Delicious stir-fried spicy chicken that comes together easily and can be enjoyed straight from the pan!
Growing up, we didn’t eat a lot of chicken at home. I think it’s mostly because my dad is from a coastal city so we grew up eating a lot of seafood and also beef or pork. Dak galbi is also not a long traditional food and became popular in the 1960s in Chuncheon, Korea – north east of Seoul. My parents may have not even been in Korea when it started to reach its popularity in Seoul. Chuncheon was known as a chicken farming region and dak galbi’s popularity spread through the region as a popular affordable commoner food for soldiers and students!
Since my parents weren’t really familiar with dak galbi, it might have been college when I had this for the first time when a friend cooked it for a group of friends. It all came together so quickly that I thought she was a really good cook! But, I’ve learned that it’s just really simple to make!
Dak galbi is made from boneless chicken with added vegetables like cabbage, sweet potato, carrots and any variety that you have on hand! The cabbage is a must though and I almost always add Korean sweet potatoes. Spicy sauce is topped over the chicken and vegetable and stir-fried, often on the dinner table. Restaurants usually have a large round hot plate set on the tables so friends and family can watch it cook and continue to enjoy it hot! At home, we have a burner that we use and cook over! A perfect party food and great as “anju” (Korean food that is consumed with alcohol).
Now, you can find dak galbi at restaurants all across Korea and even in the US! There’s also a dak galbi festival in Chuncheon and an alley of restaurants dedicated to this delicious dish! But, since we can’t go there, we’ll settle with this recipe at home, made by celebrity chef Baek Jong Won!
clips from the tv episode!
pouring water on the side of the pan
enjoying around the table!
Dak Galbi (Korean Stir-Fried Spicy Chicken) - Baek Jong Won
- 12 oz (350 g) boneless chicken thigh
- 1 small sweet potato
- ⅕ small cabbage 4-5 oz
- ½ carrot
- 2 green onions
- 5 oz cylinder rice cakes tteok 떡, 15-18 pieces
- 5 perilla leaves 깻잎, kkaennip
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil *see note
- *Other optional vegetables potato or any other vegetables you have on hand
- 2 Tbsp red pepper paste
- 2 Tbsp gochugaru Korean red pepper flakes
- 2 Tbsp minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp mirim
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- Black pepper
- Make the sauce. Add all of the ingredients into a small bowl and mix well.
- Prepare the chicken. Cut the chicken into bite size pieces (about 1 incand place in a medium sized bowl. Mix about 2/3rd of the sauce with the chicken and set aside.*Preferable to marinate for at least 30 minutes but not a must.
- Prepare the vegetables. Chop the cabbage into 1 inch pieces. Slice the carrots and sweet potato. Cut the green onion into strips. Cut the perilla leaves into strips, width-wise.
- Heat a nonstick pan over medium high heat (no oil). Add the chicken to the pan. As the chicken is about to stick to the pan, add about 2 Tbsp of water to the side of the pan.*Adding a little bit of water is Baek Jong Won’s cooking tip. This will add a braising effect to the chicken.
- Add in the vegetables starting with the ones that take longer to cook, like the sweet potato and carrots. If using, add the rice cakes. Continue to top with cabbage and green onions. Pour the remaining sauce on to the vegetables. Continue to cook for about 2 minutes and make sure the bottom is not burning. If it is, add in 1-2 Tbsp of water (depends on the heat of your pan).
- Cover the pan and cook for another 3 minutes. Stir around the chicken and vegetables. Pour in the Tbsp of sesame oil, top with the perilla leaves and continue to mix.
- Once the chicken is cooked through, enjoy! If you’re cooking and eating at the table, lower the heat to keep warm.