Chicken and rice porridge

Dakjuk 닭죽

One morning in Fortuna, Costa Rica, I asked my travel agent to find shuttle bus tickets for Quepos. He called a shuttle bus company and said all the tickets were sold out for the day. So I had to book tickets for the next day. Consequently I had a whole free day.

What shall I do? Hmm, a few seconds later, an exciting idea came up in my mind. How about cooking some Korean food for my friends I made there? Ooh whoo, it made me very excited! Then what shall I make without using special Korean ingredients? The recipe should be very easy! Yes! I had some leftover rice in my backpack from making gimbap lunch box the other day. Dakjuk! Yes, yes! Yayee! Let’s go to the supermarket!

I picked up a whole chicken, garlic, watermelon, and some other fresh vegetables and seasoning sauce to make Korean style salad (geotjeori); chicken soup for main dish, geotjeori for side dish, and watermelon for dessert! Oh my! Fuji mama! Perfect!  : )

Do I have any memories about dakjuk? Are you joking to me? Lol yes, of course I do! I can’t forget watching my late grand mother (father side) killing a chicken. The chicken was running around her yard just before it got killed! My grand mother was kind of a tough woman. She picked one chicken among the dozens of her chickens running and playing in her yard.

I watched her twisting its neck and waiting until it died. Then she put the chicken in hot water to remove all its feathers, and cut its stomach with a knife and took out all guts! It sounds horrible, but I never felt scared or disgusted at the time. Even though I felt sorry for the chicken, I remember, we were going to have delicious dakjuk soon for dinner, that’s all I was dreaming. When the chicken was boiling with lots of garlic, the smell spread in the village!

Her chickens were her live food resources just like her vegetables grown in her patch! : )

In Korea, sons-in-law are treated very well by their mothers-in-law. So when a son-in-law visits his mother-in-law’s house, he will expect her to cook chicken to welcome him. These days the custom may be changing.

My dakjuk in Costa Rica turned out great! All of my friends enjoyed the soup. They liked my geotjeori, too.

When you have many unexpected visitors, make dakjuk. You can feed so many people! If you want to add more side dishes, I recommend vegetable pancake or green onion (or Asian chives) pancake. What else? Of course don’t forget to serve kimchi.

Yield: 8-10 servings

Cooking time: 2 hours


A whole chicken (about 3 pounds), 1½ cups of garlic cloves, 1½ cups of rice, 2 eggs, 3 green onions, salt, water.

For 2 kinds of  dipping sauce:
Salt and pepper, soy sauce, vinegar, hot pepper flakes, green onion, sesame seeds, sugar.


  1. Soak 1½ cups of rice in cold water for 1 hour.
    *tip: if you like thinner soup style, use 1 cup of rice;  if you like thicker porridge style, use 1½ cups rice
  2. Wash and drain the whole chicken.
  3. Trim the fat from the chicken’s stomach area with scissors; cut off the tip of bum part. : )
  4. Place the chicken in a large pot and add 12-13 cups of water.
  5. Add 1½ cups of garlic cloves and bring to a boil over high heat for about 40 minutes.
  6. Turn down the heat to low-medium and cook 20 more minutes.
  7. Rinse and drain the rice, and add to the boiling chicken porridge.
  8. Remove any fat floating on top of the soup with a spoon or ladle.
  9. Keep boiling with the lid closed for another 30 minutes.
    *tip: lower the heat if it boils over
  10. Chop 3 stalks of green onion and beat 2 eggs and set aside.
  11. Check if the chicken is cooked tender or not by poking the meat with a fork or chopsticks. It’s usually tender after 1½ hour of cooking, but if it’s not tender enough, cook a little longer.
  12. Add 1 tbs salt to the soup and mix it with your spoon. The amount of salt depends on your taste, so use more or less as you like.

Ok, now time to serve!

Take the chicken out of the pot, transfer to a large plate, and put it on the table to serve.

Make 2 kinds of dipping sauce:

  1. Mix 1 tbs salt and ¼ ts black ground pepper in a small bowl
  2. Mix these ingredients in a bowl (this is my father’s favorite dipping sauce whenever  he had this dish):
    • 2 tbs soy sauce, 1 tbs vinegar, 1 tbs chopped green onion, 1 ts sugar, 1 ts roasted sesame seeds, and 1 ts hot pepper flakes.

Now back to the chicken soup!

  1. Add the chopped green onions (from #10).
  2. Add the beaten eggs. Pour them in and wait for 10 seconds before stirring, to let them cook.

Your chicken soup (or porridge) is ready! Turn the heat off and serve.


