buldak recipe?

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Maangchi 1 year, 11 months ago.

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    When I was in Korean a couple years ago, I had this reeeeally spice chicken dish, which apparently has been rising in popularity the past several years in Korean. Its basically small chunks of chicken in a very spicy sauce, served on a skillet. I think its called buldak, as this sounds about right for what it tasted like. I would love to get a good recipe for this. Thanks you.




    Hi, buldak is included in the list of upcoming video recipes.

    Thank you!



    thank you!


    I’m longing for buldak Please release the video!


    Korean prison doesn’t have buldak, but I did get to eat this before I was incarcerated. Since arriving in NYC, I’ve been trying to recreate my buldak eating experience. There is surprisingly little information online–in English anyway.

    I’ve had “buldak” in a couple of the pubs on 32nd street (New York, New York). Their version of the spicy chicken treat tasted like nothing but baked chicken with a gochuchan/brown sugar mix. On the other hand, the Seoul kind of buldak has some special cooking process to the chicken itself. It looked to me like the bird was cooked in a pressure cooker, then cubed, covered in the fire sauce, and finally seared on a very hot grill. The buldak cooking process I saw would be very difficult to replicate in anyplace except a professional kitchen.



    there is this chicken-boiling-device i saw in several shops. from what i saw is, you put the chicken and the sauce into it, pressurize it and that thing cooks and moves the chicken at the same time. marvellous little thing.



    Still no buldak recipe by Maangchi? Please, someone post the link if you have seen it ..



    Sorry to bring up such and old topic Maangchi but chicken buldak is one of my favourite korean dishes, and I would love to try your recipe for it. :)


    I think I found my bul dak restaurant but it might be a little far for you to travel.

    The restaurant is called Uncle Jang Korean restaurant and has the best bul dak.

    Check out the review I wrote about the restaurant.

    Fire Chicken – Kuala Lumpur Korean restaurant review

    Looking forward to Maangchi's recipe!!




    Thanks for the recommendation Nicky, I’ll be in KL later this year so will be sure to try it out. Oriental Spoon here in Melbourne has an interesting take with their cheese bul dak, same classic chicken bul dak but topped with mozzarella cheese.


    Would love to try cooking it at home though but need an authentic recipe first haha.




    Hot & Spicy Chicken


    Buldak is a spicy chicken dish that is becoming very popular amongst the younger generation of Koreans everywhere. Its popularity has been attributed to both its unique flavors and spiciness. Keep in mind, the term bul means fire in Korean and dak is chicken, so it can get quite spicy in taste.

    Many restaurants that specialize in buldak have been created due to the growing popularity as this dish is considered fairly new. Also, most restaurants that serve this dish offer various levels of spiciness that one can choose from and there are usually fresh vegetables served with this dish to blend in the taste. Cubed-cut sweet radishes along with salad and onions are usually popular.

    An order of buldak can be served on a platter of bite-sized morsels of chicken breasts or sometimes in combinations of wings or drumsticks. While the flavor and degree of hotness differs a little from place to place, it is marinated with a hot & sweet sauce, grilled over an open fire, and then served over a sizzling skillet, topped with cheese as well as various herbs. It’s usually enjoyed as an appetizer while drinking a cold mekju or soju at popular bars or restaurants.


    6 chicken drum sticks (de-boned) or 2 chicken breasts

    2 tbsp soy sauce

    1 tbsp sugar

    1 tbsp traditional corn syrup (substitution honey)

    2 tbsp cheong ju (clear rice wine similar to Japanese sake)

    1 stalk green onion

    Black pepper ground to taste

    Olive oil

    Roasted sesame seeds (optional)


    3 tbsp kochukaru (red chili pepper flakes)

    2 jalapenos

    ½ cup Korean pear (substitution Asian pear)

    ¼ onion

    3 cloves garlic

    2 tbsp soy sauce

    1 tsp spicy yellow mustard

    1 tbsp sesame oil

    1 tbsp sugar

    1 tbsp mul yut (substitution honey)

    2 tbsp soy sauce

    1 tbsp sugar


    Rinse chicken drum sticks in cold water and de-done meat with a sharp knife. Cut into 4 even pieces per leg drum -OR- rinse chicken breasts in cold water and cut into bite-size pieces.

    In a large bowl, mix chicken with soy sauce, sugar, mul yut (substitution honey), cheong ju and ground pepper.

    Marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

    Puree all marinating sauce ingredients together in a blender. Once completed, leave aside for later use.

    On a non-stick frying pan or skillet, cook prepared chicken over medium heat until meat is just short of desired completion.

    Take out chicken only and leave excess ingredients in frying pan or skillet.

    In a large bowl, thoroughly mix chicken with blended sauce from steps 2 & 3.

    In the same frying pan or skillet, add olive oil to taste and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes in medium high heat.

    Serve hot on plate.





    Here is another buldak recipe to try.


