When I make Korean food, I think about my grandmother and that I wish I could have gotten to know her. According to my mom, she was a great cook. She made her own soy sauce and doenjang (soy bean paste). I think if she was alive, we could definitely share this dish – Korean Spicy Chicken (Dakbokkeumtang).
Okay, I don’t know if I can call it Dakbokkeumtang anymore as I changed the recipe so much to fit my criteria. The original recipe called for chicken thighs with all the fatty bits taken off the pieces. I bought the organic grain-fed chicken thighs and this process took forever! I don’t know if it was my knife skills or what but the sun was shining brightly when I started and set when I finally finished. I never wanted to do that again so I substituted chicken breasts – a little more expensive, but way less fatty.
The two other major things I changed are 1) making the carrots optional and using shredded carrots so they cook enough in the 5 minutes; and 2) skipping potatoes altogether to cut 25 minutes off the time and because I don’t feel all that great after I eat them.
1) 2 chicken breasts
2) 5 peeled cloves of garlic (I cheat and get the pre-peeled garlic to save time.)
3) 1/2 large yellow or white onion
4) 1/4 cup gochujang (Korean Red Chili Paste)
5) 1 tablespoon soy sauce
6) 1 tablespoon sesame oil
7) 1 teaspoon Korean red chile flakes (If you can’t find it at your local Asian grocery store, you can find it here.) It has a slightly sweet and smoky flavor in addition to spicy.
8) 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
9) Shredded carrots (optional – you can find shredded carrots in a bag at any grocery store)
9) 1 bunch green onions
10) 1 tablespoon olive oil
Preparation and Cooking
1) Cut the chicken breasts into bite size pieces. Try to cut out as much fat as possible. Place in a large mixing bowl.
2) Dice the onion. Add to the bowl.
3) Dice the green onions, set aside.
4) Crush the garlic through a garlic press over the mixing bowl.
5) Add the gochujang, soy sauce, sesame oil, red chili flakes, shredded carrots, and sugar to the bowl.
6) Mix everything thoroughly. If you do not want to get your hands dirty, use a spoon. I do it by hand, it seems to do a better job for me. You could wear gloves if you’re squeamish about these things.
7) Coat the bottom of a wok or frying pan with olive oil.
8) Turn the burner on high. Let the wok/frying pan get hot.
9) Dump the chicken mixture into the wok. Stir fry for 5 minutes.
10) Just before taking the chicken mixture off the heat, add the green onions.