Dak Gomtang (Korean Chicken Soup)

You can make this soothing, comforting Korean chicken soup recipe without a trip to a Korean market! It’s made with a whole chicken and a few aromatic vegetables. Use chicken parts if that’s all you have. 
DSC9686 - Dak Gomtang (Korean Chicken Soup)

Here’s a Korean chicken soup recipe you can make without a trip to a Korean market! It’s called dak gomtang (닭곰탕), and in my house this soothing, comforting soup is a go-to soup, especially when one of us feels under the weather. It’s also a good alternative to samgyetang (삼계탕, ginseng chicken soup), if you don’t have ginseng.

Gomtang generally refers to a soup made by simmering beef bones and meat for several hours. The result is a comforting milky broth with tender meat. 

Dak gomtang is a variation made with chicken, but the chicken does not take as much time to cook. It’s simple to make and typically served with cooked rice in the soup with shredded chicken meat on top along with lots of chopped scallion.

However, you can serve the rice separately so the diner can enjoy it any way he/she prefers. 

DSC9648 - Dak Gomtang (Korean Chicken Soup)

The chicken 

In Korea, this dish is traditionally made with a whole chicken. It’s the cheapest way to feed the whole family, and the resulting stock is rich and flavorful with all the bones, cartilage and skins. You can cut up a whole chicken before boiling if you want to cook it a little faster. Simply boil the chicken, with some aromatic vegetables and shred the meat to use as a topping. The key is to use a lot of garlic! 

Bone-in chicken parts such as thighs or legs are also great for making this soup.

For a short cut,  you can use a good quality commercially made chicken stock and boneless breast or thigh pieces. The chicken cooks faster, but the broth is still flavorful with the help from the quality chicken stock.

If you want to add some vegetables, try napa cabbage (baechu, 배추) or Korean radish (mu, 무). 

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Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Cooking

You can make this recipe in your Instant Pot. My 6-quart Instant Pot is big enough for 3 to 4 pounds chicken. Use 8 cups of water since the water will not evaporate as it will over stovetop. It will take about 35 minutes for the pressure to build up. Pressure cook on Manual for 25 minutes at high pressure. Then, release after 15 minutes. 

For a slow cooker, add enough water to cover most of the chicken. Cover, and cook for 4 to 5 hours on high or 6 to 8 hours on low. Also see my Slow Cooker Chicken Soup with Napa Cabbage made with chicken parts.

More chicken soup recipes:

Samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup)
Dak Kalguksu (Korean chicken noodle soup)
Slow cooker chicken soup with napa cabbage
Dakgaejang (spicy chicken soup with scallions)

DSC9705 2 - Dak Gomtang (Korean Chicken Soup)

Have you tried this Korean chicken soup recipe? Please rate the recipe below and leave a comment! Stay in touch by following me on YouTubePinterestTwitterFacebook, and Instagram

DSC9705 2 350x350 - Dak Gomtang (Korean Chicken Soup)

Dak Gomtang (Korean Chicken Soup)

4.74 from 30 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4
Print Recipe


  • 1 whole chicken (3 to 4 pounds)
  • 10 - 12 plump garlic cloves
  • 1 1-inch piece ginger, sliced
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 2 - 3 scallion white parts
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns (if available)
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped to garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Place the cleaned chicken in a stock pot large enough to hold the chicken and 10 cups of water (6 - 8 quarts pot). Add the garlic, ginger, onion, scallions, optional peppers and 10 cups of water (or enough to cover the chicken).
    dak 2Bgomtang1 e1532211001781 - Dak Gomtang (Korean Chicken Soup)
  • Bring it to a boil over high heat. Skim off any foam on top. Reduce the heat to medium and boil, covered, for about 40 - 50 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken. Cut through the thickest part of the breast, with a knife, to see if the chicken is cooked and tender.
    dak 2Bgomtang2 e1532211151346 - Dak Gomtang (Korean Chicken Soup)
  • Turn the heat off and carefully remove the chicken. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the meat off the bones. Shred the meat into small bite size pieces. You can strain the broth, remove the excess fat and serve at this point. But, I put the bones back in the soup and boil again for more flavorful broth.
    dak 2Bgomtang3 e1532211179869 - Dak Gomtang (Korean Chicken Soup)
  • Optional Step: Put the bones back in the broth and simmer over medium low heat for an additional 30 minutes to an hour depending on how much time you have.
    dak 2Bgomtang5 e1532211210776 - Dak Gomtang (Korean Chicken Soup)
  • Strain the broth and remove the excess fat. You can spoon off the fat, refrigerate the broth until the fat solidifies, or use a fat separator.
    dak 2Bgomtang6 e1532211247823 - Dak Gomtang (Korean Chicken Soup)
  • To serve, place some rice in a serving bowl, add chicken pieces, and then ladle the hot broth on top. Typically, chopped scallions, salt and pepper are served separately so each person can season to taste. Serve piping hot with kimchi.
Tried this recipe?Mention @koreanbapsang or tag #koreanbapsang!

