As I’ve already explained, there are several ways to make spicy chicken in Korean cuisine. Earlier in my Korean Food Project, I cooked dak gui (spicy chicken). This time I’m trying dakdoritang, another type of spicy chicken that’s a stew, complete with potatoes, onions and carrots. As you might guess, dakdoritang is a very hearty meal — perfect as the weather gets colder.

Dakdoritang (Spicy Chicken Stew) — 닭도리탕


  • 2 lbs. chicken pieces, cut into bite-sized portions (bone-in pieces recommended)
  • 4 c. water
  • 13 oz. potatoes, cut in 1¾-in chunks
  • 6½ oz. carrots, quartered lengthways, then halved across
  • 2 medium onions, each cut in 6 wedges
  • 3½ oz. leek, white part only, very thinly sliced
  • 2 large red or green chilies, seeded and sliced*
  • salt to taste

Spicy chicken marinade:

  • ¼ c. soy sauce**
  • 2 Tbsp. Korean red pepper paste (gochujang)***
  • 2 to 3 tsp. Korean red pepper powder****

*The type of pepper that Koreans use in this dish is basically a red chili pepper. The shape is long and thin; see photos above. You can find these peppers at Korean grocery stores.

**To make this recipe gluten free, I used San-J Organic Tamari Gluten-Free Soy Sauce (available at Whole Foods or for $6.69 + shipping on

***You can buy gochujang in plastic, tub-like containers at Asian grocery stores or for $10 on The tubs are easy to identify, even if you don’t read Korean, because they are always red in color, to match their contents. (See photo above.)

****You can find plastic bags of Korean red pepper powder (called gochugaru in Korean) at Asian grocery stores or on for about $13 a pound. The consistency is between a coarse powder and a fine flake, so gochugaru is sometimes called red pepper powder or hot pepper powder and sometimes called red chili flakes. (See photo above.)


  • Combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Set aside.
  • Heat a frying pan or wok, then add chicken (to the dry pan/wok) and stir over medium heat for 2 minutes. Transfer chicken to a bowl.
  • Pour marinade over chicken, stirring to mix well. Marinate 5 minutes.
  • Transfer chicken and marinade to a large pan and add water.
  • Bring pan to a boil. Cover, lower heat and simmer 15 minutes.
  • Add the potatoes and carrots and simmer until tender, 20 to 25 minutes, stirring several times.
  • Add the onions, leek and chilies and simmer 5 minutes.
  • Add salt to taste.

[From The Food of Korea]