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 spicy Korean beef soup (yukgaejang), you will love its chicken version but simplified. The traditional way of making yukgaejang takes time and some effort. I like things simple even in the recipe. So here is my version of spicy Korean chicken soup (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 good new, right?
Homemade chicken stock is a must
Good soup requires a good stock. Use a whole chicken, preferably organic chicken. Add onion, leek, garlic, chunks of radish, and dried sea kelp. Boil and simmer for 45 minutes. Reserve the stock. Dscard the vegetables and shred the chicken.
What vegetables to use?
Mong bean spouts, oyster mushroom, leek, and Asian chives. You can leave out Asian chives if you can’t find. You can also substitute with green onion for the Asian leek.
How to make the chili oil and maintain its redness in broth?
Heat Korean chili flakes and some 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.
Add the leek, and Mung bean sprouts and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until they get softened.
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. 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.
Seasoning of the soup
Boil the soup with vegetables until they are soft.
Add the chicken and heat through.
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 more with salt and pepper if needed.
Lastly, sprinkle Asian chives to the soup. You can leave out and add more green onion if you wish.
How to serve the spicy Korean chicken and vegetable soup?
Simply serve with rice and kimchi as a side dish. You don’t need anything else. Enjoy!
More delicious Korean soup recipes
Spicy Korean Chicken and Vegetable Soup (Dakgaejang)
For the chicken stock;
- 1 whole chicken about 2.5 lb
- 2-3 thick slices of Korean or daikon radish
- 1 onion cut in half
- 1 Asian leek sliced
- 6-7 garlic cloves
- 1 large piece of dried sea kelp
- 12 cups water
For the soup;
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2-3 tbsp Korean chili flakes
- 3 cloves garlic finely minced
- 10 oz Mung bean sprouts
- 5 oz oyster mushrooms
- 1/2-1 tbsp Korean chili paste
- 2 tbsp Korean soy sauce for soup
- 1 tbsp Korean tuna sauce optional
- 1/2 cup Asian chives sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large stock pot, add all the stock ingredients and pour water. Bring to a gentle boil, then simmer for 45 minutes. Transfer the chicken on the side to cool, discard the vegetables and reserved the stock. Shred chicken and set aside.
- In a large soup pot, heat oils over low flame, add the chili flakes and garlic until the oil turn red and fragrant,; about 2 minutes.
- Add the leek and Mung bean sprouts and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until softened. Add the mushrooms and 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 soy sauce for soup and the tuna sauce. Add the Asian chives and stir well.
- Add more sauces, and salt & pepper according to your taste. Serve hot with rice and kimchi on the side.