Spicy stir-fried chicken with vegetables

Dakgalbi 닭갈비

Dakgalbi is a delicious, spicy grilled chicken dish that’s a popular choice for friends who are getting together to go out to eat. In Korea it’s communal dish that’s cooked and shared among a small, intimate group of people, so it naturally stimulates conversation and a good time. It’s impossible to eat dakgalbi in silence!

When you go to a restaurant with your friends and family and order dakgalbi, they’ll bring out a large pan filled with the dakgalbi ingredients as well as some side dishes. While the pan cooks on the tabletop, you and your friends can munch on side dishes and talk, and maybe order some drinks, too. The dakgalbi will cook nicely and the waitress will tell you: “Now you can eat!”

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When you’re almost completely finished, you can ask the waitress: “We’d like some stir-fried rice please.” She’ll bring out some rice, mix it with the leavings in the pan, and quickly fry up some spicy, stir fried rice. She might divide the rice into portions and serve it to everyone at the table, or she might just leave it in the pan and let everyone dig in. For many people I know, this is their favorite part!

Don’t have a dakgalbi restaurant near you? Now you can make it at home! Invite your family and friends over, and prepare all the ingredients.

“Are you guys ready to eat dakgalbi?” you can ask.

“Yes, yes!”

Bring out the pan filled with vegetables, chicken, rice cake, and the sauce, and cook it at the table. Your house will be full of an irresistible, delicious aroma, laughter, and conversation, I guarantee!

This is an updated version of my earlier recipe, posted in 2013. This version is simplified by skipping gochujang and mirim, but I add some milk for the chicken to marinate. After I posted my old recipe in 2013, I learned adding some milk to chicken removes the not only the smell but also make it tender.

Ingredients

Serves 2 to 3

For chicken and marinade:

  • 1 pound deboned chicken thigh (or drumsticks), cut into small bite sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

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For the seasoning sauce:

Veggies and rice cakes:

  • 4 ounces sliced rice cake (1 cup), soaked in cold water at least 10 minutes
  • 8 ounces cabbage, cored and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 4 ounces (½ of large onion), sliced
  • 1 small carrot (about ⅓ cup), peeled and sliced
  • 1 or 2 green chili peppers, sliced
  • ¾ cup peeled sweet potato, sliced into ¼ inch thick bite size pieces.
  • 12 perilla leaves (or basil leaves), cut or ton a few times
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 bowl of rice (optional)
  • ¼ cup chopped fermented kimchi (optional)

Directions

Marinate chicken:

  1. Combine the chicken, milk, soy sauce, and ground black pepper in a bowl and mix all together with a spoon.
  2. Cover and set aside.marinated chicken

Make seasoning sauce:

  1. Combine the minced garlic, ginger, soy sauce, water, gochu-garu (Korean hot pepper flakes), rice syrup, and ground black pepper in a bowl. Mix well with a spoon and set aside.

Cook and serve:

  1. Spread the cabbage on the bottom of a large, heavy, and shallow pan or skillet.
  2. Add onion, carrot, green chili pepper, sweet potato, rice cake, and perilla leaves in that order.
  3. Add the chicken in the center. Pour the seasoning sauce over the chicken and spread it with a wooden spoon. Add 1/2 cup water.Korean spicy stir-fried chicken and vegetables
  4. Cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes over medium high heat until it starts boiling. Turn down the heat to medium. Open and stir with wooden spoon so that the pan doesn’t burn and the ingredients and sauce mix evenly. Cover and cook another 13 to 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the chicken and sweet potato are cooked thoroughly.Korean spicy stir-fried chicken and vegetables
  5. Keep the heat low during the meal. Cook, stir, eat, and talk. The pieces will be hot, so be careful! Turn off the heat when the chicken and potato are totally cooked.
  6. Give a bowl to each diner. They can each take some out of the pan into their bowl, and eat. When it’s almost totally finished, make some fried rice by adding some rice and chopped kimchi to what’s left on the grill.  Stir with a wooden spoon over medium heat for a few minutes. Serve in separate bowls, or give everyone a spoon and let them eat from the pan together.stir-fried rice (bokkeumbap)

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64 Comments:

  1. Cordimacolin Pyeongtaek joined 6/14 & has 1 comment

    I am a U.S. service member who has lived in Korea for almost 2 years. Just discovered Dakgalbi a few months ago and my wife and I have tried to replicate our favorite restaurant in Pyeongtaek city. When I made this recipe tonight, it was very very close. much closer than any other recipe we’ve ever done. thank you for sharing. It was delicious.

  2. Justinhj Vancouver, BC joined 5/14 & has 1 comment

    I made this yesterday after a Korean friend recommended the dish. It was gorgeous! Thanks for a great blog. The video really helped me cut up the drumsticks as I’ve never done that before.

