Today I’m going to show you how I make Korean roasted chicken, called tongdak-gui (통닭구이).

Before fried chicken came to Korea in the 80s, rotisserie roasted whole chickens were very popular. No one made them at home, we went to semi-Western style restaurants called  gyeong-yangsik-jip (경양식집) which also served other modern, western-influenced dishes like beef cutlet, pork cutlet, and “hamburg steaks.” These restaurants were really different than Korean restaurants at the time. They were dimly lit and kind of romantic. Going to a gyeong-yangsik restaurant was exciting and fun, and it was a good place for young people to go on dates.

I don’t have a rotisserie at home in my house, I roast chicken in my oven, flipping it over from time to time. This way I still get the benefit of all the extra fat dripping off, leaving the chicken crispy brown on the outside and juicy on the inside. It always turns out delicious.

The dipping sauce is my own invention. It’s soft, creamy, and fresh-tasting. It goes perfectly with this chicken, and my whole family loves it!

Also, don’t forget to make this roasted chicken with radish pickles too, which is the best way to enjoy any chicken.



  • A whole chicken (about 4 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For cream cheese dipping sauce:

  • 2 ounces seedless cucumber (or 1/3 of English cucumber)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ lemon


  1. Rinse the chicken inside and out in cold running water. Drain.
  2. Pat dry on the cutting board. Cut off any excess fat.
  3. Combine olive oil, kosher salt, ground black pepper, and garlic in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside.garlic mixture
  4. Preheat your oven to 350℉.
  5. Spread the vegetable oil on the rack of a roasting pan so that the chicken won’t stick to it when roasted. My roasting pan is a 17 inch by 12 inch roaster with rack.
  6. Massage the garlic and oil mixture all over the outside and inside of the chicken. Gently pat it in.seasoned chicken
  7. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine and place the seasoned chicken, breast side up, on the oiled rack in the roasting pan.
  8. Put it in the oven and roast for 1 hour.
  9. Remove the chicken from the oven. Brush with some of the melted butter.buttering tongdak-gui
  10. Use some tongs and a spatula to flip it over in the rack and brush the underside with butter, too.buttering tongdak-gui
  11. Roast for 30 minutes.
  12. Take it out of the oven and brush with more butter.buttering tongdak-gui
  13. Flip it over and brush the underside again, too.
  14. Roast for another 30 minutes.
  15. Open the oven and brush the top of the chicken with all the leftover butter.buttering tongdak-gui
  16. Broil 2 to 3 minutes until the chicken is golden brown on top. Be sure to keep an eye on it so as not to burn it.
  17. Transfer the chicken to a large platter and serve right away with the cream cheese dipping sauce (the recipe below) and pickled radish. I like to cut the chicken into chunks, then diners take some with their forks (or chopsticks) and put it on their plates themselves. Add a scoop of dipping sauce to your plate, and dip and eat!cutting tongdak-gui

How to make cream cheese dipping sauce:

  1. Chop the cucumber and put it in a bowl. Add the salt and mix lightly. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes until it starts to sweat.
    cucumber salted
  2. Place the softened cream cheese, mayonnaise, and honey in another bowl. Squeeze in the juice from the lemon. Whisk together.
    cream cheese and lemon
  3. Wrap the cucumber in folded cheesecloth a few times. Tightly squeeze out any excess water and put the cucumber into the bowl with the cream cheese mixture.
  4. Stir well and cover. Refrigerate until ready to serve with the chicken.
    cream cheese dipping sauce

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  1. djenner Scotia, NY joined 1/22 & has 2 comments

    What’s missing here: STUFFING! Stuffing from scratch is not difficult — old bread torn into pieces, some chopped onion & celery, some herbs & spices — Bell’s Seasoning is the short cut — some breakfast sausage (squeezed out of the casings; cased sausage is tucked in around joints, so the fat dribbles down as automatic basting; Jones is the preferred brand) and warm chicken broth or fruit juice to bring it all together. Don’t stuff the cavity (rinse well, rub with coarse salt and fill with fruit — apples & oranges, commonly). Rather, run your hand up under the skin over the breast to loosen it — carefully a oiding tearing the skin (it can be repaired but is not so pretty. Then pack the stuffing up under the skin. The stuffing helps to insulate the breast from overheating, the juice & sausage also basting it (an issue esp. with turkey). And, the bird looks much mor impressive with its “puffed up” breast! Ah. There is an advantage to traditional carving:. It’s easier to keep the carcase pristne — prrfect for making chicken broth the next day….

  2. sweet specs Singapore joined 10/20 & has 2 comments

    Maangchi! Thank you for this recipe! I never dared to roast a whole chicken before but after watching your video I decided to try it out; it wasn’t difficult at all! The skin was crispy and the meat was tender. We had it with your korean fruit salad and dipping sauce made with yoghurt instead of cream cheese; yummy! :D

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  3. OwlGuy94 Tacoma, WA, USA joined 10/18 & has 1 comment

    Happy Thanksgiving from Washington State Maangchi! I was inspired by your recipe and decided to use this on my Thanksgiving turkey and it was a huge success! My whole family loved your recipe and was especially surprised by how well the sauce went with the turkey.

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  4. jonah36 4231 rundlehorn drive ne,Calgary joined 1/18 & has 4 comments

    Looks so yummy,maanchi i will try as soon as i got chance to do grocery,thanks for all your recipes.i love it.

  5. Bhajho08 Oman joined 4/18 & has 1 comment

    Hi thank you for sharing this recipe. ☺

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  6. angelina80 Philadelphia joined 3/18 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi, I was wondering if you could make this in Instant Pot to cut down the time. Would you recommend it? If so, what would be your approximate directions? Thank you!!

  7. shibbikitteh UK joined 3/18 & has 1 comment

    Ahhhh Maangchi this is Daebak ! Can you think of anything clever I could do with lefrovers, you brilliant woman ! X

  8. Maangchi as usual this recipe is AMAZING! I didn’t have cream cheese, so made gravy with the pan drippings instead! INSANELY GOOD!!! Thank you for sharing!!!!

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  9. Justooon Queensland AU joined 2/18 & has 1 comment

    Amazing videos! I made this for dinner tonight and cannot believe how good the dipping sauce is! Thank you for the great work Maangchi!

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  10. zoebee Alaska and France joined 1/18 & has 1 comment

    Oh my! This chicken looks soooooo good! I need to buy a big pan before I can make this…but I am already dreamy of eating this crispy roasted chicken skin! With dipping sauce and radish pickles of course.
    Thank you Maangchi!

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