Dak doritang – Spicy Korean chicken stew

Dak doritang

This savoury spicy chicken recipe is just what I have been craving lately; full of flavour with the right amount of heat. Stewed up with carrots, onions, potatoes and served with rice, it is my new favourite chicken dish.

It is funny. I lived in Korea for over 2 years, yet I hardly remember eating dak doritang.  There are lots of barbeque chicken restaurants in Korea and a version of this with rice cakes is a popular dish.  But for some reason, we didn’t eat this very often.  My taste buds have changed over the years and I can handle much more spice than I could back then.  And truthfully, when we lived in Korea and ate rice twice a day, if my yobo and I went out for dinner, it wasn’t spicy chicken stew I was craving. It was Burger King.

The recipe:

The time it takes: prep time: 10 mins     cook time: 40 mins

The things you need:

  • 2 lbs chicken (I use breasts since my children can’t handle bones in their meat… it reminds them of what they are eating.)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 tbsp garlic
  • 1/4 c water
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp gojujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • salt / pepper to taste

The how to:

  • cut the chicken into medium sized pieces (I like to keep some on the bigger size so the spice to meat ratio is appropriate for the kids)
  • cut the onion, carrots and potatoes into medium sized pieces as well
  • oil a pot with the sesame oil and brown the chicken with garlic and the onions
  • add the vegetables and allow to cook for a few minutes
  • add the rest of the ingredients and mix well
  • bring the sauce to a boil and reduce heat to medium low
  • continue to stir occassionally
  • check the potatoes for done-ness (is that a word?)
  • add the green onion
  • serve with rice and enjoy!



Samgyetang – Ginseng chicken soup

chicken soup

This ginseng and ginger flavoured soup is the perfect rainy-day soup. Chock full of good-for-you roots, vegetables and chicken, this fragrant dish is served up with a bowl of hot rice.

We live in rainy British Columbia so we eat soup when it is cold and wet. I like to make this recipe when cold and flu season has hit our family to help us all get better. Koreans, however, serve up this soup in the heat of summer for energy and stamina.  Whenever you choose to eat it, it is delicious.

In Korea, this dish comes with a small Cornish hen stuffed with all the spices, vegetables and rice in an individual bowl.  Besides the fact that my children would balk at the sight of a little pet chick in their bowl, making it in a big pot is more practical for a family. So here is the recipe for a soup with all the flavours of Samgyetang, without the crying kids.

The recipe:

The time it takes: prep time: 10 minutes    cook time: 40 minutes

The things you need:

  • 8 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger minced
  • 2 ginseng roots (whole)
  • 1 lb chicken pieces
  • 3/4 c carrot thinly sliced carrot
  • 1/2 c zucchini
  • 1/2 onion thinly sliced
  • 4 cups cooked rice
  • salt (to taste)
  • pepper (to taste)
  • red pepper flakes (to taste)

The how to:

  • heat the oil in the bottom of a soup pan
  • saute the garlic and ginger until browned and fragrant
  • add chicken and brown
  • add the onion, zucchini and carrots
  • saute a few minutes
  • add chicken stock and washed ginseng and bring to a boil
  • allow to simmer for 30-40 minutes
  • taste and add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes
  • serve with a bowl of hot rice


When Jaina and the chickens were little.