This dak gomtang recipe was originally posted in August 2011. I’ve updated it here with new photos, more information and minor changes to the recipe.

Leave a Comment



  1. 5 stars
    Tried this for the first time and it was subtle yet absolutely superb. Loved it and will be making it regularly in the future. So simple and so tasty.

  2. thank you

    does this freeze well?

  3. 5 stars
    Thanks so much, love the soup

  4. 5 stars
    We just adopted our daughter from Korea and I’ve been cooking your recipes nonstop which I think is a great comfort for her. She asks for “Chee” (Kimchee) at every meal. Thank you for helping me recreate what we ate in Seoul!!!

    • Congrats on your new addition to the family! I’m happy to hear she enjoys Korean food prepared by a new mom/dad and my recipes are helpful. Cheers!

  5. 5 stars
    TASTY! Will definitely be making again!

  6. Bandana Khakurel says

    5 stars
    I loved this soup. After watching some Korean series on Netflix, I wanted sth like this. It was perfect for chilly weather. My toddler boy loved it too and it was very simple to make.

  7. I’m currently working in Korea and the school I work at had this about once a week/every two weeks for lunch. I fell in love with the dish. Then suddenly they stopped and I was craving it so much! This recipe was a PERFECT match as far as taste goes, and it was super easy to follow. This has become one of my favorite dishes while living here and I’m so happy I can make it myself. Thank you so much!

  8. this is my anytime favorite soup in south korea.

  9. 5 stars
    This is the best chicken soup recipe.
    Thank you.

  10. I love how the simplicity of this recipe yields such flavorful results. And it’s far easier to make than other chicken soups I am used to. The clear tasty broth and moist cooked chicken bits were absolutely delicious. I used organic whole chicken legs which worked just as well. This one is going to become a staple recipe for my family.

  11. Hi I would love to try making this soup. Roughly how many can this receipe serve?

  12. I’m cooking it as of this moment. Hahaha. I’m simmering it on about 20min already and the soup tastes already good. Thank you for this. 😘

  13. Wanting to know , if I add mushrooms to this, how long would they need to cook?

  14. I’m a vietnamese who love korea and its food culture. Thank you so much for the recipe. My grandma really loves it

  15. this is the closest recipe i’ve found that resembles my harmony’s dakgook (chicken soup!) growing up. thank you so much hyosun. this recipe takes me right back home and to my childhood days, and even though my grandma never taught me how, i feel like she’s still here with me. what a great resource your blog is, for homemade korean food! very appreciated.

  16. Hyosun Ro!
    Ha! I just caught my mistake… You meant a 6-8 quart pot! Silly…


  17. Hi,
    A quick question- the recipe calls for 10 cups of water which is 2.5 quarts. In parenthesis you put 6-8 quarts. I am assuming just 10 cups??

