Dakgalbi is a delicious, spicy grilled chicken dish that’s a popular choice for friends who are getting together to go out to eat. It’s a natively communal dish that’s always shared among a small, intimate group of people, so it naturally stimulates conversation and a good time. It’s pretty much impossible to eat dakgalbi in silence!
When you go to a restaurant with your friends and family and order dakgalbi, they’ll bring out a large skillet filled with the dakgalbi ingredients as well as some side dishes. While the skillet cooks on the tabletop, you and your friends can munch on side dishes and talk, and maybe order some drinks, too. The dakgalbi will cook nicely and the waitress will tell you: “Now you can eat!”
When you’re almost completely finished, you can ask the waitress: “We’d like some stir-fried rice please.” She’ll bring out some rice, mix it with the leavings in the skillet, and quickly fry up some spicy, stir fried rice. She might divide the rice into portions and serve it to everyone at the table, or she might just leave it in the pan and let everyone dig in. For many people I know, this is their favorite part!
Don’t have a dakgalbi restaurant near you? Now you can make it at home! Invite your family and friends over, and prepare all the ingredients.
“Are you guys ready to eat dakgalbi?” you can ask.
Bring out the pan filled with lots of vegetables, chicken, and the sauce, and cook it at the table. Your house will be full of an irresistible, delicious aroma, laughter, and conversation, I guarantee!
Enjoy the recipe! Let me know your dakgalbi stories: how you prepared it, how you modified the recipe, how many guests came over, and how much they loved loved loved it : ). I’m really interested in your stories, so tell me in the comments or upload a photo and tell me there.
- 1 pound of deboned drumsticks (the video shows how to debone them), or chicken breast
- 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 10 cloves of peeled garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- ¼ cup hot pepper paste (gochujang)
- ⅓ cup hot pepper flakes (gochugaru)
- ½ cup cooking wine (mirim) or water-sugar solution (½ cup water and 1 teaspoon sugar)
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 pound cabbage, rinsed, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 medium onion (about 1 cup), sliced
- 5 oz (1cup) rice cake (garaeddeok), cut into 2 inch long pieces
- 5 oz (1 cup) sweet potato, peeled and sliced into bite sized pieces
- 1 small carrot (½ cup), sliced
- 2 green chili peppers, sliced
- 2 dozen perilla leaves
- Cut the chicken into bite size pieces and put them into a bowl. Mix with 1 tablespoon soy sauce and ground black pepper by hand or a spoon. Set aside.
- Prepare the sauce by combining garlic, ginger, hot pepper paste, hot pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, and cooking wine in a bowl. Mix it well with a spoon. If you use a food processor, blend it until creamy for about 1 minute.
- Prepare a large, shallow, and wide pan or a grill for the dakgalbi. Spread the cabbage on the bottom of the pan. Add the onion, green chili pepper, carrot, rice cake, and sweet potato.
- Add the perilla leaves on top. You can cut them a few times or place the leaves whole. The leaves will shrink when cooked, so don’t be afraid to be generous!
- Put the marinated chicken in the center of the pan, on top of the vegetables. Put the sauce on top.
- Cover and cook over medium high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir with a wooden spoon so the pan doesn’t burn and the ingredients and sauce mix evenly.
- Lower the heat to medium and cover. Cook for another 20 minutes, or until it’s done. Keep stirring with a wooden spoon.
- Now you can eat. The cabbage will cook first, followed by the rice cake, chicken, and sweet potato, so eat in that order. Keep the heat low during the meal. Cook, stir, eat, and talk. The pieces will be hot, so be careful! If the dakgalbi becomes totally cooked, turn off the heat.
- When it’s almost totally finished, add some rice and chopped kimchi to what’s left on the grill and stir with a wooden spoon over medium heat for a few minutes. Serve in separate bowls, or give everyone a spoon and let them eat from the pan together.