Spicy Korean Chicken Stew (Dakdoritang)
Dakdoritang is a Korean chicken stew that features a mix of sweet, savory, and spicy flavors. This comforting recipe is easy to make and perfect for adding some heat to your dinner rotation.
“I’ve been making this for years after discovering Korean food on this site. Simply the most painfully delicious stew on earth. Thank you!”Rudy
Chicken stews are a popular meal option in Korean cuisine, often served alongside rice for a comforting meal at home or in restaurants. Two beloved Korean braised chicken dishes are Dakdoritang, a spicy chicken stew known for its vibrant mix of flavors, and Jjimdak (찜닭).
Both dishes are staples of Korean soups and stews and are packed with nutritious ingredients. With a well-stocked Asian pantry, you can easily prepare this hearty and spicy chicken stew using common ingredients in the comfort of your home.
What is Dakdoritang?
Dakdoritang is a classic Korean chicken stew dish that features tender chicken, potatoes, and carrots braised in a spicy, savory, and slightly sweet chili sauce. Interestingly, the name of this soul-comforting food has been debated among Korean language scholars.
While it is originally called Dakdoritang (닭도리탕), it is also known as dakbokkeumtang (닭볶음탕), meaning “fried chicken stew,” and dakmaeuntang (닭매운탕), which means “spicy chicken stew.”
All three names refer to the same dish, a spicy Korean chicken stew that’s easy to make at home. Despite the name debate, this hearty and flavorful dish remains a popular meal option in both homes and restaurants.
If you’re a fan of spicy food and want to try a soup version of a classic Korean chicken dish, check out my Spicy Korean Chicken Soup Recipe! It’s another fantastic recipe that’s sure to please spicy food lovers.
- Using bone-in chicken pieces adds more flavor and richness to the stew, so I recommend using chicken thighs and drumsticks instead of cutting up a whole chicken.
- For a healthier option, remove the skin from the chicken.
- Don’t skip the sea kelp stock! It adds a delicious umami flavor that sets this chicken stew apart from others. Making the stock only takes 5 minutes, but you’ll be amazed by how much it elevates the dish.
Watch Dakdoritang Recipe Video
Here’s a video tutorial with a slightly different version of dakdoritang recipe. I used less of gochujang and more gochugaru (Korean chili flakes). It’s a spicier!
If you have a well-stocked Asian or Korean pantry, you probably already have all the basic ingredients you need to make this delicious stew.
- Chicken: Typically, a whole chicken is cut into small pieces for this dish, but bone-in chicken thighs and drumsticks can be used. Removing the skin from the chicken can make the dish healthier.
- Vegetables: The traditional vegetables used in this stew are onions, potatoes, and carrots. You can adjust the amount of any vegetable to suit your taste.
- Sea kelp stock: This ingredient is essential, as it adds a unique flavor and depth to the stew.
- Korean chili paste (gochujang) and Korean chili flakes (gochugaru): These add spicy, savory flavor and help thicken the stew.
- soy sauce and Korean soup soy sauce (gukganjang): These provide extra seasoning and umami flavor.
- Oyster sauce: optional.
- Honey: This adds the necessary sweetness to the stew.
- Garlic and ginger paste: These aromatic ingredients add to the overall flavor.
- Sweet Rice wine: optional.
- Sesame oil: It adds a savory fragrance, but be careful not to add too much.
How to Make Korean Chicken Stew (Dakdoritang)
Step 1. Prepare the seasoning paste and coat the chicken pieces.
In a mixing bowl, combine all the seasonings and mix well. You can adjust the amount of chili flakes (gochugaru) to your desired level of spiciness. Add the chicken pieces to the seasoning mix and coat them thoroughly.
Step 2. Pour sea kelp stock
Pour the sea kelp stock over the chicken just to barely cover the chicken.
To make the sea kelp stock, simmer a large piece of dried sea kelp in water for 5-7 minutes over low heat. Once done, discard the sea kelp and use the stock to pour over the chicken. For more detailed information, you can refer to my post on 5 Korean soup stocks.
Step 3. Bring the stew to boil
Let it boil first and then simmer over low heat for 5 minutes, covered.
Step 4. Add the vegetables
Add the diced onion and carrot to the pot and simmer for an additional 10 minutes over medium-low heat. Then, add the potatoes and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring gently occasionally.
Note that cooking time can vary depending on the size of your vegetables. If you prefer smaller pieces, adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Cooking Tip: When the vegetables are almost tender, you can open the lid to let the liquid in the sauce evaporate. This will help thicken the sauce.
Step 7. Garnish and serve
To finish the stew, add sliced green chili and green onion to the pot and stir to mix well. Let the stew rest for 5 minutes with the lid open before serving. This will allow the stew to thicken up nicely before serving.
Transfer the stew to a large serving bowl or individual bowls and serve it hot. Enjoy with freshly cooked Korean rice or bread to soak up the flavorful sauce.
Accompany the stew with Korean side dishes such as Korean bean sprout side dish or kimchi, for a complete and balanced meal. Enjoy with your favorite beverage such as Korean beer or soju for a complete dining experience.
Before eating, take in the aroma and savor the flavors. Drizzle the red gravy over your rice for a delicious experience.
This chicken stew is sure to spice up your dinner rotation and leave everyone in your family feeling happy and satisfied tonight.
Spicy Korean Chicken Stew (Dakdoritang)
- 2 1/2 to 3 lb whole chicken, cut up to pieces, skin removed if possible. See notes below for substitution.
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 lb potato, peeled and diced
- 2 green chilies, sliced
- 2 green onion, chopped
For sea kelp stock
- 4 cup water
- 1 large piece dried sea kelp (dashima)
For the stew seasoning paste
- In a mixing bowl, combine all the seasonings and mix well. You can adjust the amount of chili flakes (gochugaru) to your desired level of spiciness.
- Add the chicken pieces to the seasoning mix and coat them thoroughly.
For the see kelp stock
- Simmer a large piece of dried sea kelp in water for 5-7 minutes over low heat. Once done, discard the sea kelp and use the stock to pour over the chicken.
To make the stew
- Place the marinated chicken pieces in a large, wide pot and pour in enough sea kelp stock to just cover the chicken, about 2-3 cups. Bring the pot to medium-high heat and allow the stew to come to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 5 minutes, covered.
- Add the diced onion and carrot to the pot and simmer for an additional 10 minutes over medium-low heat. Then, add the potatoes and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring gently occasionally. (Note that cooking time can vary depending on the size of your vegetables. If you prefer smaller pieces, adjust the cooking time accordingly.)
- When the vegetables are almost tender, you can open the lid to let the liquid in the sauce evaporate. This will help thicken the sauce.
- To finish the stew, add sliced green chili and green onion to the pot and stir to mix well. Let the stew rest for 5 minutes with the lid open before serving. This will allow the stew to thicken up nicely before serving. Serve hot with rice.