    I had two problems. My local grocery stores don’t have perilla leaves.
    Also instead of hit pepper flakes I bought a packet of dried red chillis that we’re way hotter. Even though I used a 1/3 of the amount they still made the dish a bit painful! :)

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,074 comments

      It sounds like you made great dakgalbi! If perilla leaves are not available, you could use some minty herbs like parsley or bay leaves. Good luck with your Korean cooking!

      • jsp73 joined 3/15 & has 30 comments

        That’s a great tip! I should point out that, depending on the climate, perilla is very easy to grow. My local Korean market sells lots of seeds (radish, peppers, melon, zucchini and other hobak, etc).

        Perilla doesn’t mind a little shade either. I’ve grown it successfully a few times. The one time it didn’t grow so well was because the pot I used was too small (needs at least 5 gallons of soil) one plant can make 2 people happy easily. 2 plants is even better if one uses it for ssam a lot. If you need seeds, this company always has fresh seed https://www.kitazawaseed.com/seed_260-172.html

        I don’t think the seeds I get from my local Korean market are always so fresh — low germination rates.

  3. Markoleary Cape Cod joined 3/14 & has 1 comment

    This was easy and delicious! Perilla leaves were not easily available, so I improvised. I was looking for something green, so I decided on broccoli florets. Can’t wait to make this again.

    • mrskimchi san francisco joined 6/13 & has 5 comments

      If you’re into growing things, you can buy the perilla/shiso/beefsteak/kennip (all the same plant) seeds on Amazon. You can also buy them at Japanese grocery stores, and in many health food stores. I recommend trying to get them because their taste is very distinct and definitely adds a huge impact to this dish!

  4. kaliso Seattle, WA joined 1/14 & has 1 comment

    I made this tonight and it is so good! I was worried because I don’t have a shallow pan like that, so I made it in a big pot. It turned out great and I can’t wait to finish it so I can make kimchi bokkeumbap!

  5. Chit Philippines joined 3/13 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi”
    Can’t wait to cook this…but first may I ask…if I lessen the pepper paste or pepper flakes wouldn’t it affect the yumminess? I have friends who can’t take too spicy so it’s for their sake! And what would you recommend to lessen…pepper flakes or paste? Thank you,

  6. agdenf Colorado joined 12/13 & has 1 comment

    hihi, we just made the recipe and it was so good. Thank you so much. But instead of rice we actually used ramen noodles. The original dish came out nice, but ramen noodles were soft and not “fried/crunchy” like they do it korea at “bok-em” places. Would you by any chance know how to do that?

    Happy Holidays

  7. johnspeare Spokane, WA joined 12/13 & has 1 comment

    Whoa! That was so good. And so easy. After shoveling a bunch of snow and playing in the cold, this is an excellent meal to share with friends and family. Thank you!

  8. Andra Alexa T Europe joined 4/13 & has 5 comments

    One day I’ll have to make it! It looks so good… so delicious. Till then – all the best for the soon coming Winter Hollidays and may you have a Wonderful Christmas and A Happy New Year!!

  9. e-mom joined 6/10 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi! Greetings from Ottawa! New intro looks great & this dish looks delicious! I bet this would work for pork or veal as well. Now all I have to do is find some perilla leaves!
    Keep up the good work :)

  10. Chef Samurai San Diego, California, USA joined 10/13 & has 2 comments

    Maangchi ….Love the dish !!! and I love the new Intro too

  11. Tamar1973 San Francisco Bay Area joined 8/11 & has 1 comment

    I make it Chuncheon style with some curry powder mixed in. :)

  12. lmhjgsfever Hungary joined 1/12 & has 18 comments

    thank you so much. i have been looking forward to this. All week I have been craving 닭갈비

  13. Andrea Italy joined 1/09 & has 20 comments

    Hi Maangchi, you posted a really beautiful recipe which I’m going to try soon.
    Btw I love the new intro with “Live Maangchi chopping and holding knife & fish” and also your expression of enjoyment while eating bokkeumbap is priceless ;-)
    Keep up the excellent work
    Love from Italy
    Andrea

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,074 comments

      Andrea,
      Thank you so much! I am very happy to hear that you love my new live intro! I tried to follow my animation very closely. It was lots of fun when I filmed the scenes. : )

  14. hanaxela joined 1/10 & has 4 comments

    My son loves 닭갈비! We usually have to find a 놀부 when we’re in Korea (Seoul). Haven’t made it in a while, so I guess it’s time. I will try your recipe and see how he likes it. :)

  15. Krynauw Otto Pretoria, South Africa joined 9/13 & has 54 comments

    Wow, looks so good!!

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