When we did our family bike ride last year from Chuncheon to Seoul, we ate two variations of dak galbi. One is more of stir fry that’s loaded with tons of veggies and cooked on a HUGE tabletop skillet and the other is grilled over wood coals. Both are delicious, but we were craving the grilled version with the recent 80 degree days we’ve been having in San Diego.
I’m sure the first thing you’ll notice about the chicken is the intense red color from the red peppers. This stuff will be spicy for those of you who are not accustomed to spicy foods. Think Sriracha heat level, but much more flavorful. Thankfully, you can easily turn down the spice level in this dish while maintaining the flavors. I added those notes to the bottom of the recipe.
If you’ve had grilled Chuncheon dak galbi, this is pretty spot on to what they serve at any of the restaurants on the famous Dak Galbi Street.
- 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- ¼ cup granulated white sugar
- 2 Tbsp gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
- 2 Tbsp gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder)
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp fresh ginger (finely minced)
- 4 cloves garlic (finely minced)
- Butterfly the chicken thighs.
- Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl to create your red pepper marinade.
- Add chicken to the red pepper marinade and coat each piece evenly. Cover and let marinade for at least 15 minutes.
- Fire up your grill to medium high heat if using gas. If using charcoal, get them started about 30 minutes prior to when you want to eat. You want it to be about 400-425 degrees.
- Pull chicken from the marinade and scrape off any excess marinade to avoid drips into the grill.
- Add chicken to hot grill and cook roughly 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
- Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and serve "Korean style" with lettuce wraps, rice, and various side dishes.
Also, a little tip on finding the Korean ingredients I mentioned. It’ll probably be difficult to find them in you live in an area without any sort of Asian population. Amazon is your friend. BUT if you can find an Asian grocer, you’ll definitely be able to find these ingredients at a much cheaper price than Amazon offers.
We prefer to cook with charcoal (specifically wood coals), but any grill will work. You want a little bit of char on the outside of the chicken. I wouldn’t try cooking this indoors on a stovetop. The spices can get smokey and your house will smell like red pepper for days, even with the hood ventilation running and windows open. Trust me, I’ve done it before.
Also, let me just say that if you ever have the opportunity to bike from Chuncheon to Seoul, take it. It’s roughly 120km (74ish miles) and an insanely picturesque ride along the Han River. It’s easy and we were able to do it with a three year old and one year old towed in a trailer. Not going to lie and say that there weren’t any hills. There were two that we had to walk the bike/trailer up, but I think those hills would be easy if you didn’t have to tow a trailer.
And now I’m feeling extra nostalgic and missing Korea like crazy. Seoul sisters, I miss you too!!!