This is my at-home version of one of my favorite Korean dishes, dak galbi. When you get it made by a pro, there will usually be a few other things in there, like rice cake or cabbage (or kimchi), but I don’t generally keep those in my apartment all the time, so here we are without them. Don’t get too upset! I promise it’s still delicious. The chicken is marinated in a spicy combination of chili paste, soy sauce, curry paste, and a heaping helping of crushed chili flakes, then stir fried together with whatever vegetables you happen to have in your fridge. All of that heat and acidity helps to break down the chicken a bit, making it absolutely tender and moist, while the sauce is just the right amount of spicy. Kramer and I rarely go back for seconds, to be honest – when we’re cooking together and tasting throughout, we usually get bored of whatever we’re working on, but we both went back for another portion of this. It was so good, I even had a few leftover pieces cold, straight out of the container…but don’t tell anybody that. It makes for a great lunch the next day over some rice, as well as dinner for a few nights if you make enough (and you can keep yourself out of the tupperware for that long). I read that dak galbi was created as a cheap dish for bar patrons and students to eat instead of more expensive grilled dishes, most often meat or fish, and I’m fine with that! I don’t think it gets better than a meal that is both extremely tasty and easy on the wallet.
Whisk together your marinade.
Dice whatever vegetables you decide to use, but make sure you start cooking your potatoes first so that they become tender.
- 2 chicken breasts or 4 boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons chili paste
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon red chili flakes
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon kecap manis (or molasses)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon curry paste
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil, for cooking
- 3-4 small potatoes (or 1 large sweet potato), finely chopped
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 sweet bell peppers, roughly chopped
- toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
- scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish
- Whisk together your chili paste, rice wine vinegar, red chili flakes, soy sauce, sesame oil, kecap manic or molasses, sugar, curry paste, curry powder, and ginger. Cut your chicken into 1-inch pieces and pour the sauce over it in a sealable bag or bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or as long as overnight (the longer the better, obviously).
- When you’re ready to cook, dice your potatoes very finely (you want them small enough so that they will cook quickly), mince your shallot, and chop your peppers. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to your wok or pan and cook the potatoes over medium-high heat, until beginning to blister and brown, about 5 minutes, then add in the shallots, bell peppers, and chicken (along with its marinade). Cook over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes, until the chicken is completely cooked and the potatoes are tender. Taste, adjust seasonings as necessary, and serve garnished with some sliced scallions and sesame seeds.