Dakgaejang – Spicy Korean Chicken Stew
This winter, I want you to make this special Korean stew to keep warm and re-energize – it tastes amazing!
To be honest, we tweaked this recipe over 5 times (batches) to nail down the exact measurements. I was chasing that classic piquant spicy flavor, mixed with the deep savory broth I grew up eating!
If you copy the recipe steps exactly… you’ll end up making the best-tasting Dakgaejang!
Growing up, my mom would make this dakgaejang in an extra-large pot. And it would sit there for a week – waiting for me after school!
It was one of those foods that I never got sick of – just too flavorful!
Shredded chicken, chewy fernbrake and crunchy bean sprouts all in one spicy soup.
Ah… I love it! (Can you feel my excitement – heh?)
Note: Before you start cooking this soup, you’ll want to have some white rice cooking in the background. This soup is too spicy to eat by itself!
This Dakgaejang recipe will produce enough to feed the entire family – actually produces 2 or 3 servings for 4 people (so 12-15 servings in total).
It seems like a lot, but trust me – it will be wolfed down quickly.
You can leave leftovers in the pot – and it’ll stay good for 3-5 days. Just remember to re-boil the pot every night - before you sleep.
Cooking notes for Dakgaejang (닭개장)
Use the largest pot you got – something that can fit at least 3L of water!
If you can’t find a whole chicken (2lbs), simply use a mix of chicken breast (1lb) and skin-on, chicken thigh (1lb).
Make sure to use plenty of spring onions! We’re using 5 forearm-length stalks of spring onion.
I would highly recommend picking up some gosari (fernbrake)from the Korean market. Get the kind that's been boiled and packaged in water.
But if you can't find it, it's fine to skip 😉
After boiling the chicken, skim the surface of residual oils (makes for a cleaner-tasting broth).
Don’t forget to add-in 1 Cup of Water (250ml) to the broth – this addition helps to balance out the strong spices that will be used in subsequent steps.
Once you add-in the beaten egg, don’t stir immediately. Let it boil for 15-30 seconds so it can slightly set before scooping.
I know ya'll will fall in love with this recipe.
Neighbors - one thing.
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Boil Chicken & Make Broth
- 1 kg Chicken (2lbs)
- 3 Liters Water
- 5 cloves Garlic
- 3 Bay Leaves
- 3 thin slices of Ginger
- 1 Tablespoon Whole Black Pepper
- 1 stalk Spring Onion (forearm length)
- 250 grams Mungbean Sprouts
- 2-3 Shiitake Mushrooms
- 5 stalks Spring Onion (each, forearm length)
- 3 Cheongyang Chili Peppers (or use 1.5 Jalapeno Peppers)
- 300 grams Gosari (Fernbrake)
- 8 Tablespoons Gochugaru Flakes
- 5 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
- 1 Cup Water (250ml)
- 3 Tablespoons Korean Anchovy Fish Sauce
- 3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Minced Garlic
- 6-8 cracks Black Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
- 4 Eggs
- Few pinches Salt (optional, add-to-taste at very end)
Prep Chicken & Start Broth!
- Prep the Whole Chicken: Use kitchen scissors to remove the tail portion that sticks out (reference video). Then trim any excess skin that may hang near the cavity of the chicken. Finally, reach into the cavity of the chicken - and scrape out any blood that runs along the spine (reference video).
- Give the entire chicken a final rinse under running water. Then set onto a cutting board. Use a knife to cut through the breast piece - so the chicken can open-up and lie flatter (so it can be easily submerged into the pot).
- Next, place the prepped chicken into a large pot. Add in 3L of water.
- Next, add in our aromatics: Garlic (5 cloves), Bay Leaves (3), Ginger (3 thin slices), Whole Black Pepper (1 Tablespoon).
- Place a lid-on. Bring the pot to a boil.
- Once it's boiling, set a timer for 1 hour. Important: Reduce the heat now to a 'medium-low' or 'low' (we want a GENTLE simmer, not a roaring boil!)
- [While you wait, please skip to the next section. However, we will check back in after 30 minutes to add the spring onion stalk to the pot]
Prep Vegetables & Marinate Gosari!