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  1. geanie_choy Lafayette My profile page joined 2/15
    Posted February 10th, 2015 at 2:07 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi! You are the cooking teacher I wish I had growing up. I’m Korean and I have my own family to feed now. But I never learned to cook Korean food because my grandmother never used a recipe! LOL. Thank you for allowing me to keep some traditions alive with this dakguk recipe! Sometimes, for fun, I like to throw in some goji berries and veggies into the soup.

  2. Young Gun East Cost, USA My profile page joined 12/14
    Posted December 15th, 2014 at 2:43 pm | # |

    Thank you so much for your informative site! I see the locals in the photos sharing your meal. Didn’t they tell you this dish resembles their “yellow chicken rice” When I had their food, it reminded me of this dish. Both very tasty!

    I want to ask you (or any reader) what is the Korean name of a dish similar to this? I was watching a Korean drama the other day and they were having this for dinner. Mmm I forgot the name of this dish – I need its Korean name so I can find it if not I will make it myself :) Basically its a rice porridge, thicker than this dish, with small pieces of (leftover) chicken meat or beef. I am more used to the beef variety and if I know the name maybe I can get it :)

    Thanks again – keep up the good work – and enjoy your holidays!

  3. rubi london My profile page joined 7/14
    Posted July 22nd, 2014 at 5:48 am | # |

    This looks yummy but I was wondering if you would have a vegetarian version at all? I hope there is one around thank you😊

  4. Koffee London, ON My profile page joined 5/14
    Posted May 26th, 2014 at 11:47 am | # |

    I used your recipe and substituted turkey drumsticks in place of the chicken. I used 2 duck eggs instead of chicken eggs and it turned out great! The first day I made it, it had an overwhelming taste of garlic, but when i left it overnight in the fridge, the flavors blended so nicely and tasted even better! Can’t complain, garlic is so good for you! Instead of serving the meat separately from the porridge, I peeled pieces of the meat and returned it to the porridge. I found that if I left the turkey drumstick out, it would have dried out. Overall, this recipe was so easy to follow and so delicious! Must make! (^^ I’m making it for the 2nd time today, right at this moment!) Always have some ready in your fridge; convenience for satisfying your hunger. :)

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted May 27th, 2014 at 1:05 pm | # |

      Thank you for sharing the tip for turkey drumsticks! I’m glad to hear that it worked well. Happy cooking!

  5. sjl2107 Upland, CA My profile page joined 11/13
    Posted March 29th, 2014 at 12:21 am | # |

    WOW, WOW, WOW! Excellent directions and very easy to make! I love porridge and this came out better than my moms…. thanks for sharing this with us. My husband and I had a wonderful dinner tonight!

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted March 29th, 2014 at 12:41 am | # |

      oh you made this! “My husband and I had a wonderful dinner tonight!” I’m very happy to hear that! : )

  6. Bitha_bee Indonesia My profile page joined 2/14
    Posted February 26th, 2014 at 12:14 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    I really love your site. I was looking for Korean recipe 3 years ago and fortunately I found your site. *glad. This is my first comment and I hope you’ll help me.

    My mom fell down at the bathroom a couple day ago and nobody help her when she is unconscious because nobody’s home that moment. She often fainted because she had low blood pressure, and we recently lost a family member also. She was exhausted due to set many things as the eldest. She refused when I asked her to go to hospital, and now she refuses to eat. I’m so afraid now. Maangchi can you recommends any recipe to me.

    Much love from Indonesia.

    • annabanana Vancouver, Canada My profile page joined 2/09
      Posted March 22nd, 2014 at 10:51 pm | # |

      I’m sorry to hear about your mom. I have had low blood pressure in the past, too. For me, it was the result of avoiding any added salt in my diet for years. I have since found that adding natural sea salt to some of my foods has helped – the refined, table salt stuff people should avoid.

  7. Coko Moko Florida My profile page joined 8/12
    Posted December 27th, 2013 at 8:05 pm | # |

    I love your videos, they make me so happy!

  8. blasianbear Louisville, KY My profile page joined 4/13
    Posted October 7th, 2013 at 2:51 pm | # |

    This porridge is excellent! Sundays are typically my day to stay home and try out new recipes or just cook and enjoy. I already tried a couple of your other recipes, and I had been eyeing this one for quite some time now. So, I made this yesterday, and it turned out wonderful! I was a little skeptical with all the garlic, but it really has a good flavor once you boil it with the chicken and rice. I smashed most of the cloves once I removed the chicken to cool, and they seemed to thicken the porridge a bit. I have shared this with friends, who also enjoyed it. Thanks again!

