Dakbokkeumtang, also known as dakdoritang, is a spicy Korean chicken stew that is super easy to make at home. It uses a gochujang-based sauce, juicy chicken drumsticks, and fresh vegetables like carrots and potatoes. Serve it alongside a bowl of rice for a filling and delicious meal!
If you love Korean dishes and want to try making them at home, be sure to add this dakbokkeumtang recipe to your to-cook list! It's spicy, flavorful, and just perfect if you love homemade Korean soups and stews.
This recipe is also a little less spicy than other versions to make sure that most people can enjoy it. It's still spicy, but not overly hot. Plus, it uses very simple ingredients and methods that make this dish perfect for a quick Korean meal on a weekday!
To make dakbokkeumtang you'll need the following ingredients:
- Chicken drumsticks: Traditionally, dakbokkeumtang uses a variety of bone-in chicken pieces. To make things easier, I used only chicken drumsticks (they are my favorite chicken part for soups 😊). So if you prefer thighs or wings, feel free to use them instead of or in addition to chicken drumsticks!
- Aromatics: You'll need garlic, ginger, onion, chili pepper, and green onions for this recipe. These ingredients add a lot of flavor and are a must when making dakbokkeumtang.
- Vegetables: You'll need carrots and potatoes for this recipe. They are usually used to make dakbokkeumtang and taste great in the spicy gochujang sauce!
- Gochujang: Gochujang is a spicy red pepper paste that is a key ingredient for many Korean dishes! It's available in any Asian grocery store and online. The great thing is that you can reuse it to try other dishes like tteokbokki (spicy Korean rice cakes) or dakgalbi (spicy Korean chicken stir fry). When you buy it, make sure to use mild or medium-hot gochujang.
- Gochugaru: Gochugaru is Korean red pepper flakes. They are also used for many dishes, so you'll definitely find ways to reuse them.
- Soy sauce: You can use regular soy sauce for this recipe. It doesn't have to be Korean, but you can certainly use Korean soy sauce.
- Honey: Dakbokkeumtang is usually made with some type of sweetener. I use honey, but you can use sugar.
How to make this spicy Korean chicken stew
Prepare the sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together all sauce ingredients.
Cook the chicken. Next, add the chicken, onion, water, and sauce to a pot. Stir everything together, cover the pot, and let the stew simmer for 15 minutes.
Add the vegetables. Now add the potatoes and carrots to the stew. Cover again and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
Finish. Once the vegetables are tender, add the green onion and chili pepper slices. Stir and simmer for 2 minutes.
Serve. Serve the stew in a bowl alongside a bowl of white rice and other side dishes of your choice. Enjoy!
Tips & Notes
- Feel free to use other chicken pieces. You can use a combination of chicken pieces like chicken drumsticks, thighs, and wings. Or you can pick one type and use it for this recipe. I just prefer chicken drumsticks for soups so I decided to use them for this dakbokkeumtang recipe.
- If you want to soak the chicken in milk or cook it separately, feel free to do so. When you take a look at how Koreans make this dish, you'll see that sometimes the chicken is soaked in milk or cooked in a separate pot and then added to the stew. It's what some people like to do to get rid of that chicken smell or flavor. As it's an extra step and I don't mind the flavor, I haven't included these steps in the recipe. But you can definitely prepare your dakbokkeumtang this way! It's just a matter of taste and preferences.
- Use starchy rice water if you prepare a batch of fresh rice to serve with this dakbokkeumtang. When you wash rice before cooking it, you'll usually end up with starchy rice water. This rice water is often used as soup and stew base in Korean cooking. It makes the broth extra silky. It's not a must, but definitely something you can try, especially when you prepare rice for this dish.
- If you're unsure about the heat level, use less gochugaru and chili pepper. This recipe is milder than other dakbokkeumtang recipes so that it is enjoyable for many people. But it's still spicy, so make sure to lower the amount of gochugaru and skip the chili pepper if you prefer a mild version of this dish.
