reserved stock.
  • Add the chili paste and mix everything well. Bring the soup to boil over medium heat and cook until the vegetables are soft and tender.
  • Add the shredded chicken and heat through. Season the soup with Korean soup soy sauce and the tuna sauce (if using). Add the Asian chives (if using) and stir well.
  • Add more sauces, and salt & pepper according to your taste. Serve hot with rice and kimchi on the side.

Notes

You can replace Asian leek with a bunch of green onion.
Calories: 108kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 506mg, Potassium: 443mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 940IU, Vitamin C: 29mg, Calcium: 67mg, Iron: 2mg
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