Spicy braised chicken

Dakbokkeumtang 닭볶음탕

Dakbokkeumtang (닭볶음탕) is very popular spicy chicken dish in Korea. It’s also called dakdoritang (닭도리탕).

This video is a remake of an earlier one I made in 2011 in Amsterdam with my reader Sarah. It was during my Gapshida tour, and Sarah hosted a meetup in her house. Ever since then when I have dakbokkeumtang I have to think about that beautiful time with my readers. Now as I update this video it’s already 2019 and I can’t believe how much time has passed! I hope everyone at the meetup has a happy life and is in good health, and I hope they are still making Korean dishes!


Usually dakbokkeumtang is made with chunks of whole chicken. Since I first posted this recipe many people have told me they made it with chicken breast, but it never sounded like a good idea to me because chicken breast is often so dry. But I’ve been experimenting for some time now, trying to make juicy dakbokkeumtang with chicken breast.  I’ve found that using milk works well, and it also gets rid of any chicken smell. I also use apple instead of sugar. I was very happy when the experiments turned out successful enough to share with you.

Even though I’ve updated this recipe and video, the original video will always remain, because the recipe is delicious and a part of my life and memories. No matter what ingredients are available to you – chicken breasts, wings, or thighs, sugar or apple – you can make great dakbokkeumtang.

Enjoy the recipe! Be happy with your delicious dakbokkeumtang!


Serves 2 to 3

  • 1 pound chicken breasts (about 2 large chicken breasts)
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 small apple, peeled, cored, and sliced thinly (about 1 cup)
  • 8 ounces potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 to 1 inch thick bite sized chunks
  • 1 medium onion (6 ounces), sliced
  • 1 green chili pepper, chopped
  • 2 green onions, cut into 1 inch long


For seasoning paste:


Prepare the chicken:

  1. Cut each breast crosswise into 2½ inch chunks. You will get about 4 pieces.
  2. Make 1 inch deep slits into each chunk ½ inch apart.  Transfer them all to a medium bowl and sprinkle the salt over top and in the slits evenly.
  3. Add the milk and gently mix to marinate. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.

Meanwhile make the seasoning paste:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well with a spoon.

Cook dakbokkeumtang:

  1. Put a piece of chicken on the cutting board, the slit side up. Use your hands to push a few apple slices into each slit.
  2. Then transfer it to a pan or pot. I use a shallow 9½ inch pan that’s 2½ inches deep.
  3. Repeat with the rest of chicken and the apple slices. If you have some leftover apple slices, put them anywhere in the pan.
  4. Add the seasoning paste over the top of the chicken and add 2½ cups water. Cover and cook for 15 minutes over medium high heat.dakbokkeumtang (Korean spicy braised chicken: dakdoritang: 닭볶음탕, 닭도리탕
  5. Add the potato, onion, and green chili pepper. Gently stir the chicken and vegetables with a wooden spoon. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for another 15 minutes. If it boils over or the water is boiled down, add more water and crack the lid open a little.  dakbokkeumtang (Korean spicy braised chicken: dakdoritang: 닭볶음탕, 닭도리탕
  6. Open and add the green onions. Turn up the heat to medium high and stir for 1 minute until vigorously bubbling.dakbokkeumtang (Korean spicy braised chicken: dakdoritang: 닭볶음탕, 닭도리탕
  7. Remove from the heat


  1. Transfer to the table and serve right away in the pan with rice, kimchi, and a few more side dishes. If you cook this in a large pot, you can use a ladle and transfer to a plate and serve.



  1. Damha Canada joined 7/13 & has 1 comment

    Maangchi! I’m in love with your recipes! I got the chicken on boil now with the spice paste! I’m very excited for this meal. I can smell the heat in the air!
    Gamsi hamnida!

  2. yvonne84 Netherlands joined 7/13 & has 3 comments

    I made this again, but this time with chicken thighs and less spicy.
    I left out the potatoes (low carb diet) and I added some ginger.
    I have been craving ginger but I don’t like ginger on it’s own, I prefer when it is mixed with garlic and hot pepper paste or flakes.
    It was delicious!

  3. matchamochi Berlin joined 7/13 & has 1 comment

    Hey Maangchi, thank you so much for sharing this great recipe!! I took chicken breast instead of chicken wings / thighs and thought it’s going to come out a bit dry with that meat but I was wrong – it was really delicious and very tender!!