- Wash 5 stalks of spring onions - pat them down dry. Then use your knife to split the stalks in half. Cut them into small pieces (about the length of your pinky finger).
- Open the Gosari (300g) from its package. Then give them a thorough rinse under running water. Afterwards, use your hands to squeeze-out the water from them. Untangle the squeezed bundles and dice them into bite-sized pieces.
- Let's season the chopped gosari now. Place them into a mixing bowl. Then season with: Gochugaru Flakes (8 Tablespoons), Soy Sauce (5 Tablespoons), Minced Garlic (1 Tablespoon). Toss evenly and get everything well-coated. Set aside for now.
- Next, finely dice 3 Cheongyang Chili Peppers.
- Then, slice 2-3 Shiitake Mushrooms into thin slices.
- Wash Mungbean Sprouts (250g) in water and set them aside on a strainer to drip off any excess water.
Back To The Chicken Broth
- After 30 minutes of boiling, open the lid and give the pot a stir - to check that no pieces of the chicken is sticking to the pot.
- Then add in 1 spring onion stalk. Close the lid. Check your timer - let's wait until the full 1 hour is finished... clean up your kitchen in the meanwhile!
- After 1 hour of boiling has passed - turn the heat off. Open the lid and carefully take-out the whole chicken. Set it aside onto a plate so it can cool down.
- Then use a strainer and remove all of the ingredients from the broth (i.e. garlic, black pepper, ginger, bay leaves, spring onion stalk). You can throw them away.
- Next, use a fine strainer and skim-off oils that are floating at the surface of the broth - this will make for a cleaner tasting broth. (Note: You don't need to remove everything!)
Shred Chicken, Add to Pot
- Put on a pair of kitchen gloves (or use bare hands) and shred the entire chicken. Make sure to shred bits of the skin as well - it will add flavor back to the broth.
- Afterwards, add all of the shredded chicken back into the pot.
Stir-fry Spring Onions & Seasoned Gosari
- Take out a large frying pan. Place on MEDIUM heat. Add Vegetable Oil (3 Tablespoons). Once the oil is hot, add in ¾ of the chopped spring onions (we'll save the rest for later). Stir-fry the spring onions in the oil for a few minutes or until it turns fragrant.
- Then add-in the spicy marinated Gosari. Stir-fry them together with the spring onions for 2 minutes. (The heat builds a deeper flavor in the gochugaru.)
- After 2 minutes, add the stir-fry mixture directly into the pot.
- Next, add in 1 Cup of Water (250 ml) - don't forget this step!!
- Place the pot on a high heat. Bring it to a boil.
Cook Stew & Season
- When the stew comes to a boil, it's time to add in all of the fresh ingredients: Sliced shiitake mushrooms, Chopped chili peppers, Mungbean sprouts, the Remaining Spring Onion Slices.
- Then season the stew with : Korean Anchovy Fish Sauce (3 Tablespoons), Soy Sauce (3 Tablespoons), Minced Garlic (2 Tablespoons), Black Pepper (6-8 cracks), Sesame Oil (1 Tablespoon). Give it a good stir.
- Place the pot lid on and let it boil away for a minute.
- While you wait, crack 4 eggs and beat it.
- After 1 minute of boiling, pour-in the egg mixture in a circular motion... around the pot.
- Don't stir the pot once you add in the eggs - give it about 30 seconds to set.
- Now, give the soup a good stir with a soup ladle.
- Give the soup a sample... if it taste slightly bland, add a few pinches of salt.
- Scoop out servings from the master pot into individual bowls. Then serve it with a bowl of hot rice!
- Bon Appetit ya'll!
Michelle Fonyeau says
I love your page. I am not a big fan of fernbrake… is there another substitute I could use?
Haven't heard from you all year! Hope you are healthy and happy. Compliments of the New Year, looking forward to new recipes.
I’m so excited to try this! I was wondering if I can make this in the instant pot?
Also, can I use soy bean sprouts instead? My local grocery store doesn’t have mung bean spouts.
If I don’t use any fernbrake, do I mix the spicy mix into the spring onions instead? Thank for your recipes!