Dakdoritang (Korean Spicy Chicken Stew)

Dakdoritang

 
I love my slow cooker! Once I prepare the ingredients, I can rest my arms and legs while it does the cooking for me. What’s there not to like? If you don’t have a crock pot, put it on your holiday gift list. If you have it tucked away deep in the kitchen cabinet or on a shelf, get it out and put it to work during this busy holiday season. Trust me! With a good recipe, the slow cooked food turns out tender and flavorful, not mushy and watery. Here, I am showing you how to make a slow cooker version of a classic Korean chicken dish. I’ve also provided the method for stove top cooking.

Dakdoritang (닭도리탕) is a chicken dish that’s cooked in a spicy red sauce along with vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and onions. It’s also called dakbokkeumtang (닭볶음탕) or dakmaeuntang (닭매운탕). It’s usually made by cutting up a whole chicken into small pieces, but here I used a combination of chicken thighs and wings I had in the freezer. To make this dish on the stove, water has to be added because liquids evaporate quickly on the stove. That’s not the case with the slow cooker. The amount of sauce and other ingredients in this recipe yields sufficient liquid for slow cooking, leaving just enough sauce at the end. The result is succulent pieces of chicken packed with spicy and savory flavors!

Dakdoritang

Dakdoritang (Korean spicy chicken stew)
Serves 4
Slow cooker Korean spicy chicken
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Ingredients
  1. 3 pounds bone-in chicken parts, cut into small pieces (excess fat removed)
  2. 10 ounces potatoes, cut into big chunks
  3. 2 carrots, cut into big chunks
  4. 1/2 large onion, cut into big chunks
  5. 4 - 5 plump garlic cloves
  6. 2 - 3 thinly sliced ginger pieces
  7. 2 scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths
Sauce
  1. 2 tablespoons Korean red chili pepper flakes (gochugaru)
  2. 1 tablespoon sugar
  3. 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  4. 2 tablespoons rice wine
  5. 1 tablespoon honey or corn syrup
  6. 2 tablespoons Korean red chili pepper paste (gochujang)
  7. pinch pepper
  8. 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  9. 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Place the prepared chicken and vegetables (except the scallions) in the slow cooker. Add all the sauce ingredients (except the sesame oil and seeds). Stir well to coat the chicken and vegetables evenly.
    dakdoritang
  2. Turn the slow cooker on high heat. Cover, and cook for about 4 hours. (You can cook on low heat if you’ll be out longer, about 6 hours). Stir in the scallions, sesame oil and sesame seeds. Skim off excess fat before serving, if desired. Serve with a bowl of rice.
    Slower cooker Korean chicken
Notes
  1. Stove top method: To make this dish on the stove, add 1-1/2 cups water to a large pot along with the chicken and the sauce (except the sesame oil and sesame seeds). Stir well. Bring it to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the vegetables (except the scallions). Cover, and cook for an additional 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Continue to cook, uncovered this time, until the chicken is tender and the sauce is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the scallions, sesame oil and sesame seeds right before turning off the heat.
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Comments

  1. This looks delicious! Would love to try this too!

  2. Gosh! This look absolutely delicious especially for cold nights during Dec month. So i just put everything in slow cooker (those for boiling soup) and cook for 4hrs? Shall try it this week :)

  3. Who doesn’t like slow cooked stew and yours look so delicious. I am loving your pictures, very tempting and comforting. I just want to reach through and start eating! Great job as always!

  4. The colour of this stew is insanely appetizing :)

  5. I love spicy foods. Thanks for the recipe. I want to make this very soon.

  6. Anonymous says:

    If we want a non spicy version, do we just omit the spicy sauce?

  7. I’m a Canadian living in South Korea. I made this for my wife and friends and they loved it (they’re all Korean). They even asked me to make more. It was so easy and delicious. Thanks for posting this and if you have more recipes for the crock pot please let me know.

    I love my crock pot

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hi, Lovely post and very tempting recipe. Can i use the regular red pepper flakes instead of gochugaru and chilli paste instead of gochujang? Thanks

  9. Hi, can I replace rice wine with mirin instead?

  10. Anonymous says:

    I’ve made this 3 times, twice using chicken fillets (reduced the cooking time) and yesterday using chicken drumsticks. I have to say yesterday’s was the best one. There’s just something about chicken on the bone that makes it seem extra tasty!

    Really lovely recipe, not much actual work to prepare it, yet the results are fantastic!

