Korean Dakdoritang (Sweet and Spicy Chicken Stew)

I know, I know. It’s summer right now and I really shouldn’t be eating this but I’m addicted so here it is. Dakdoritang (Korean spicy chicken stew with potatoes) was my first real meal when I arrived in Seoul. I had to get up early in the morning to avoid the usual hassles and ensure that I catch my 7:00 a.m. flight to Seoul from Manila. This was the last days of the notorious “Laglag bala” scheme. Somehow I was paranoid at the thought that some random stranger would slip a bullet in my bag and I’d be carted off to the netherworlds of a third-world prison for refusing to pay the bribe, never to be seen or heard from again. I know that sounds like the plot of a terrible horror movie that is likely to go straight into Netflix Canada but judging by the number of plastic-wrapped luggage I saw at the airport that day, it was clear I wasn’t the only one with an overly active imagination.

I spent my first day in Seoul in bed trying to recover from the ordeal of having to catch my early flight. It was around midnight, I woke up with a grumbling stomach so I had no choice but to go out and find food. I wandered the streets of Myeongdong in search for food and went inside the first restaurant that still looked busy. I pointed at a picture and I was given a bowl of salty-sweet, sticky and fiery chicken Dakdoritang. It was love at first bite.

On a side note, I’ve made a lot of really tasty stuff lately that I wanted to talk about but unfortunately my food photography skills are abysmal and really mediocre at best. The struggle is real. I don’t know what other people do. Other than keep shooting and keep working at it, I don’t really know how to fix this situation. Help!


6 chicken thighs and legs
1 medium onion, chopped
3 medium potatoes, cut into quarters
2 medium carrots, cut into chunks
sliced jalapeño pepper and 1 cup of chopped green onions for garnish
1 1/2 cup of chicken stock or water, adjust if needed
1 small knob of ginger, sliced


1/4 cup of gochujang (Korean pepper paste)
1/2 cup of kimchi water
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons of gochugaru (Korean pepper flakes)
1 tablespoon miso
2 tablespoons of light soy sauce
1 tablespoons of fish sauce
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
2  tablespoons of sherry
salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste

Cooking instructions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
  2. Mix the marinade ingredients together and coat the chicken pieces, mix well.
  3. Layer the pieces of chicken in a pan, place the onion and ginger on top and add the chicken stock or water.
  4. Cover the pan with the lid or foil and bake for 1 hour.
  5. After an hour, remove the foil and place the potatoes and carrots on top. Adjust the liquid if needed. Cover and cook for another 45 minutes or until the potatoes and carrots are cooked.
  6. If it is too watery, cook uncovered for 15 minutes on the stove top until the sauce is thickened. Adjust the seasoning if needed.
  7. Garnish with sliced jalapeño pepper and green onions. Serve with lots of rice and kimchi on the side. I make my own kimchi, I’ll share my recipe someday.

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