  18. I can’t thank you enough Mrs. Ro. My korean mom didn’t know how to cook korean food very well, ironically, so I never learned. Now I have 2 toddlers that prefer to eat asian food. Your online cookbook has been my go-to for delious korean home cooked food. I had this recipe in the slow cooker all night (having two toddlers make it very difficult to simmer soup). The soup came out great! I also was craving kongnamul guk and made that yesterday. I added thinly sliced seasoned beef for my picking meat-eating daughter. She loved it! I don’t know if you have a tracking system to see how many people visit your site. I wanted to inform you that I use your recipes very often. I have yet to try them all but so far I/my family haven’t been disappointed. Thank you again!

    • Hi Sarah – I am happy to hear you are learning Korean food through my blog. I’m also happy to hear you successfully made this soup in the slow cooker.I am sure other readers like to know that. I know konganul guk made with beef is good. I used to love that as a child too. Sounds like you are very good in cooking. Keep on cooking Korean food for your family, and thanks for using my recipes!

  19. cooking.eating.carousing. says

    I made this for dinner today. I made the extra step of simmering the bones for longer than an hour, the resulting broth was milky and comforting. Ate it with a condiment I mixed myself: 1 tbsp minced garlic + 1 tbsp soy sauce + 1 tsp black pepper. The garlic and soy sauce really complements the flavour if I may say so myself.

  20. I have made this recipe 5 times. I am in love with it.. definitely one of my favorites! My boyfriend is Korean and always requests it!

  21. Great recipe. I enjoyed it a lot. Just like mom made.

  22. Sara Ferrell says

    I made dak gomtang today! I could only fit about 9 cups of water in my pot, because the chicken was a 5 pounder, but it was DELICIOUS! The garlic pretty much disintegrated into the broth (YUMMM!), and I chopped the onion up and put it back into the soup to give it a bit more texture. It was so flavorful, I ate three (small) bowls for lunch… OOPS! 🙂

  23. Thanks, Soyeon! I know it would be nice to have a bowl of this soup on the days like today.

  24. I love the photograph! I would love to eat this right now….

  25. Sandra – Thank you for visiting again and for the nice words. We Koreans love our ginseng!

    Nami – Oh I did not know it’s not common in Japan to use whole chicken. It’s very common in Korea to cook and serve whole chicken. Thanks for the encouraging words.

  26. Nami | Just One Cookbook says

    Hi Hyosan! I didn’t know Korean also divides summer in three periods! I actually don’t know if we have special food for each period like Korans do… I suddenly miss home thinking how wonderful to have such seasonal culture. =) I start to wonder if it’s only Japanese that it’s not common to use whole chicken! I barely see whole chicken in Japan, but it seems like Koreans makes chicken soup from scratch. This soup looks wonderful and I’m glad you continue keeping the culture.

  27. I love ginseng tea, and i try drinking it every day, but never tried making ginseng soup! I love sound of this chicken soup, very delicious looking..presentation and your pictures just saying: make me soon!:))

  28. myfudo, Peggy, Bee, and Janine – Thank you so much for visiting and leaving the nice words. I returned home this week from a trip not feeling well. So I just made this soup again for myself. It was delicious and comforting.

  29. Hello! great recipe and yummy pictures, we would be glad if you could submit it to our site. Cheers 🙂

  30. loved the background to this soup – it’s one of my fave korean soups and i never knew there was so much behind it!

  31. Bee | Rasa Malaysia says

    Yummy Hyosun. I was tempted to buy the Korean stoneware (the one used to cook rice at Tofu house) yesterday at the Korean market. This soup will be great with the crusty rice cooked in the stoneware. 🙂

  32. There’s nothing tastier than a well done chicken soup in my opinion, and this looks perfect!

  33. Wonderfully presented! I bet those are appetite boosting soup, I think I will love it.

  34. 5 Star Foodie says

    The soup sounds excellent, a beautiful shot of it.

  35. Thank you, Natasha!

  36. Thank you, Fin! I am happy to hear you will be making this today. It was delicious, and my family loved it. Enjoy!

  37. :O Wow~! Looks very delicious.

    Thank you so much for the recipe and the measurements. I look up recipes on Naver, but the problem is, the measurements on there is something like “300g of garlic”, but what is 300 grams of garlic?

    Once again, thank you for this recipe. I will be making it tomorrow for a Sunday brunch.