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. pilgrims canada joined 2/15 & has 1 comment

    thank you so much for this recipe and all your recipes! you have been a big blessing to my family and to many. thank you for sharing korean food recipes in a thoughtful way that is easy to follow for anyone and for your enjoyable cooking videos, God bless!

  2. Squarebulb Okinawa joined 2/15 & has 1 comment

    I first tried made this recipe a couple of months ago with my husband, and it was good but so spicy it hurt to eat it. Now I’m visiting my parents in the US after having lived in Korea the past year, and I made this recipe for them, but I reduced the red pepper and left out the green chili. Both my parents said it was good and even my super picky brother ate some. Thank you for all your excellent recipes!

  3. Lovetocook San Francisco joined 12/12 & has 14 comments

    Hi Maangchi,

    I can’t seem to find the Korean green chili pepper, is there some other pepper that I can substitute it for, like Serrano pepper? Please advise, thank you.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,724 comments

      yes, serrano pepper sounds great to me!

      • Lovetocook San Francisco joined 12/12 & has 14 comments

        Hi Maangchi,

        I tried making this a couple of days ago with 1 very small serrano pepper and took all the seeds out. Even though the pepper was so small it turned out to be quite spicy but not too spicy, I think it was about just the right amount of heat. It turned out to be very delicious and tasty! Can’t wait to cook this for friends. Thank you so much for this recipe Maangchi!!

  4. cakehead West Virginia joined 9/14 & has 1 comment

    This is one of my favorite Korean recipes aside from your jjajangmyun. Sometimes I make it with sweet potatoes and skinless chicken thighs, depending on what I have. I’ve been waiting for the weather to cool down to really enjoy it. I make it almost weekly in the winter and everyone loves it. Thanks for the excellent recipe^^

  5. Youta tunisia joined 8/14 & has 3 comments

    Hi Maangchi ! i’m in love with your recipes but can i put normal sugar instead brown sugar because i don’t have !

  6. NancyLe Mobile Alabama joined 5/14 & has 1 comment

    Wow! I’m vietnamese but love korean food. Have been exploring your korean recipes and I love this one especially !!!

  7. ddnorman Southern NH, USA joined 9/13 & has 75 comments


    I think this dish will be a hit with my family! I made it last night and received the best compliment ever from my wife. She said ‘mmmm’ after each of her first five bites! I must thank you because you are making me look so good in the kitchen with your awesome recipes!

    감사합니다 망치 선생님 (with big bow),
    Dave 학생

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,724 comments

      yay! I’m so happy to hear that your family loved your spicy braised chicken! Reading your post reminds me of my Gapshida trip in the Netherlands. I made a huge batch of dakbokkeumtang when I did a meetup in Amsterdam a few years ago. Many people came to the meetup and we had a great potluck party. All of them loved the dakbokkeumtang. I miss them now. : )

  8. MissKayInKorea Seoul joined 12/13 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi,

    I made this yesterday for a Korean/English Christmas party and it was great! The chicken was so delicious and I managed to make it spicy enough without being painful hehe.

    I just wondered about one thing though. There seemed to be really a lot of oil on top once it was cooked. Is that usual? Is there a way to reduce it? Thanks!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,724 comments

      oh you made dakbokkeumtang for a large group of people just like I did in this video! “There seemed to be really a lot of oil on top..” it’s only natural. Scoop it out if it bothers you. Happy cooking!

    • ddnorman Southern NH, USA joined 9/13 & has 75 comments


      You could also try making it with chicken breast (it’s all we had). The one I made with those had almost no oil on the surface but it still came out totally delicious!


  9. Maetuugee United States joined 12/13 & has 1 comment

    조리법은 완벽했다! It was so good! I’m making it again today. Reminds me of when I lived in Seoul!

  10. Rum2Rum US joined 10/13 & has 1 comment

    Can we substitute hot pepper flakes with anything else? Cayenne pepper maybe? or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crushed_red_pepper ?

  11. SUMIRA LOVE TO EAT malaysia joined 9/13 & has 9 comments

    hi maangchi…

    can we use other type of pepper paste?

  12. gel_khj06 markina city, philippines joined 9/13 & has 1 comment

    hi maangchi! i’m a student hir at the Philippines..
    we’re going to cook Korean food.. and i saw your recipe on youtube..
    it looks delicious so i want to try it.. but i haven’t see any hot pepper paste in the groceries near me.. is it ok without it or is there any other substitute for that?
    thank you!

    • jaekoh Los Angeles, CA joined 11/13 & has 4 comments


      I was in the Philippines last year in December and saw quite a few Korean restaurants as well as Korean Markets (mostly mini) (Don’t ask what city and area etc etc, as I was there to visit a friend in the general Manila area – I have no idea where I was at any given time). When you go in, ask if they have go-choo-jang. If they do not carry it, they will surely know where to obtain them, as Koreans do not live without hot pepper paste. Trust me.

      As for substitutes, probably not.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,724 comments

      Here is a list of Korean grocery stores submitted by my readers. I’m sure you can get Korean cooking ingredients there. Good luck! : ) https://www.maangchi.com/shopping/philippines

  13. jmadeline San Francisco joined 9/13 & has 1 comment

    Maagchi! Thank you for this great recipe! I made it tonight for dinner, and it’s delicious! I have a question though, it is supposed to taste sweet? I used sweet potatoes instead of potatoes (I’m trying to eat less white carbs), maybe that could have made it sweeter than it should be? Next time I’ll make it with regular potatoes to see if it tastes any different.

  14. silvybudi CA joined 8/13 & has 1 comment

    Hi MaangChi,
    I recently start watching your cooking from Youtube. I just tried spicy braised chicken. It is really delicious. Thank you so much for sharing.

  15. LiLfoodie05 North Cali joined 7/13 & has 1 comment

    Maangchi: love ur youtube vids & this site!

    Do u have a recipe for korean marinated bbq chicken?

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