Banish the sniffles, cure all ailments, and drive away the blues with a big pot of Dak Gomtang. A satisfying bowl of Korean Chicken Soup comfort.
There’s just something about chicken soup. Nourishing. Comforting. Homey. Like a fluffy blanket wrapped around you, chicken soup makes you feel warm and protected.
I grew up eating this Korean Chicken Soup, made by my Korean grandmother. She simmered the chicken bones until the broth turned milky white. She also seasoned the chicken two ways, to satisfy the different taste buds in the family. I remember soaking big spoonfuls of rice into the broth and savoring each and every bite.
If you need a big bowl of comfort, try this Korean soup recipe! Dak Gomtang satisfies, in the most pleasurable way. Slurpy noodles. Rich, milky broth. Tender bites of chicken.
What is Dak Gomtang?
Dak Gomtang is a Korean Chicken Soup made from long-simmered bones and aromatics. If you’re familiar with Khori Gomtang (Oxtail Soup), you can think of Dak Gomtang as the chicken version.
Dak = chicken, Gomtang = bone soup.
The end result? A milky, rich, deeply flavored broth. Vitamins and minerals, leached out from the bones. A whitish, pearly sheen. The soup is light and clean-tasting.
Dak Gomtang also has a distinctly Korean flavor profile: green onions, mineral salt, ginger, garlic, and sweet potato noodles. There’s nothing quite like the taste of Korean Chicken Soup.
- Whole Chicken. The star ingredient. Find the best chicken you can find. I recommend organic, free-range chicken for best flavor.
- Onion + Carrot + Garlic + Ginger. The essential aromatics.
- Black Peppercorns. Adds subtle earthiness and depth of flavor.
- Chicken Bouillon. Boosts the chicken flavor of any chicken soup — I like Better Than Bouillon which is a thick paste or Lee Kum Kee Chicken Bouillon which is a powder.
- Noodles. Dangyeon (Korean sweet potato noodles) or Somyeon (Korean thin wheat noodles) are both frequently used in this Korean chicken soup. Choose the noodles that you prefer and switch it up from time to time!
- Green Onions. Not just a garnish but an essential flavor component to Korean Chicken Soup! Mince finely and serve in a small bowl at the table. People can help themselves.
- Korean seasoning. My recipe calls for seasoning the chicken two ways. One seasoning is simple with salt, pepper, and green onions. The other seasoning option is spicy. For the spicy version, you’ll need Gochukaru (Korean dried chili flakes), sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, sesame seeds, and green onions.
Watch how to make it:
Do I really need a whole chicken?
A whole chicken works best and is ideal for homemade chicken soup. All that bone, skin, cartilage, and tendon add so much depth and body to the stock! A whole chicken also gives a variety of dark and light meat, which is my ideal for chicken soup.
That being said, if you’re in a rush or can’t find a whole chicken, feel free to substitute with a combination of skin-on, bone-in thighs, drumsticks, wings, and/or breast meat.
However, a note of caution: DO NOT use boneless, skinless chicken alone!! This soup will NOT taste the same without chicken skin and bone!!
What is Dang Myeon? Can I substitute with another kind of noodle?
Dang Myeon is Korean sweet potato noodle. Dang Myeon is famously used in Jap Chae. But Koreans also use them in soup, mandu (dumplings), egg rolls, and soondae. They’re well loved for their bouncy, chewy texture.
As for substitutions, Mak Guksu or Somyeon/Somen also work in this soup recipe. They are thin, Korean wheat noodles. Or, eat without noodles altogether, if that’s your preference.
I alternate Dang Myeon and Somyeon for this soup recipe! Noodles add a slurpy, texturally addictive element. Pleasantly chewy and satisfying to eat, both kinds of noodles are a staple in my pantry and should be in yours, too!
How do you serve Dak Gomtang or Korean Chicken Soup?
My recipe calls for seasoning the chicken two ways. My Korean grandmother always served it that way so I think it’s nice to have choice.
Some people prefer the classic, mild seasoning of this soup. Others are inclined to a spicy, heartily seasoned chicken. Serve both and see what people like best!
