I have a little brother back in Korea. He is happily married to a beautiful wife and have two adorable girls. When my brother got married, my mother was somewhat worried that her only son would be under nourished. Why? Because her only daughter-in-law was not much of a cook.
To a some degree I have to admit that my mother was right. Until my sister-in-law married to my brother, she didn’t have much experience in cooking. Her food at the beginning were either very bland or overly spiced. To be honest, it was quite difficult to chow down some of the food she made for us. She just didn’t have the natural sense and knowledge of what goes together.
They started family soon after they got married and my sister-in-law became a full time housewife. She spent more time in cooking and tried many recipes to improve her cooking skill. This reminds me of my humble beginning, too. I wasn’t much of cook myself either when I got married. I never knew how to cook rice or how to make any of simple Korean side dishes. Error after error, I obtained the skills, learned the balancing in flavor, and improved the cooking techniques to get the best results in any recipes. I don’t think there is a fastest way of learning how to cook better except trying over and over. Time and patience will get you there eventually.
A few years after they got married I visited my brother in Korea, my sister-in-law made this delicious spicy Korean chicken stew for me. I was quite impressed. The flavor was well balanced and the texture of both chicken and the vegetables were just perfect; tender and moist chicken with perfectly soft vegetables holding their shapes. She continuously impressed me with her foods whenever I visited them. Everyone in the family enjoys her culinary creation and we are so proud of her.
I like to share this delicious spicy Korean chicken stew with you. It it spicy as the title mentioned, but so good that it is worth of sweating a little to enjoy this delicious stew. The Korean name for this stew can be either dakdoritang (닭도리탕) or dakbokkeumtang(닭볶음탕). Both names share the same delicious spicy chicken stew and you should definitely try this if you love anything spicy!
The authentic recipe calls for one whole chicken cut up. I am using a mixture of chicken thighs, drumsticks, and breast. All bone-in but skinless pieces.
Wash the chicken parts in the running water and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine all the seasonings together and mix well.
Add the chicken and coat well.
Place the chicken in a braising pan or pot. Even a deep skillet would do a great job. Pour the sea kelp stock over the chicken.
To make the sea kelp stock, you simmer a large piece (about the size of your hand) of dried sea kelp in water for 5-7 minutes over low heat.
How much of the stock? Just to barely cover the chicken. You don’t want to drown them.
Let them boil first and then simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, covered.
Add the diced onion and carrots and simmer for another 10 minutes over med-low heat.
Add the potatoes and simmer again for 10-15 minutes stirring gently occasionally. Cooking time can be various depends on the size of your vegetables. I like mine slightly big but you can make yours according to your preference.
When the vegetables are almost tender, open the lid to evaporate the liquid in the sauce. This will help thicken the sauce.
At last, add green chili and green onion. Stir to mix well.
Doesn’t it look delicious? The meat will fall off the bone and the spicy sauce is just to die for. Bring on the rice! I am so ready to dig in again.
You don’t need anything else except a bowl of rice to drizzle the sauce over, but some Asian style green salad would make it a lovely meal.
Enjoy the aroma first and dig in! I have a feeling that this chicken stew will make everyone in your family very-very happy tonight. … just like my sister-in-law did with my family a few years ago.
Spicy Korean Chicken Stew, Dakdoritang
- 1 whole chicken 3.5 lbs cut up to pieces, skin removed
- 2 large carrots diced to 1 to 1-1/2 inch size piece
- 1 onion diced
- 1 lb potato pealed and diced to large bite size chunks
- 2 green chilies sliced
- 2 green onion chopped
- 2-3 cups sea kelp stock*
For the seasoning paste:
- 3 tablespoons Korean chili paste
- 3 tablespoons Korean chili flakes
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon Korean soy sauce for soup
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce optional
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon pureed ginger
- 2 tablespoon rice wine optional
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- In a large mixing bowl, mix all the seasoning paste in. Add the chicken and toss to coat with the seasoning. Place the chicken in a braising pan or a deep skillet.
- Pour the sea kelp stock over the chicken to barely cover them,about 2-3 cup. Bring to med-hot heat and let them boil first, then cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.
- Add the onion and carrots to the chicken, toss together. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Add the potatoes to the chicken and vegetable mixture and simmer together for 10-15 minutes. Cooking time will vary depends on the size of your vegetables.
- If you see there are too much liquid in the pan, you will want to thicken the sauce. To thicken, when the vegetables are nearly tender, raise the heat to medium and continue to cook uncovered until the liquid in the pan evaporates. Tossing occasionally but very carefully without breaking the carrot and potatoes.
- Add the green chilies and green onion at last to toss. Serve hot with rice.