    My husband loved it very much, as did I, although he enjoyed it so much he didn’t leave much for me. :P

    Thank you so much for sharing! :)

    • Aww that’s so nice to hear, except the part your husband didn’t leave much for you. Ha ha! Thank you so much for letting me know how you liked the recipe. Look forward to hearing more from you.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I am making this right now. This was so easy and its smelling delicious. Hopefully it’ll taste yummy! Thank you for the recipe.

  12. It’s in sizzling on my stove right now (don’t have a slow cooker). The smell is already awesome. Cannot wait to eat in 30 minutes! :) Thanks for sharing!! Your recipes always work out…I have made a number of them now, and they just always work…

  13. I’m so happy my friend recommended your blog!

    I have a question about the chicken- do you use skinless or skin on?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Miranda – I’m so happy to meet you here. For dishes like this, I leave skin on. It’s better for flavoring, but you don’t have to eat it if you mind. Thanks for visiting!

  14. Anonymous says:

    I’ve made this quite a few times for my wife. She is Korean and says it’s the best she ever had. I actually add some mushrooms and broccoli to mine and it really enhances the flavor. Thanks for reminding me of this dish

    • That’s great! I’m happy to hear you and your wife enjoys it. Mushrooms and broccoli sound good! The more vegetables the better! Thanks for the feedback!!

  15. Nicole Kim says:

    Thank you so much for the delicous recipe! I too love my crockpot and tried this recipe several times. Must say stew comes out perfect each time!

  16. Anonymous says:

    If I am making this on a crock pot, no water is needed?

  17. Anonymous says:

    I have been searching for a crockpot dakdoritang recipe. This looks perfect! I have no rice wine but otherwise I have all the ingredients. Will let you know how it turns out!

  18. Michelle kim says:

    I love using my crock pot. Wish there were more Asian slow cooker recipes out there. Just put all the ingredients + kabocha squash in…can’t wait for the result!

  19. I hate biting into a chunk of ginger. Would it taste bad if I omit from the recipe?

  20. No it wouldn’t, but you can also grate the ginger. Enjoy!

  21. Love this recipe and want to try. But I don’t live close to an asian grocery store. I do have a red chile paste I use for Chinese cooking which looks similar to the korean style. Do you know if any mainstream grocery stores carry something similar or what I should look for at a whole foods, central market or Tom Thumb? Thanks

  22. I don’t remember seeing gochujang at the Whole Foods store near me. You can buy from Amazon. It’s an essential Korean ingredient. If you like Korean food, invest a little bit money to use the right ingredient. Gochujang lasts long.
    Here’s the link:
    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dshoes&field-keywords=gochujang

  23. Thank you so much. I will get from amazon.

  24. Every recipe I saw online for this dish instructs to cut the potatoes and carrots in big chunks. Why is that, may I ask?

    • If you cut small, the potatoes and carrots will cook too quickly and disintegrate while the chicken is cooked through. In general, when the main ingredient is cut into large pieces, you should cut the other ingredients into large pieces also. Looks better that way as well. Hope this helps.

  25. Wow! What a fantastic idea to make Dak-Bok-eum-tang in a slow cooker! How come I never thought to do that?! Saving this recipe to try soon! Thanks! Your blog looks fabulous! I’m a Korean American and I love everything about Korea :)

  26. I gave this a go today and was so happy I did. What a delightful balance of sweet and savoury with a roundness coming from the heat. I’m adding this dish to my list of must eats! Thanks for sharing and I’m so pleased that the internets brought me here.

  27. Hi! This sounds so good! Question: how many servings does this yield?

  28. Do you have any particular gojuchang brands that you recommend over others? I feel like I keep picking bad ones!

  29. What kind of rice wine do you use? I usually use mirin but I tried looking for a rice wine and I’m having trouble figuring out what to use. I’ve made your recipe with mirin and it was delicious but I wanted to try it with a rice wine to see if it tasted better. :)

    • You can try Japanese cooking sake or Korean cheongju or soju, which ever you can find. Thanks for using my recipes!

  30. Hi. I was looking for samgyetang recipe and somehow stumbled at your site. And suddenly my hand keep clicking to all your recipe! haha..actually I have a question. Because I’m a muslim, I can’t use alcohol in my cooking. Can I replace the rice wine with apple cider, for example? any suggestion so that the taste will not too deter from the original one? Thanks!

    • In most cases, you can omit rice wine without significantly compromising the taste of the dish. I’m sure apple cider would work in certain dishes, so experiment it. It’s not, however, a typical substitute for rice wine. Thanks for finding my blog! Look forward to hearing more from you about Korean cooking.