Make sure to serve Dak Gomtang with bowls of chopped green onions and mineral salt. Green onions and mineral salt are essential elements to this homey, comforting soup. People add as much as they like, according to their preference, at the table. That’s part of the charm.
Also, rice and kimchi are ALWAYS served with this soup.
Double carbs are essential to the comfort factor. That’s why I serve Dak Gomtang with BOTH noodles and rice.
Serve rice in individual bowls, alongside the soup. typically scoop big spoonfuls of rice into the soup, swirl around, and eat the double carbs together. Life really can’t get better than double carbs.
For the kimchi, that acidic, spicy tang of fermented goodness is the perfect compliment to the mild, milky-based broth of this dish. You really need it!
More Asian Soups to enjoy:
- Lemongrass Chicken Soup
- Korean Oxtail Soup
- Homemade Miso Soup
- Korean Soft Tofu Stew (Soondubu Jjigae)
- Korean Pork Bone Soup (Gamjatang)
Add chicken, carrot, onion, garlic, ginger and water to a stock pot. Bring to a boil and skim off the scum. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
Remove chicken to a separate platter. When cool enough to handle, shred meat and discard most of the skin. Return the chicken bones back into the stock pot. Simmer bones and vegetables for 30 more minutes. Discard the bones and vegetable chunks and season with salt and chicken bullion.
While the soup simmers away, season the shredded chicken.
Divide the chicken between two bowls. One bowl will be seasoned simply with salt and pepper.
The other will be seasoned more assertively: gochukaru, soy sauce, garlic, green onion, sesame seeds, and sesame oil.
Soak dangmyeon in cold water. Drain and add noodles to the hot broth. Cook until soft and pliant, about 3-4 minutes.
OR, cook Somyeon in a separate pot of water until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water. Add to the hot broth.
Serve soup with green onions, mineral salt, and two bowls of seasoned chicken. Don’t forget the rice and kimchi. Enjoy!
Dak Gomtang (Korean Chicken Soup)
- Large stock pot with lid
- fine mesh strainer (large)
- 1 3 lb whole chicken (can be subbed with 3 lb chicken thighs and drumsticks)
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 large onion, peeled + chopped in half
- 1 large carrot, chopped in half
- 3-inch ginger, sliced thinly
- 8 cloves garlic
- 9 cups cold water
- 1 tsp mineral salt (or to taste) (regular salt also works, if you don't have it)
- 1-2 tsp Better than bullion Chicken seasoning (or to taste)
Spicy Chicken Seasoning (optional):
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp Gochukaru (Korean chile flakes)
- 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp sesame oil
- 4-6 ounces dangmyeon (Korean sweet potato noodle) OR somyeon (Korean thin wheat noodles) (use 6 oz if you like more noodles, 4 oz if you like less)
- 3 green onions, chopped
- mineral salt (regular salt also works, if you don't have it)
- black pepper
Make the Soup:
- Add whole chicken, onion, carrot, ginger, garlic, peppercorns, and 9 cups of cold water to a stock pot. Bring to a boil, skimming off the scum with a fine mesh strainer. Then cover with lid and lower heat. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes.
- Remove cooked chicken to a separate platter. Cool chicken for 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, shred chicken into bite sized strips. Discard most of the chicken skin. Transfer the bones back into the soup pot. Simmer, covered, for another 30 minutes.
- While the soup simmers away, season the shredded chicken. Divide chicken evenly between two bowls.
- Bowl 1: season with salt and pepper lightly, to taste. Add a little green onion (1 Tbsp) if you like.
- Bowl 2: add ingredients for Spicy Chicken Seasoning and mix until well combined.
- Serve both bowls of chicken at the table, so people can help themselves.
- Place Dang Myeon in a large, shallow bowl and cover with cold water. Soak for 5 minutes. Drain.
- OR cook Somyeon according to package directions in a medium sized sauce pan. Drain and rinse in cold water until cold to the touch.
- When the soup is ready, discard all bones, vegetables, and peppercorns. Season with salt and chicken bullion to taste.
- Add drained Dang Myeon and cook for 3-4 minutes until soft and pliant. OR add cooked Somyeon and serve immediately.
- Serve with green onions, mineral salt, and the two bowls of seasoned chicken. Also, don't forget the rice and kimchi! Eat immediately and enjoy!