Dak Dori Tang aka Spicy Braised Chicken

Saucy, spicy, braised decadence. Dak Dori Tang (Korean Spicy Braised Chicken) will leave you scraping the bowl and fighting for that last potato!

black bowl filled with rice and dak dori tang with black chopsticks and bigger pot in the background

Over the years, I’ve eaten my fair share of braised dishes. Honestly, I love them all.

This Korean version of braised chicken is especially tasty. Swimming in spicy gravy and begging for a bed of rice to soak up the sauce, you’ll be craving this dish even before the cold weather hits.

Redolent spices, heady aromas, and all that sauce — this is the kind of dish I dream about. Enjoy!

black pot of dak dori tang aka korean spicy braised chicken

What’s the difference between Dak Dori Tang and Dak Bokkeum Tang?

Dak Dori Tang and Dak Bokkeum Tang are actually the same dish.

I grew up calling this dish Dak Dori Tang. My Korean grandmother, who grew up during the Japanese occupation, referred to it that way and so I did, too.

Until recently, I didn’t know that Dak Dori Tang was the Japanese hybrid name for this Korean dish. Supposedly, “Dori” is the Japanese word for chicken.

Nowadays, Koreans exclusively call this dish Dak Bokkeum Tang. But older people still refer to it as Dak Dori Tang!

PIN FOR LATER:

What kind of chicken can I use?

Chicken with skin and bones work best for this dish. They add extra flavor and depth.

The long braising time also creates such a luscious sauce. So good! Without skin and bones, this recipe won’t taste the same!

Feel free to use drumsticks or chicken thighs, or a mixture. If using a mixture, remove the drumsticks about 5-10 minutes before the dish is finished. That way, they won’t be totally falling apart.

I don’t recommend chicken breast for this recipe. But if you must, use chicken breast that’s attached to the bone with skin.

Can I substitute Gochukaru with something else?

Unfortunately, no — there’s no substitute for Gochukaru.

Gochukaru is dried Korean chili flakes. The taste is smoky, floral, spicy, slightly sweet. The texture is coarse and powdery. When cooked, Gochukaru adds heat, layers of subtly smoky and floral flavor, intensity, depth, and a texture that’s very earthy and pleasing.

I’ve seen recipes that substitute Gochukaru with Italian dried chili flakes, paprika, cayenne, chili powder (the kind used in chili), etc. They are NOT the same. They are not approximate substitutes, not even close.

Gochukaru is truly its own unique ingredient. If you don’t have any, leave it out. But understand, the recipe will not taste the same.

Nowadays, many people own a tub of Gochujang (Korean fermented chili paste). But if you love Korean food, it’s time to invest in Gochukaru! It will elevate your Korean food substantially!

My advice for Gochukaru newbies: buy the smallest packet of Gochukaru at the Korean market. Look for Gochukaru that is coarsely ground, medium spice level (there are different heat levels). Also, look for Gochukaru that’s either made in Korea or imported by a Korean company. When you get home, store in a jar at room temperature. My jar of Gochukaru is in my pantry, next to sugar and corn starch. If you don’t use it frequently, store in the freezer. It will pour/scoop easily even when frozen and the flavor will keep long term this way.

How do I make this dish less spicy?

Dak Dori Tang is a spicy dish. But if you’ve made this dish and found it too spicy, check the spicy-ness level of your Gochujang. Most commercially sold Gochujang has a spicy level ranging from 1-5. Look at the label. I use Gochujang with medium spicy level 3. Your Gochujang may be spicier.

For those who would prefer a milder version, I suggest one or more of the following:

  • De-seed the jalapeno
  • Add 2 Tbsp Gochukaru (instead of 1/4 cup)
  • Add 1-2 tsp of sugar (sweetness cancels out spice)

Also, serve with lots of white rice to combat the spicyness level and soak up all that sauce!

How to Make Dak Dori Tang aka Spicy Braised Chicken:

Add onion, jalapeno, garlic, gochujang, gochukaru, soy sauce, and mirin to a food processor. Pulse until a rough paste forms. (You can also chop the onion and jalapeno and mince the garlic and ginger.)

Add chicken to a large pot. Scrape spicy paste over the chicken. Add water. Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through and tender, about 25-30 min.

Add potatoes. Cook until soft, another 10 min.

Garnish and serve!

Spicy Braised Chicken aka Dak Dori Tang

Saucy, spicy, braised decadence. Dak Dori Tang (Korean Spicy Braised Chicken) will leave you scraping the bowl and fighting for that last potato.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: Braised, chicken, Dak Dori Tang, Spicy
Servings: 4
Author: The Subversive Table | Lis Lam

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs chicken drumsticks or thighs (with skin + bone) about 10-12 drumsticks OR 8-10 thighs
  • 1 large onion, cut into chunks (or 2 small ones)
  • 1 jalapeno, cut into chunks deseeded
  • 12 cloves garlic (or 1 entire head)
  • 1/4 cup gochujang (Korean fermented chili paste)
  • 1/4 cup gochukaru (Korean chili flakes/powder)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Mirin (Korean cooking wine or rice wine)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lb yellow potatoes, cut into 2 inch chunks (or Golden Yukon)

Instructions

  • Add onion, jalapeno, garlic, gochujang, gochukaru, soy sauce, and mirin to a food processor. Pulse until a rough paste forms.
    white food processor filled with spicy paste
  • Add chicken to a large pot. Scrape spicy paste over the chicken. Add water.
    black pot filled with chicken drumsticks, spicy paste, and water
  • Heat pot to medium high heat and bring to boil. Lower heat, cover with a lid, and simmer on low until chicken is cooked through and tender, about 25-30 minutes. Keep an eye on the chicken as the bottom can burn.
  • Remove lid and add potatoes. Using a spoon, mix the potatoes into the braising liquid so that the potatoes are mostly submerged. Cover and simmer until potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes.
    pot filled with spicy braised chicken and potatoes with spicy sauce
  • Remove lid and check the braising liquid. If it looks watery, simmer with the lid off for a few more minutes until thickened. If it looks too thick, add a little water (2-4 Tbsp). The consistency should be similar to a thick gravy.
  • Garnish with sesame seeds and green onion. Serve hot with rice and kimchi.
    big pot of dak dori tang with garnish

Notes

*Most people do not have Gochukaru, Korean chili flakes. You’ll be tempted to double up on the Gochujang and this is definitely a doable option. But be forewarned, the sauce will thicken substantially! (Gochujang thickens dishes much more than plain Gochukaru alone.)
All Recipes, Braised, Chicken, Dinner with Friends, Gochujang, Korean, Main, Potluck

One Comment

  1. Fantastic recipe. I didn’t have the Korean Chilly flakes but used indian chilly powder. Also, added sweet potatoes, carrots and raddish to the mix. It was superb! Thanks.

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