Here’s how to make a hearty, flavorful Korean braised chicken dish, called jjimdak! It’s very easy to make at home with a few basic ingredients! Simply omit the chili peppers for a mild version.
Jjimdak (찜닭) is a braised chicken dish. Jjim generally refers to dishes that are steamed, stewed or braised in a sauce, and dak means chicken. These two syllables can be reversed, so jjimdak is also called dakjjim (닭찜). A popular spicy version is known as Andong jjimdak (안동찜닭). It’s a huge restaurant favorite that’s easy to make at home with a few basic ingredients!
What is Andong jjimdak?
Andong jjimdak, which originated from the city of Andong, is a spicy braised chicken dish that has become enormously popular since the late 1990’s. Braised in a sweet and savory braising liquid, the dish gets its nicely clean spicy kick from dried whole red chili peppers and fresh hot chili peppers. Unlike dakbokkeumtang (also called dakdoritang), no gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste) or gochugaru (Korean red chili flakes) is used!
Making Andong jjimdak is relatively simple. The dish uses small chicken pieces and is cooked over high heat. As such, it cooks up pretty quickly. In Korea, braised chicken dishes are usually made with a whole chicken cut up, but you can use pre-cut parts if you want. However, for this dish, you’ll still need to cut the chicken parts into smaller pieces.
You can reduce the amount of chili peppers or omit them entirely to make a mild version. This reminds me of the braised chicken dish I grew up eating.
When I was a small child, my parents raised a few chickens in our backyard. I remember feeding baby chicks and watching them grow. It was utterly fascinating to see a mother hen lay her eggs. They were great company and provided us with warm fresh eggs every day. Occasionally, some of their lives were cut short by my father who had to do the unpleasant job to feed his family. These events apparently stirred strong emotions in one of my brothers. To this day, he does not eat chicken. As for me, I loved the sweet and savory braised chicken dish my mother used to make.
For vegetables, I used potatoes, carrot, onion, mushrooms, and scallions. Green cabbage is another common ingredient for this dish. Some people also add a little bit of leafy greens such as spinach and bok choy.
If you care about the color of the dish and want it to be as dark as the restaurant’s version you might have had in Korea, you can add a tablespoon of instant coffee powder, some caramel sauce or dark soy sauce if you have it.
Watch how to make jjimdak
More Korean braised chicken recipes:
Jjimdak (Korean Braised Chicken)Main
- 1 medium-sized chicken, cut up (2.5 to 3 pounds of cut pieces)
- 3 ounces sweet potato starch noodles (dangmyeon, 당면)
- 2 medium white or yukon gold potatoes (about 10 ounces)
- 1 medium carrot
- 1/2 medium onion
- 3 - 4 mushroom caps (rehydrated dried shiitake or fresh shiitake, white, or baby bella)
- 2 scallions
- 2 - 3 dried whole red chili peppers (4 to 5 small ones)
- 1 - 2 fresh chili peppers or jalapenos (optional)
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce (If unavailable, use more soy sauce)
- 2 tablespoons rice wine (or mirin)
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar (if unavailable, use regular sugar )
- 3 to 4 tablespoons corn syrup, Korean jocheong (rice syrup) or Oligodang (or 2 to 3 tablespoons honey) Adjust to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- Soak the starch noodles in warm water for about 30 minutes while preparing the other ingredients. Drain well before using.
- Clean the chicken and cut into small pieces. Trim off excess fat.
- Cut the potatoes in chunks (about 1-1/2 inch) and soak them in water while preparing the other vegetables. Cut the carrot, mushrooms, and onion into bite-sized pieces.
- Add the chicken pieces to a large pot. Pour 3 cups of water over the chicken. (You should reduce the amount of water if not using the noodles.) Add the sauce ingredients except sesame oil and seeds. Bring it to a boil over high heat, uncovered, and continue to boil for about 10 minutes. Skim off the foam.
- Add the potatoes, carrot, mushrooms, onion, dried whole red chili peppers if using, garlic and ginger. Cover, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. You may see that there still is a lot of liquid, but the potatoes and starch noodles will soak up a lot of the liquid.
- Gently mix in the green chili peppers (or jalapenos), scallions and starch noodles, and continue to cook, uncovered this time, for an additional 3 minutes. Stir in the sesame oil. Garnish with the sesame seeds to serve.
This Andong-style jjimdak recipe was originally posted in February 2011. I’ve updated it here with an improved recipe, more information, and new photos.