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 stew seasoning paste
- 3 tbsp Korean chili paste (gochujang)
- 1-3 tbsp Korean chili flakes (gochugaru)
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp Korean soup soy sauce (gukganjang)
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce, optional
- 1 tbsp honey
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 2 tbsp sweet rice wine (mirim), optional
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
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.
I’ve been making this for years after discovering Korean food on this site. Simply the most painfully delicious stew on earth. Thank you!
Question: when you say the chicken should be cut into pieces, approximately what size should they be? If substituting with thighs + drumsticks, does the same guidance apply? Thanks!
Thighs or drumstick size is sufficient. For the breast, I recommend cut in half lengthwise. You can also use only thighs and/or drumsticks (with bone) instead. Hope this helps. Thanks!
Thanks so much for your super-quick reply! Excited to try this recipe ☺️
Made this meal last night — BEST Korean meal so far. So good and heartwarming, so flavourful. My new favorite meal EVER!!
Can I use a hae tong ryeong soup stock packet for the broth? I bought a bag of the spicy soup stock packets and would like to find ways to use them
Yes, that soup stock packet would work in this recipe. Hope you enjoy this chicken stew. Thanks.
Omg to die for. Simply the best chicken stew ever. Yes it was spicy, but the flavors were delightful.
Yes, it is a truly delightful chicken stew and I make it over and over whenever I crave a bowl of spicy chicken stew. Thanks for your comment.
Now that it’s cold, this is one of my favorite recipes to make! It’s super comforting and it’s become a staple in my household!
It’s staple in my house around this time as well. Glad that you love my recipe. Thank you so much!
Just wanna say thanks, am not much of a cook but this tastes sooo delicious, better than some of the restaurants I had in seoul, have been coming back to this recipe for a few years!
I have cooked this recipe a few times. It’s one of my favorite cold-weather favorites. It’s one of the most delicious meals I’ve cooked. The way the flavors meld together, the spicy, gingery, sesame…thank you for sharing, I am glad I live in an area with lots of Korean markets nearby.
im cooking this tonight. I had a friend years ago that brought this for dinner. We lovd it and Im so happy you have shared this dish as I Lost contact with my friend. Thank you again. I did have difficulty finding the appropriate ingredience so i tried to find acceptable swaps. we’ll see. I need a good asian market thats near. The search begins.
This is the best Korean Chicken stew recipe I tried so far, very flavourful but still as with the ones before I find the chicken a bit hard. I must be doing something wrong every time. I want it to be soft falling off the bones but it ends up being chewy. Can you give me some tips please? Greetings! 🙂
Di you cook the chicken while they are too cold? Very cold chicken can make the meat really tough even after the long braising.
Oh I never thought about that! It makes sense though the big temperature change to toughen it up. I just put it in straight from the fridge before. Thank you 🙂
Hi! May I ask is there any substitutes for sea kelp stock? Because we dont have it here in the Philippines. Thank you! 🙂 I really love your recipes.
You can just use plain water instead. It still tastes good.
Thank you for this wonderful recipe, this is definitely a keeper. It was absolutely delicious and so easy to make! I spent a week in Seoul last May and ate dakdoritang for dinner while I was very jet-lagged in one of the restaurants in one of the alleys near my hotel. I remember really enjoying my meal but for the life of me I could not remember what the dish was called or what the name of the restaurant was, all I know was it was sweet and spicy and it was chicken with carrots and potatoes. Like many of the tasty things I ate while I was there, dakdoritang was addictive enough that I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I’ve been cooking a lot of Korean food lately, I’ve even started making my own kimchi. Dakdoritang will always be a favourite as it takes me back to that little restaurant in an unknown alley in Myeongdong.
hello. i’ve had this recipe pinned to make when the weather turns and it looks like that is going to happen this weekend! i was wondering, is korean chili paste the same thing as Gochujang??
Yes, it is.
Thank you for sharing the recipe, it’s absolutely delicious
What kind of green chilis do you use? I am Thai and usually use either Thai bird chilis or the long hot green peppers.