  31. This looks good, but one question before I try it. The recipe calls for bone-in chicken parts, cut into small pieces. So how small do you like?

    I have no problem butchering a chicken. Should I cut one into the typical 8 pieces, then cut each breast in half? Or would you just buy a package of bone-in thighs?

    • Typically, Koreans cut even smaller for this type of dishes, but cutting into 10 pieces will work. Or use precut pieces of your choice. Thanks!

  32. Hello! I am so excited I found your blog. I lived in Korea for a 16 months and dakdoritang was one of my absolute favorite dishes. When I used to have it in Korea, there was a lot more liquid or broth. Do you know if there is something I could add to your recipe to make it more soup-like? I’m thinking chicken broth or just more sauce ingredients?

    Also, this is in my crockpot right now and I can’t wait for work to be over so I can run home and start eating!!

    • Hi Laurie – Thanks for finding my blog! Try to cook over lower heat (medium low) for the last 25 minutes (may take a little longer). It will keep a lot more liquid. Also, the recipe for stove top cooking says to cook uncovered for 10 minutes to thicken (reduce) the sauce. You can cook covered instead. If these changes don’t give you as much liquid, you can add more water (or broth), but you’ll also need to add more sauce ingredients. Hope this helps.

      • Oh i missed your last sentence that you are cooking this is a crock pot. So ignore my advice on stove top cooking and just add more liquid and sauce if the slow cooking didn’t give you enough liquid. Cheers!

  33. Hi Hyosun! I just found your blog today, and I made this for my parents for dinner!!! They loved it and were very impressed. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes. Your blog is beautiful and I’m so inspired to cook more Korean food! I’m Korean American and have never really ventured into that territory, but your recipes make it all so accessible. Thanks again, I will visit frequently!

    • Awesome! I’m so happy to hear you parents loved it. You can do it! Just keep on cooking. Thanks for the nice words!

  34. Hi Hyosun, I made this today and it turned out good. Thank you again for all your work. I owe my success to you. I’ve noticed you use corn syrup in some of your recipes… Why? What function does it serve in Korean cooking?

  35. In all honesty, I made this last week to so-so reviews. I had made the slow cooker dakjiim prior to that, and got a much more positive reaction. This dakdoritong didn’t have the same complexity or depth of flavor.

    Now I did follow the recipe exactly, using gochugaru and gochujang, making no substitutions other than using mirin for the rice wine. I have a few thoughts, though, were I to make this again:

    1. Longer in the Slow Cooker?
    I cooked this for 4 hours, as the recipe recommends. The problem was neither the chicken or the potatoes were infused with any of the flavor of the sauce. Only the carrots picked up the flavor, and were absolutely delicious; I’d add more. I wonder if cooking it lower and slower would impart more of the flavor. The sauce, before first adding it to the chicken, was spot on. It’s just getting that into the food.

    2. Add salt
    Soy sauce is salty, and this recipe calls for 4 TBSP of it. Still it seemed a little underseasoned; the flavors didn’t pop. Adding 0.5 or 1 tsp to the sauce initially might help.

    3. More ginger
    I don’t think you can add enough ginger. Since I had quite a bit of fresh ginger, I peeled two 1-2″ pieces, which I cut into thin discs. I thought this helped to develop more flavor.

    4. Reduce the liquid
    For many slow cooker recipes, after it finishes cooking and goes to the warm stage, I pour off the liquids into a saucepan to reduce. After initially tasting it, I went this route, boiling off the liquid to maybe 25% of the original volume, thus concentrating the flavors. So while the chicken tasted mainly like chicken, when we poured the thickened sauce over it and the rice, that brought some flavor to the party.

    Overall it was a good recipe, but much less flavorful than expected. I believe that could be fixed with just a few tweaks and modifications. That or I was using sub-par gochugaru and gochujang, which I picked up from our local Korean grocery.

    • Angus – All good suggestions. I had an optional step for reducing the sauce for my slow cooker dakjjim recipe, but I guess I should add here as well. You can also marinate the chicken in the sauce for a few hours or overnight.

      • Thanks for your kind response. This recipe wasn’t there, but just within reach for me. Marinating the chicken overnight is a great idea. When I initially made the sauce it was delicious; I just need to get more of that into the end result.

        On a side note, reading some of the other comments, the gochujang is a key ingredient – I don’t think there’s any real substitute for it in the dish. Would it be crazy though to leave out the gochugaru, just adding 4 TBSP of the gochujang? I really think that provided more of the spice and flavor. I don’t want to commit great sacrilege if that’s what leaving gochugaru out would mean.