Korean Spicy Chicken Stew- 닭도리탕 (Dakdoritang)

Dakdoritang is one of my favorite Korean comfort meals. It’s a spicy chicken stew that is very easy to make and it’s SO good with rice and potatoes. 

This dish is a family favorite, especially with the men in my family. My husband and dad both LOVE Dakdoritang, because it is such a hearty, filling, tasty meal when served with a fresh bowl of rice. 

What is dakdoritang?

Dakdoritang is a Korean spicy chicken stew that is traditionally made with a whole chicken, cut up into pieces. It it sweet, spicy, savory, and has potatoes and carrots that are beautifully braised in the delicious sauce. 

Dakdoritang is also known as dakbokkeumtang. The name “dakdoritang” is somewhat controversial since it is believed to use a loan word from the Japanese language (“dori”), but this is still highly debated today. I grew up calling it Dakdoritang so that’s what I will continue to call it. 

My tips for the best Dakdoritang

To take Dakdoritang to the next level, I like to add Buldak ramyun sauce. This ingredient is not required but highly recommended!

You can buy this at most Asian supermarkets. If you can’t find it, you can also order it on Amazon. I use the extra 2x spicy one available here, but you can opt for the mild version here if your spice tolerance isn’t that high (affiliate). 

This sauce is SO tasty. It really adds some depth of amazing flavor and kicks up the spice as well. I started adding this to my dakdoritang a few years ago and now its the only way I will make it. It really reminds me of the super delicious flavor from the dakdoritang you get at restaurants in Korea.

Another tip is to use chicken stock instead of just water for the braising sauce. This just adds a little more flavor and trust me, it’s worth it! I use Knorr chicken bouillon (affiliate). This is my go-to ingredient for extremely delicious chicken. 

Ingredients 

  • Chicken- a cut up whole chicken is traditionally used for this dish, but I prefer to use medium sized drumsticks. You can remove the skin to make it a bit healthier but I keep it on for the flavor. I also make 2-3 slashes into the meatiest part of the drumstick.

  • Braising Sauce– I use a mixture of soy sauce, gochugaru, gochujang, garlic, ginger, dwenjang, and sugar. It is thinned out with chicken stock, and I also add diced onions and the white parts of a green onion. For the chicken stock, I just mix 1 tsp of Knorr chicken bouillon with 1 1/4 cups of hot water. 

  • Potatoes & Carrots – these are arguably the best parts of Dakdoritang to meThe veggies become so soft and are SO delicious when absorbed in the braising sauce! I add one each but feel free to add more or less of whatever you prefer. 

  • Peppers- I’m using Serrano peppers because I like the flavor and the added spice, but you can use milder peppers if you prefer. Jalapeños or Korean peppers are common options.

  • Finishing-  some people like their Dakdoritang with sesame oil while others do not. Either way, it should be added last when the dish is pretty much done cooking. It’s important not to add too much- sesame oil is very strong in flavor and can overpower everything. Before serving, I also garnish with sesame seeds and chopped green onion. 

How to make dakdoritang

One thing I really love about dakdoritang is that it is extremely easy to make, and you can have dinner on the table in less than an hour. It also has so much flavor that you don’t really even need banchan to accompany your meal- this is great just with rice. 

All you have to do is toss the chicken in the seasoning sauce, put it in a pot with chicken stock and cook it for roughly 45 minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes, & peppers about halfway through the cooking process, then drizzle some sesame oil, sesame seeds, & chopped green onion at the end. 

Where to buy the ingredients for this dish

If you don’t have an Asian supermarket near you, try looking in the international aisle at your local grocery store. If they don’t carry it, you can purchase them on Amazon: 

Gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes) 

Gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)

Dwenjang (fermented soybean paste)

2x Spicy Buldak sauce

Spicy Buldak Sauce

The shelf life for all of these ingredients is very long, in case you are wondering if it is even worth it to buy. I’m confident you will use them up before they go bad.  

This is not sponsored, but these are affiliate links- I make a very small commission from purchases made through these links.

Helpful tips

  • Be careful not to let the bottom burn. I check on the chicken occasionally and stir to make sure that doesn’t happen. Since this dish has sugar in the sauce, it can burn quickly if you don’t watch it. 

  • I don’t like wasting food so whenever I’m making dishes that require a thick sauce that sticks to the container, I collect the leftover sauce by adding a bit of liquid to it and mixing/scraping until it is clean. You can use the chicken stock for this then add it into the pot. 

Korean Spicy Chicken Stew (Dakdoritang)

5 from 1 vote
Cuisine Korean

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lbs bone-in chicken drumsticks recommended
  • 1 russet potato
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 serrano pepper optional
  • 1 1/4 cup chicken stock I use 1 tsp Knorr chicken bouillon + water
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 2 green onion

Braising Sauce

  • 3 tbsp gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)
  • 2 tbsp gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dwenjang (Korean fermented soybean paste)
  • 2 tsp Buldak spicy ramen sauce optional
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 diced onion

Instructions
 

  • Combine all of the braising sauce ingredients together. Add the bottom half of the green onion to this sauce (white/light green).
  • Make 2-3 slashes into the drumsticks, then toss it in the sauce until well coated.
  • Put the chicken into a shallow pot. Use the chicken stock to collect any leftover sauce in the mixing bowl then add it to the pot.
  • Bring to a boil then cover and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure the bottom does not burn.
  • After 20 minutes, add the potatoes, carrots, and peppers. Mix well so that the potatoes and carrots are mostly submerged in the sauce. Cover and cook for another 15-20 minutes.
  • Stir occasionally, and spoon the sauce over the chicken and veggies.
  • When the potato is just about chopstick tender, uncover and drizzle over the sesame oil. Stir and continue to cook for another 5 minutes until the sauce has slightly thickened.
  • Turn off the heat then top with sesame seeds and chopped green onion. Serve with rice and enjoy 🙂
Keyword dakbokkeumtang, dakdoritang, Korean spicy chicken stew, Spicy, stew
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This Post Has 25 Comments

  1. Liz E

    5 stars
    This was Amazing! I cut down the spice level to 2 tablespoons of the Korean chili flakes and use the milder budak sauce and it was still pretty spicy but definetly could taste all the flavors! The heat dissipated. I will def. Make this again! Highly recommend. And for those that maybe can’t handle the spice level, try cutting down the chili flakes.