Long green chili would be perfect. Thai bird chili will be way too hot. Thanks!
hi i really like this recipe really want to make it just wondering if there is any substitute i could use instead of the kelp?
You can use plain water instead. Kelp will bring deeper flavor in the sauce but pain water would be substituted. Happy cooking!
I have tried many of your recipes – very very good.I used yo get a spicy chicken noodle soup they called Jam Bong. I live far away from the restaurant now and need a recipe. Do you have anything for me?
Do you mean Jjamppong(짬뽕)? Jjamppong is a seafood noodle soup, not chicken. Although people can add whatever protein they like, but the flavor comes from seafood is unbeatable. I will put that in my list. Thanks.
Yes – They make the seafood version as well, but I prefer the chicken. I look forward to your recipe.
I have 4 Korean cook books and am always trying to be better.
I`m not Korean, but I watch a lot of kdramas and variety shows. So I see chicken stew quite often! I watch the Running Man members cook stew often, I`m always intrigued by it! I`m terrible at handling spicy foods, but I want to try a spoonful of this!
I`m not much of a cook, but I`m hoping it`ll improve if i practice enough. haha!
Quite delicious and mouth watering Korean food dish. There are many different types of Korean food dishes that most people don’t about it.
This looks so good- and fairly simple to prepare. Love it!
Your readers need to know how truly delicious this stew is! I made your recipe for dinner last night. Even though, I cut the heat back a bit, the broth is rich and flavorful and the heat was just right for us. This is craveable comfort food! Thanks for posting and please, thank your sister-in-law! I don’t know how I have gone so long without this recipe in my life! We will make this often.
Thanks for your sweet comment on this stew. This is kind of my Korean comfort food when the weather is under the radar. A certain kind of food makes you very attached to and this is one of them. Glad to hear that you liked it. Have a great day!
Holly, how did you cut back on the heat? I have friends visiting from Korea and this is easy enough to make, but my family will be eating it also. So want to lessen the heat without taking away from the flavor
Reduce the amount of chili flakes, and omit the fresh chili at the end. That will help. Hope everyone would enjoy it. Thanks!
Thanks so much for the tip. Hopefully it comes out good and I will remember to report back. I am going to try a trial run before they get here.
This is one of my favorite dishes. It is hot and boiling, perfect to warm up with in the winter. Plus filled with flavor! Thanks for the share!
After spending a year in Korea with my husband many years ago, we’re seriously hooked on Korean food, so I love your blog. Quick question, when you say “green chilies” in the recipe above, do you mean jalapeños, or some other kind of chili?
Korean green chilis are milder and somewhat sweeter than jalopeño. You can substitute with jalopeño in most recipes, though. I often do that if I can’t find the green chili at the store. Great to hear that you love Korean food. I hope you get to cook some mean Korean food at home. Please let me know if you have other questions. Thanks!
I just love your recipes, thank you for sharing! My mom is full korean and cooked wonderful meals for us growing up including this chicken stew! We call it “hot chicken”. I’ve learned the korean name of many dishes I grew up loving by reading your posts. I can’t wait to make this one!
I love hearty, spicy dishes like this! So you know this speaks to me. 😉 Really wonderful — thanks.
Gosh I love the way you narrated the story and how good this looks! I can see myself enjoying this with lots of rice. It’s freezing here so it’s on my to make list soon!!
Looks lovely! I actually made some myself recently, but without the carrot and I only had sweet potatoes. Yours looks nicer than mine 🙂
Sweet potato is a very good idea to add. I love the carrot in this stew. It is vegetables and that makes this dish a complete meal!
Looks like that we will be treated to more end more tasty recipes this autumn, Holly 🙂
Is it just me or you are posting more and more recently?
Dakdoritang was my first meal on a night out in Korea, shared from a big pan with our new friends.
Fond memories and lovely heat, thanks for sharing!
I am not posting much more than usual. Sharing a delicious food with friends is the best thing you can do for the day, right? Glad that you have a fond memory of this chicken stew.