Canadian Doenjang 캐나다 된장 – Episode 2

Canadian Doenjang Ep. 2: Dak galbi - it's ready!
Canadian Doenjang Ep. 2: Dak galbi – it’s ready!

Welcome back! Did you like our first actual Canadian Doenjang cooking show?

It turns out it’s way more work than I expected to film a cooking video. The video you just watched on YouTube (you did watch it, right?) is only 10 minutes but it took 4 1/2 hours to film. Of course, part of that was eating too. My lovely co-host, Heejoo, our fabulous videographer, Jen, and a special guest videographer, Kitaek even spent 2 hours setting up the camera angles and lighting.  It’s a good thing that my writing about films has given me the chance to become friends with such talented people because I know nothing about the behind-the-scenes, technical aspects of filmmaking. Or the taping of a cooking show in this case. But it was fun! 

What did we make?

Stop. Don’t read any further. Watch the video first! Oh, you did. Great. Keep reading then. ^^ 

We made dak galbi (닭갈비, spicy chicken stir-fry) which has been one of my favourite Korean dishes ever since a friend took me to his favourite place near Gangnam station in Seoul. It’s easy to make and best of all, you cook it all in one pan/wok.

Normally it’s made with boneless chicken thighs (which are cheaper) but I prefer chicken breasts so the recipe below is with them. You can do it either way and it won’t affect the flavour. Another substitution you can make is ramyon for the rice in the final step.Without further ado, here’s the recipe for dak galbi.

Canadian Doenjang Ep. 2: Dak galbi - Mixing the ingredients
Canadian Doenjang Ep. 2: Dak galbi – Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 pound/450g boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced
  • 1/2 lb (250g) Korean rice cake sticks (떡, dduk)
  • 1/4-1/2 cabbage, rinsed, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 dozen perilla leaves, sliced
  • 1/2 large onion, sliced
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and sliced into bite sized pieces
  • 1 small carrot (½ cup), sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Canola oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Sauce

  • 3 tablespoon Korean hot pepper paste (고추장, gochujang)
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon Korean hot pepper flakes (고춧가루, gochugaru)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 2 tablespoon rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • dashes of ground black pepper

Bonus – mixed rice afterwards

  • 2 cups of rice
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • shredded kim (김, toasted laver)
  • sesame oil

Directions

Canadian Doenjang Ep. 2: Dak galbi - making the sauce
Canadian Doenjang Ep. 2: Dak galbi – making the sauce
  1. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside 1-2 tbsps of the sauce. Split the remaining sauce in half and add half of the sauce to the chicken pieces. Mix.
  2. Soak rice cakes in warm water until ready to use and drain. If the rice cakes are fresh, you can skip this step.
  3. Turn heat onto medium, add the oil in a large skillet or wok, spread the chicken and top with vegetables (except perilla leaves) and rice cakes. Add remaining sauce.
  4. After the pan starts sizzling, wait another minutes and then stir everything together. Continue to cook for about 2-3 minutes, stirring. Add the water. Continue to cook, about 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. When chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender (tip: test one of the sweet potatoes to see if it’s cooked), add the perilla leaves and heat through. Toss gently so that you don’t break the potatoes.
  6. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve hot.
Canadian Doenjang Ep. 2: Dak galbi - cooking it
Canadian Doenjang Ep. 2: Dak galbi – cooking it

Bonus

Now if you’ve had this dish in Korea, you might remember that there’s usually one final step once you just have a little chicken and veggies left: the mixed rice made with the leftovers. Here’s how to do it at home!

Add the 2 cups of rice, shredded kim, a little sesame oil and the final bit of sauce. Turn heat back on medium and mix around with a wooden spoon or rice paddle, creating a single layer in the pan. Once it’s in a single layer, add the shredded mozzarella cheese to melt into the rice. Turn off the heat and let the crust on the bottom form. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from http://www.beyondkimchee.com/ with my memories of eating dak galbi in Korea.

Cindy Zimmer

Live life to the fullest everyday - this is a the philosophy I try to live by and it's taken me on many adventures. I write about Korean culture from a non-Korean perspective as the editor/founder of ATK Magazine and I'm the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Korean Film Festival (TKFF). Previously, I ran a Korean-English language exchange group (in Toronto) for 3 years to stay connected to my three years living in Korea as an English teacher. I love music, film, food and sports and write about 3 of the 4.

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