Monday, December 7, 2009

Korean Spicy Chicken Stir-fry (닭도리탕)

First of all, guess what happened today! It snowed!! It's much more special to me because I live in Northern California near Sacramento and it is just hard to believe that it got cold enough to snow! I wish today was Christmas... Then we could call it a white Christmas! It's very exciting. It only snowed a little bit and the snow will probably be melted by rain, but still it's so fun. I love snow! I grew up in Korea where it snows quite a bit. So I miss it now and then. I'm glad I got to see a little bit this morning.

Alright, so this recipe that I'm posting today... It is one of my favorite Korean recipes. 닭도리탕 "Spicy Chicken Stir-fry" is a very popular main dish, especially when it's chilly out. It's spicy enough to make you sweat but not too overwhelming. That's why I eat it with white sticky rice. It really tones down the spice a lot.

Traditionally, Koreans use whole chicken but I used chicken breasts. You may choose to use a whole chicken if you desire, no big deal. I have a slight fear of dealing with whole chicken. It just freaks me out. I guess everyone has a fear of something, right?

The potatoes and carrots in the dish were also very soft and flavorful. You may also put sweet potatoes or other vegetables in it according to your liking. That's what Korean cooking is all about. Just put what you like until it tastes good! :)

Korean Spicy Chicken Stir-fry


2 large chicken breasts, cut into bite sizes
2 medium potatoes, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 sweet potato, diced (optional)
1 onion, diced (optional)
1 red pepper (not bell pepper), seeded and diced (optional)
Olive oil
2 green onions, finely chopped

2 tablespoons Korean red pepper paste
1 teaspoon fish sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 teaspoons Korean red pepper flakes
1-2 teaspoons corn syrup
2 teaspoons soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste


Make the sauce by mixing all sauce ingredients. In large bowl, toss in the chicken, the diced potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots. Pour the sauce into the chicken mixture. Mix the sauce and the chicken and vegetables well with hand or with a spoon.

In large saute pan, heat some olive oil over high heat. Add the sauce and chicken mixture and stir occasionally, about 5-7 minutes or until the chicken starts to cook. Add water to cover the chicken and the vegetables (Do not add too much water!). Bring it to a boil. Once the water boils, reduce the heat to low and let it cook until the potatoes are softened, stirring occasionally. When the potatoes are softened, add the onions and red pepper and cook 5 more minutes.

Sprinkle chopped green onions on top and serve with rice.

Sook the Cook


  1. Hahaha, I'm sorry that I was laughing when you said that whole chicken freaks you out.

    Love the colour of this dish, so warm!

  2. I'm sure this dish is very delicious. I love all the ingredients. This would be so good with rice.

  3. Kenny- It's okay. You can laugh. My husband thinks I'm weird :)

    Mary- I really like the potatoes in this dish. So soft and flavorful.

  4. This looks so savory with the thick sauce. I like that you added potatoes. Yum!

  5. Oh...this is really good. I want to bookmark this ~ Thanks :D

  6. this reminds me of a casserole we can get at a nearby korean restaurant that is made with chicken... so good

  7. I love the sound of this recipe with the potato and sweet potato. I don't think I've had anything like this before and it really catches my attention. I'll have to look for some of the ingredients at the store. Enjoy the snow!

  8. MissWassaisinadifferentcountryDecember 7, 2009 at 10:20 PM

    Gotta say it makes me hungry again and i just ate :D
    Thanks for sharing -- haven't had korean food since i moved to iowa - you brought me back some memory :)

  9. Christine and Kim-
    Potatoes in this dish is definitely one of my favorites! I used to pick out just potatoes when I was little and my mom would slap my hand because she didn't want me to just eat the potatoes. :)

  10. Definitely come to Minnesota if you'd like snow--the weather channel says about 6-8 inches are headed our way--I could send some your way gladly!

  11. This dish looks delicious and your recipe is quite easy to follow too.

  12. i LOVE Korean food! I grew up in Cerritos, CA and we had a huge Korean community. I love all the spicy flavors of this cuisine!

  13. dhaleb-
    I'm so glad that you enjoy Korean food too! The spice of Korean food is my favorite!

  14. CaSaundra-
    Yeah, I miss snow! I lived in Northern Idaho for four years going to college and it just about snowed everyday and it was so cold! I don't usually miss it but around Christmas time, I do. :)

  15. oooh, this looks delish. I totally relate with the fear of dealing with an entire whole chicken. :) Chicken breasts are so much more user friendly. :)

  16. I wish my kids liked heat in their food! This looks like something I would devour. I think I'll have to try this some time along with an alternative for my kids--buffet style.