How to serve dakbokkeumtang
- White rice: Prepare some short-grain or medium-grain white rice and serve it alongside this spicy Korean chicken stew. White rice tastes amazing when it soaks up the flavorful and spicy broth!
- Side dishes: Korean dishes are usually served with rice and other side dishes (called "banchan"). Kimchi is a well-known side dish and is a must when serving dakdoritang! You could also make oi muchim (Korean cucumber salad) or kongnamul muchim (Korean bean sprout side dish).
Frequently Asked Questions
It's spicy and super flavorful thanks to the aromatics and gochujang sauce in this dish! It also has a hint of sweetness. It's really delicious and tastes amazing with white rice and kimchi!
Dakbokkeumtang is usually quite spicy and may be too hot for many people. This version is milder and should be perfect if you like medium-hot foods. If you want this dish as mild as possible, skip the gochugaru and chili pepper. I'd suggest starting with less and adding these two ingredients to taste when cooking if you are sensitive to spicy foods.
Gochujang is spicy Korean red pepper paste and gochugaru is Korean red pepper flakes. Both are key ingredients in Korean cooking and should be easy to find in Asian grocery stores or online. The great thing is that you can use them to make many other Korean dishes at home!
Yes, it is. I just made a few minor changes to make the recipe easier and less spicy. I lowered the amount of gochugaru, I don't cook the chicken separately, and I don't use a combination of chicken pieces. But the changes I made really don't affect the taste in a noticeable way. They are simple changes that you'll also see in many households as everyone cooks differently. So definitely give this recipe a try!
Dakbokkeumtang is traditionally made with bone-in skin-on chicken pieces like thighs and drumsticks. The great thing about these pieces is that they stay juicy and soft when they are cooked. Chicken breasts will be drier than other parts, but you can certainly use them if you'd prefer a low-fat version of this dish. Another option is using boneless chicken thighs without skin. That's what I sometimes use if I can't be bothered with taking the meat off the bones when eating. 😄
Serve this dish alongside a bowl of white rice and other side dishes like kimchi. It makes your meal filling, satiating, and extra delicious!
You can store leftovers in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 3-4 days. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months!
More easy and delicious Korean recipes
If you love Korean dishes, I recommend trying one of the following recipes. They are super easy to make and come with detailed instructions so that you can enjoy your favorite Korean dishes at home!
- Dubu Jorim (Korean Braised Tofu)
- Rabokki (Korean Tteokbokki with Ramen)
- Doenjang Jjigae (Korean Soybean Paste Stew)
- Kimchi Pancake (Kimchi Jeon)
- Ground Beef Bulgogi
Dakbokkeumtang (Spicy Korean Chicken Stew)
Chicken Stew Ingredients
- 1 ½ pound chicken drumsticks skin-on, bone-in
- 1 yellow onion roughly diced
- 2 ½ cups water
- 3 medium-sized potatoes cut into bite-sized cubes
- 2 carrots sliced
- 1 green chile pepper sliced
- 2 green onions sliced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons gochujang medium-hot or mild
- 1 teaspoon gochugaru more to taste
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- In a small bowl, whisk together all sauce ingredients until combined.2 tablespoons soy sauce, 3 tablespoons gochujang, 1 tablespoon honey, 4 garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon minced ginger, ½ teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon gochugaru
- Add the chicken, onion, water, and sauce to a pot. Cover the pot and let the stew simmer for 15 minutes.1 ½ pound chicken drumsticks, 1 yellow onion, 2 ½ cups water
- Add the potatoes and carrots to the pot. Cover again and let everything simmer until the vegetables are tender for about 10-15 minutes.2 carrots, 3 medium-sized potatoes
- Stir in the green onion and chili pepper. Stir and simmer uncovered for 2 minutes.1 green chile pepper, 2 green onions
- Serve with a bowl of rice and other side dishes of your choice. Enjoy!