It's been a rainy few days in Baltimore, which means I'd rather curl up in my apartment with a hearty dish rather than venture out to restaurants and getting drenched in the process. I don't know if it's because my mom used to make this on rainy days, but dakdoritang is definitely one of the foods I crave the most on dreary, drizzly days. It's one of the most well-known dishes in Korean cuisine, and for a good reason; chicken and hearty vegetables are simmered in a spicy, flavorful sauce that tastes complex with layers of flavor. Perhaps one reason this dish is popular is that the cooking techniques involved here are not rocket-science; the method is rather simple, but what's more important is finding the right balance of flavors, between the salty, sweet, and spicy-- feel free to kick up or lower the heat, depending on your preference. Remember, if you made a dish too sweet by accident, you can always add more salt (or soy sauce in this case), and vice versa: if the dish seems too salty, add more sugar or add more water to dilute it. This dish also has many variations in that some people prefer it very thick and stew-like, while some people prefer to have it thinner. If you wish to simmer for a longer time or need to re-heat it the day after, I would suggest stirring it occasionally and adding water periodically as you go. This dish tastes even better the day or two after, so feel free to make a huge batch!
currently listening to:
Akdong Musician (AKMU)- Give Love [click here for english subbed version]
Another creative MV from Akmu! This is another upbeat, cheery song that's perfect for the sunny spring weather! Here is a summary of the MV if you're confused about the plot! [link]
- 3 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs (you can also use breasts or bone-in thighs)
- 2 potatoes
- 2 carrots
- 1/2 onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 thinly sliced ginger pieces or 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 2 scallions
- a handful of rice cakes (optional)
- 2-3 perilla leaves (optional)
- 2 Tablespoons gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste)
- 2 Tablespoons gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes)
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 4 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons rice wine
- 1 Tablespoon corn syrup or honey
- pinch of black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
prep time: 5-10 min
cook time: 40 min (mostly unattended)
adapted from korean bapsang
1. Cut each chicken thigh into 4 pieces. Trim off the excess fat.
2. Add the chicken to a large pot, along with 2 cups of water, and all of the sauce ingredients (everything from the gochujang to the black pepper). Stir well. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. While the chicken is cooking, prepare the vegetables. Peel the carrots and potatoes and cut into bite-size chunks. Cut the onion into bite-size chunks and the scallions into pieces about 2-inches in length.
4. Add all of the vegetables except the scallions to the pot, and cook for 15 more minutes, covered, stirring occasionally.
(If you wish to include rice cakes, you should cook them in a separate pot of boiling water for about 5 minutes at this point. Once they're done cooking, drain and set aside for later. The reason I decided to cook them separately is because they would cause the stew to become too thick and starchy if they were to be cooked together).
5. Remove the lid, and cook for 10 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened and has a stew-like consistency. If your stew becomes too thick, add more water as necessary as you simmer for the 10-minute period.
6. Stir in the sesame oil, sesame seeds, and the scallions (Add your cooked rice cakes as well as chopped perilla leaves as well if using). Simmer for about a minute more, and then remove from heat.
Enjoy with a bowl of rice!