  4. gogoboo China joined 4/13 & has 3 comments

    hello maangchi! thanks for the great recipe! I just made it and it’s great! But I had some problems during cooking.
    First, after 20 minutes boiling chicken, I found out my pot’s base got burned. I think it’s due to the spice inside the broth. Do I suppose to stir it constantly during that 20 minutes?
    Second, my broth looked darker than yours and a bit salty for me. was it possibly because too much soy sauce? I feel like I followed your recipes quite okay… or maybe because I didn’t use korean soy sauce? I used kikkoman soy sauce since you said it’s okay and korean soy sauce is more expensive here than other japanese or chinese soy sauces (about 2 or 3 times).
    Is there any way to fix it? I’m planning to try your other recipes, so if it’s really the soy sauce’s problem, i’ll get the korean soy sauce instead.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,710 comments

      Use a thick bottomed pot, then the bottom won’t burn. Or stir it occasionally while it’s being cooked. “my broth looked darker than yours” Check out your hot pepper flakes to see if they are bright red. And if it turns out too salty for you, use less soy sauce. I use Korean soy sauce, so I can’t compare the saltiness of Kikkoman and Korean soy sauce. Modify the recipe to your taste.
      Happy cooking!

  5. LisaL USA joined 9/09 & has 19 comments

    I’m making this tonight :D I see from a few comments that people have made this with chicken breasts. Won’t the breast meat dry out cooking it for 40mins?
    I’m using thigh meat tonight since that’s what I have, but we usually only have breast meat and if this is tasty, well then, I just want to be sure that it’s going to be just as juicy and tasty with breast meat cooking for that length.

    • LisaL USA joined 9/09 & has 19 comments

      Alrighty, I didn’t have all of the ingredients unfortunatly. No chili pepper.
      I also used about half the amount of pepper flakes, and instead of potatoes, I used carrots instead.
      Used thigh meat and it was AWESOME!!! Super tasty and just delicious!
      My husband wants me to make it again for his friends next week :) I’ll def get the peppers then, but think I’ll still use carrots again instead of potato :)

  6. Nieena Canada joined 4/13 & has 1 comment

    The original recipe of “1/4 cup of chilli powder flake” was WAYY TOO spicy for me. I had to tone down the chili powder to maybe maximum of 2 tbsp. :)
    Now this dish is officially my favourite food, it’s so easy to make and tastes to hearty with the stew soups.

    What kind of veggies that go well in the stew? Can i add green peppers?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,710 comments

      “I had to tone down the chili powder to maybe maximum of 2 tbsp” great! : ) You could add cabbage, carrot, or chinese broccoli. It will turn out tasty.

  7. joshea8 United States joined 2/13 & has 1 comment


    I don’t have gochugaru :(, but I love lots of gochujang!

    Would it be better to just use more gochujang?

    Or add chili pepper or cayenne pepper?

    Thank you!

  8. dssyazwina London, UK joined 2/13 & has 1 comment

    hi maangchi, what type of soy sauce can i use? i have kikkoman soy sauce and dark soy sauce, which one is better?

  9. Aznslaya7 USA joined 1/13 & has 3 comments

    Hi! I was wondering if you could substitute chicken legs instead of chicken wings? If I did, how would i modify the recipe? Should I slit the chicken legs so they would cook faster?

  10. feliciawst Iowa joined 1/13 & has 1 comment

    hi! I’m a little confused with step 3. do we mix the chicken with the paste and onions into a pot before adding water?

  11. makemequiche DC joined 5/12 & has 12 comments

    The meat was tender and full of flavor, and the potatoes were a great complement to the spicy broth. I set some aside for a co-worker, and she LOVED it. She’ll be making plenty more on her own!

  12. aucmitch Indiana joined 11/11 & has 3 comments

    This looks yummy! Could I decrease the amount of hot pepper paste and flakes a bit to make it less spicy? What would you recommend?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,710 comments

      yes, you can use less amount but you may add more soy sauce or salt. Adjust to your taste. I use mild hot pepper flakes, so it looks very spicy but actually it’s not that spicy.

  13. meljustfell Montreal joined 11/12 & has 1 comment

    Annyeonghaseyo Maangchi !

    I was wondering if we could use chicken breast instead of the legs/thighs. Would it make any differences?


  14. byungsun montreal joined 10/12 & has 2 comments

    Hi maangchi.
    I made this chicken, it was delicious. I want to make some for my family, but the portion will be bigger. What should I add more?

  15. magsinTX Texas joined 10/12 & has 1 comment

    I would love to make this in a crockpot or slow cooker. Are there any modifications I should make? Mabe less water?

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