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. WildRose85 Oregon joined 10/13 & has 6 comments

    The easiest way to make this is to just cut up some boneless chicken thighs, potatoes, onion, jalapenos, and daikon. and seasoning paste and anchovy stock then boil until root veggies are soft. Serve with rice.

  2. cuspofcarabelli Boston, MA joined 1/18 & has 2 comments

    That was very easy to make and quite delectable!
    Thank you! I’m a fan!

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  3. ianpitmaster illinois usa joined 12/17 & has 5 comments

    not quite done yet but a very similar recipie to yours i learned when i lived in korea for 5 years (near gunsan city) also has scallion chunks and tomato cooked with it. this still needs another hour or so cooking before its ready, cant wait!

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  4. Livlovesspicy Paris joined 11/17 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi!!
    I love this recipe, it tastes sooooo good XD It’s the third time I am making this :P
    Can’t wait to try your other recipes!

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  5. Jufield Singapore joined 10/17 & has 3 comments

    my first try out.

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  6. emseyreid Ontario, Canada joined 3/17 & has 1 comment

    I just made this for dinner, and it was so delicious that I burned my mouth trying to eat it quickly! I will make this again when I have more chicken! thank you maangchi for making so many recipes so we can learn Korean cooking!!

  7. Mymilktea Vegas joined 1/17 & has 1 comment

    Hi maangchi!

    I’ve been following you for a while but this is the first time I’ve decided to comment. I wanted to tell you that i made this today and it was perfect! I have a Korean friend that makes it. Hers always turns out great but mine today was just as good thanks to you!

    I did add some things like a little fish sauce, rice syrup, sweet corn and sesame oil at the end. Thank you thank you so much. This WAS perfect for the cold, winter weather (:

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  8. JR London joined 1/17 & has 1 comment

    NYE 닭볶음탕 was a huge success! Thank you Maangchi!

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  9. Jeffery Ohio, USA joined 11/16 & has 5 comments

    This is by far my favorite recipe I’ve learned to make thus far. It is so simple to make, but it is delicious and healthy. I make this all the time for dinner when my partner isn’t home. He can’t tolerate spicy foods lol. The only thing I would suggest is using a waxy potato. I tried once with russets, but they mostly melted away while cooking.

  10. Asianwaterdrop0422 California joined 6/16 & has 6 comments

    I love all your recipes I’ve tried so far. I made this for dinner today and my husband gave it exceptional praise. It was very spicy with the peppers. He’s a very picky eater so I was over the moon that I found a Korean dish he really enjoys. I served it with home made danmuji, though with a different recipe than yours since I didn’t want to wait a whole month. I made mine with a sugary rice vinegar brine with a bit of turmeric for color.

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  11. aegisshi USA joined 2/16 & has 2 comments

    I made this dish using this recipe a couple years ago. Korean ahjumas always told me this was a really hard dish to make, but this recipe was so easy! And I am really bad with cooking. I used drumsticks instead of chicken thighs or wings because that’s what my mom always used. This recipe turned out amazing! My mom’s was always the best when I was a kid and when she passed away I never thought I’d taste it again, but this tastes just like hers. :) Thank you.

  12. annejoo Saint Paul joined 2/16 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi, I want to begin by letting you know that I love your website! Thank you for all of the awesome recipes. I have a question about making this dish vegetarian. If I were to make a vegetarian version, which protein would you recommend using? Perhaps tofu? Or if I were to just use vegetables in place of the chicken, which ones would you recommend? I think the sauce would be just great with lots of veggies, and I was thinking of adding zucchinis or mushrooms. Do you have any ideas of any other vegetables to add? Thank you so much!

  13. hisc1ay joined 10/15 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi! I really want to make this dish for a Halloween pot luck at work, and the comments I’ve seen talking about how spicy it is just sealed the deal.

    I’m wondering – could I bake the wings in the oven instead of cook them in water? Do you need the water to kind of meld all of the spice together evenly, or do you think it’d be OK to coat the wings, and then just cook them in a baking dish without the water?


  14. Janet-Ridgefield joined 7/15 & has 11 comments

    Maangchi, do you use starchy potatoes for this, like Idahos, or waxy ones, like red potatoes? I thought Idahos might fall apart.

  15. annapaek joined 7/15 & has 4 comments

    Thank you for the recipe Mangchi! My dad was proud of me that I can make this dish!!

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