Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Dak Galbi

The very first time I've seen or even come into contact with this dish was when we were in Korea. It was pretty chilly and the tour guide brought us to this gak dalbi restaurant where we had simply that. With the humongous spatulas given to us, we were happily stir frying and cooking the food in the HUGE cast iron pan in front of us. Now I'm going to recreate this dish at home :) 

My inspirations for this dish is from Maangchi and Beyondkimchee.

Before you look further, did you know that this is a famous dish in Chuncheon which is a city in East Korea? Literally, most food places there boast of theirs as the most original Dak Galbi. What is most important is, dak galbi is cooked with a hot griddle like pan. Erm, I didn't quite have that but I do have a cast iron pot. I guess that should suffice? =S

I tried to compare a few dak galbi recipes and I think both Maangchi's and Beyondkimchee's would come the closest. Interestingly, curry powder is a distinct ingredient in dak galbi. See my modifications in blue.


1 lb (450g) boneless, skinless chicken thigh, diced

1/2 lb (250g) Korean rice cake sticks

1/4-1/2 cabbage, diced

8-10 perilla leaves, sliced
1/2 large onion, sliced
1 medium sweet potato, sliced into 1/4" thick wedges
2 tablespoon grape seed or canola oil
2-4 tablespoon water
more perilla leaves and toasted sesame seeds to garnish
1/2 cup chopped kimchi

For the sauce:

3 4 tablespoon Korean chili paste
2 3 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
2 4 tablespoon Korean chili flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon ginger powder
2 tablespoon rice wine / mirin
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
dashes of pepper
1 tablespoon Korean corn syrup, optional

  1. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Toss the chicken pieces with 1/2 the sauce and mix. Set aside.
  2. Soak rice cakes in hot water until ready to use and drain.
  3. Drizzle oil in a cast iron skillet, spread the chicken and top with vegetables (only 1/2 the amount of perilla leaves) and rice cakes. Drizzle the remaining sauce over and bring the skillet over med-high heat.
  4. When you hear the loud sizzling noise from the skillet, toss to coat everything with the sauce. Continue to cook for about 2 minutes. Add the water to create steam to cook and reduce the heat to medium. Continue to cook, about 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. When chickens are cooked through and potatoes are tender, add the rest of the perilla leaves and heat through. Everything should be slightly browned at this stage.Toss gently so that you don't break the potatoes. Finally, add the chopped kimchi for a sourish flavour.
  6. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and garnish with more perilla leaves. Serve hot.

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