  2. Monique

    5 stars
    Oh my, so delicious! This was the first time I cooked a Korean dish, I absolutely loved the flavours. I left out the Buldak (because I didn’t have it). Also used regular chili flakes. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Angelina

    5 stars
    Wow wow wow!!! Ive been into spicy lately and this is like the perfect spice. I didnt have buldak sauce on hand or serrano. I used jalapenos. This is one of my new favorites. I couldn’t believe how easy and good it is! Absolutely love it. It’ll be one of my forever recipes I use. Perfect sweetness and spice. This was my first Korean dish I’ve tried.

  4. Xiao Cat Master

    5 stars
    Delicious. I just made it and am eating it right now. Kudos

  5. Nonami

    Hi! I think I saw this recipe on tiktok and saved it because it looks so good. What could i sub for gochugaru? Can I use regular chili flakes? Also I’ve seen other people add rice whine vinegar, if added will it change the flavor too much?

    1. stellanspice

      Hi! Unfortunately there are no substitutes for the gochugaru. Gochugaru & gochujang are the main ingredients that flavor this dish. The good news is that you can purchase it online! I provided an Amazon link for the gochugaru in this blog post. It keeps for a very long time (keep in the fridge or freezer) so you don’t have to feel bad about not using it all before going bad. I promise after you make this dish, you’ll be making it again and again 🙂

  6. Salem

    Hi, is it ok if I cook the chicken with the potatoes, carrots etc. for only 20 minutes instead of the 40 min cooking period?

    1. stellanspice

      I recommend cutting them much bigger if you want to cook them together and for that long. Otherwise they will probably just disintegrate. But overall I think its best just to follow the recipe as is- the potatoes & carrots are SO good braised in this sauce!

  7. Anonymous

    5 stars
    Super yummy and easy to make. I really enjoyed this with my wife. I may have put in one too many potatoes as it started getting thicker than I wanted but it just became a Dakdori curry! 100% will be making this again!

    1. stellanspice

      I’m really glad to hear you enjoyed it! Thanks for leaving a comment 🙂

  8. Luke

    5 stars
    I haven’t had the chance to try it, but do you have a substitute for sesame? My sister is allergic.

    1. stellanspice

      Hi Luke, unfortunately there is not really a good substitute for sesame oil. However, very little is used in this recipe so you can just skip it and it will still taste great. Hope you like it!

  9. Tamara

    Making this tomorrow since I had to order some of the ingredients. Can I make this in my instapot pressure cooker? Im feeding 5 lol

    1. stellanspice

      Hi Tamara, you can use the instant pot but would only need to cook it for 20 minutes or less. I don’t recommend this method though because you have less control over the stew which needs to be cooked in different ways (covered, un covered, different times for the chicken and veggies, high heat at the end to thicken, etc).

  10. Elizabeth

    HI!

    I’m trying your chicken stew recipe but I can’t seem to find the spicy Buldak sauce
    😔 Is there a substitute you can recommend?

    1. stellanspice

      Unfortunately there aren’t any substitutes but this is also not an essential ingredient. Although I highly recommend adding it for extra flavor, you can just leave it out. If you have access to Amazon, you can also order it there. I provided a link in my blog post for this recipe in case you missed it 🙂

  11. Chaitealee

    5 stars
    I made this today! It hit exactly that spicy “korean” flavor I’m always craving! Now if I could find a great kimchi recipe like my favorite ajumma used to make me.

    1. stellanspice

      Thank you for your comment! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Stay tuned for my kimchi recipe, I will be sharing it in early 2022 🙂

  12. Klaudia

    Could I replace Korean soybean paste with miso paste? Because I need to do it right now 😆 looks fabulous!! I love your recipes!

  13. Antoniya

    5 stars
    Really good. Just had to switch some of the spices due to not being able to find them. Thank you

  14. Aliya

    5 stars
    Oh my gosh so good! My mom(who can’t handle spicy😅) Loved the potatoes and carrots! We were so excited for this!

  15. Jessica

    Hi Marieke! I am so excited to try this dish! My husband and I both absolutely love to try different foods from Asian Cultures so this was definitely a must try when we seen your video on tiktok lol quick question regarding prep: would it be ok to marinate the chicken in the sauce ingredients overnight? We both work long hours so im wondering if I can prep it the night before and then cook it the next evening. Thank you so much for sharing!

  16. Marieke

    5 stars
    So glad I came across this recipe on your TikTok!
    Never had Korean food before so finding some of these ingredients was an adventure on its own. My small town in the Netherlands had them so I’m sure they are easier to find elsewhere.
    Because I’m vegetarian, I switched the drumsticks for some fake vegetarian chicken which made the cooking time even shorter and easier. The spices are wonderful together and my tongue is still little tingly -in a good way!- from all the peppers. Will definitely make this more often! 🙂

    1. stellanspice

      Hi Marieke! Thank you so much for your comment. I am glad this recipe worked well for vegetarian chicken, and also happy to hear it was a quick and easy dinner for you 🙂

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