  9. Thevy France My profile page joined 9/12
    Posted September 1st, 2012 at 1:06 pm | # |

    Hey! I’m trying your recipe and it smells and looks good! But i have put slices of ginger at the beginning then i took them out after 40min. Is it still good even if you didn’t put some in your video recipe?

    Greetings from France

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted September 4th, 2012 at 10:43 am | # |

      great great!

    • Koffee London, ON My profile page joined 5/14
      Posted May 26th, 2014 at 11:49 am | # |

      I was actually thinking the same, in chinese congee, we always put ginger into our congee (porridge) and it tastes great! chicken + ginger = can never go wrong!

  10. beautifullight41 United States My profile page joined 4/12
    Posted April 19th, 2012 at 11:36 pm | # |

    You are sooo cute!!!! I was looking for a salmon jook recipe for my 7 month old baby, but this dakjuk looks soooo good! I love all jooks, but dakjuk is definitely one of my favorites!

  11. Morrigaine Virginia My profile page joined 4/12
    Posted April 5th, 2012 at 11:19 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi!

    I actually found out about you through browsing randomly on Youtube. Upon browsing your website I found myself longing for the Korean food that I used to get to eat as a kid. SO I DECIDED.

    I ran to the store and bought the ingredients for Dakjuk! Of all the foods I used to eat, this was my favorite “winter time” dish. It’s cooking right now too. :) But seeing as it’s only me at home right now, I am using chicken breasts instead of a full chicken. Haha.

    I can’t wait to eat it, it smells HEAVENLY.

  12. serenarose13 maine My profile page joined 3/12
    Posted March 4th, 2012 at 6:11 pm | # |

    Made this tonight because its exams week! Love your recipes!

  13. Heiijeil My profile page joined 10/10
    Posted December 4th, 2011 at 9:01 am | # |

    Cooked this tonight for a husband who just had all his wisdom teeth taken out. It was delicious! Followed the recipe,except we used chicken parts, as there were only two of us. I’ve so far done this and mak kimchi, and plan to try out the other dishes – your recipes are very easy to follow. Thanks!

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted December 6th, 2011 at 12:53 am | # |

      “…his wisdom teeth taken out” ouch! Making dakjuk was a great choice! Congratulations!

  14. Dwane Australia My profile page joined 7/11
    Posted July 21st, 2011 at 6:38 am | # |

    hello maangchi, i just came across your website and want to say a big thank you! i have cooked two of your amazing recipes over the last week, kam ja tang on Sunday and dak juk tonight. You make it so so easy to follow and understand. At the moment, it’s winter here in Australia, and being able to cook both of these soups really warmed us up and they turned out really well. I am so happy i found your website, I hope that you can come to Australia sometime and visit :)

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted July 21st, 2011 at 9:00 am | # |

      gajatang is a little difficult to make for a beginner cook but it sounds like you made good one! Congratulations! Making Dakjuk (porridge with chicken) is a piece of cake, right? : )
      Sure I love to visit Australia someday. Happy cooking!

  15. Ruby1766 My profile page joined 2/11
    Posted February 6th, 2011 at 12:24 pm | # |

    I just made this porridge this morning for my husband and I. I was surprised how tasty the porridge was with just 1 tbs of salt for seasoning.

  16. maggs UK My profile page joined 1/11
    Posted January 4th, 2011 at 7:11 am | # |

    would using chicken pieces instead of whole chicken be okay?

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted January 4th, 2011 at 1:12 pm | # |

      yes, you can.

      • maggs UK My profile page joined 1/11
        Posted January 17th, 2011 at 5:12 pm | # |

        i tried this out with half the quantity of ingredients and chicken pieces.
        it was easy, tasty and subtle.
        I thought the garlic would overpower everything and that would be all i could taste, but i was wrong.
        The garlic was light, the chicken soft and lightly flavoured and the rice porridge/soup was warm and filling.
        A wonderful start for anyone wanting to begin korean cooking!
        Thank you.

  17. Ronnie My profile page joined 9/10
    Posted September 12th, 2010 at 1:35 pm | # |

    That looks like wonderful “comfort food”. One question: Why do you add salt at the end? Wouldn’t the chicken be more flavorful if it simmered in salted water?

    • Tequila Malaysia My profile page joined 7/10
      Posted January 17th, 2011 at 7:52 pm | # |

      You can try pre-season the whole chicken with 2 tbs of salt and leave it to aside for cooking several hours later. Add salt to porridge according to your taste after it is done.

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