    1 Chicken

    I don't have ready access to all the traditional Korean ingredients so I don't generally use them, but for those that can, I've included the Korean ingredients in italics.

    Chicken Marinade

    2 tbsp Sake or Cheong Ju

    1 tbsp Soy Sauce

    1 tbsp Olive Oil

    1 tbsp Sugar

    1 tbsp Honey or Mul Yut

    Fresh Ground Black Pepper


    3 tbsp Kochukaru (Korean Chili Powder)

    1 tbsp Kochujan (korean chili paste)

    2 tbsp Soy Sauce

    1 tbsp Sesame Oil

    2 tbsp Honey or Mul Yut

    1 tbsp White Sugar

    2 tsp Karashi Mustard (or other hot mustard)

    Hot Chillies (to taste)

    3 cloves Garlic

    1/2 large Onion (peeled and cut into chunks)

    1/2 large Nashi Pear (peeled and cut into chunks)

    How to make Fire Chicken

    Let me start by saying that this is one of my favourite things to eat in the entire world. My friends and I would often start our weekend unwind by meeting in Shin-Okubo (Tokyo's Koreatown) after work on Friday nights and sinking a few beers and chamisuls while working over a big plate of this chicken. This would be the meeting point and the chicken was always an appetizer before heading out to another restaurant for a meal.

    The dish is called Buldak in Korean (bul = fire, dak = chicken), and while it's a really old dish, I'm told it's been gaining popularity in Korea at the moment as a beer snack. I can definitely see why.

    From a cook's perspective, this is a really interesting dish too. The sweetness and hotness each come from a number of different elements – sugar, honey, kochujan and nashi for the sweet, and chili powder, fresh chili and karashi for the hot. When layered together, this diversity of sweet and hot flavours creates a really complex and delicious combination. This dish also really illustrates the way heat itself adds to the flavour of a dish. I love chili, but I'm not usually one to test my machismo by eating the hottest curries or most fiery hot sauces. With this dish though, the chili really turns on the flavour. Anyone who tries it admits that the hotter it gets, the more tasty it is. For that reason, when I make this I make it as hot as I can. It hurts, but it hurts good.

    Now for the method…

    First joint the chicken and cut into small pieces. Choose an older chicken if you can, as the flavour is much better and the toughness of older birds really suits the dish. Of course, you can use simple breast meat or thigh meat as well, but personally I like to cook this on the bone. With meat only it tends to be a little soft in my opinion. To joint the chicken I take off the wings and drumsticks (halving the drumsticks) and then take the whole chicken in half, discarding the neck, spine and bum. Then I halve each half again to a breast portion and thigh portion before chopping each to pieces about the same size as the wings. Sorry if this doesn't make much sense, I don't really know the butchery terms. Then marinade the chicken pieces in the chicken marinade ingredients for at least 1/2 an hour.

    While the chicken is marinading, make the sauce. There's quite a lot of ingredients but the method is simple – just blend it all together. Korean chili powder is not particularly hot, so the main source of heat is in the fresh chilies that you add. As I said, I like this to be really hot and so I generally use about 5 really hot small chilies. If you don't think you can stand the heat, you can use less either in number or intensity, but I do recommend bumping the spiciness up above what you're used to. This is Fire Chicken after all.

    To cook everything, take a large frypan and start the chicken pieces over medium heat. The chicken will blacken quickly as the sugar and honey caramelise but don't get concerned; this really adds to the flavour. Reduce the heat a little and cook for about 10 minutes until the chicken is maybe two thirds done. Then add in the sauce, stir it together and cook a further 5 minutes. The sauce will darken to the deep red you see in the picture. When it's all finished transfer everything to a plate and scatter the chicken with some chopped spring onion, sesame seeds or – my preference as in the picture – a good amount of aonori.

    Serve this with some simple pickled daikon (cubed pieces of daikon pickled in a simple brine of salt, sugar, white vinegar and water) and a kind of coleslaw (shredded cabbage and onion shaved on a mandolin, with a big dollop of mayonnaise swirled with kochujan. I'd suggest going to the extra effort to make these traditional accompaniments, as they match with the chicken perfectly. Also, you're going to need them to cool down your mouth if you've made the chicken as spicy as you should.

    The easiest way to eat this off the bone is with 2 forks that you can use to tear away the meat. I prefer this as the sauce makes eating this with fingers a pretty messy prospect.

    I think this would also make a great BBQ dish, maybe just using drumsticks. To do that I would cook the sauce separately for about 10 minutes or so and marinade the chicken before leaving. Then the chicken could be done on the BBQ and then mixed with the sauce in a large aluminium foil packet and then baked right on the BBQ top. I'm definitely going to try doing that next time I go to a BBQ.

    My first Maangchi Cooking!




    Thanks Georgia, will have to try those 2 recipes out although of course I’d prefer one of Maangchi’s own. :)



    My buldak recipe is online! Enjoy the recipe! http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/buldak

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