Dakgalbi is a spicy marinated chicken stir-fry that is mixed with tteokbokki. The dish is made to be served for the whole family or a group of friends to share. The chicken is marinated in gochujang sauce, which is made from chili paste; mixed with cabbage, sweet potatoes, perilla leaves, and tteokbokki, then served in a cast-iron skillet in the middle of the table.
The town of Cheoncheon in the Gangwon Province is famous for its dakgalbi, and many people travel far and wide to be able to try this tasty dish. The history behind it makes it even more special to locals, who hope that those who travel to try it will also learn why it is important to Chuncheon.
In the 1950s, the Korean War hit Chuncheon, and after several attacks, the town was left with a lot of damage. It was during this time when chicken farmers flourished, for the cost of chickens was relatively cheap. It wasn’t until the 1960s that dakgalbi was created. A couple who owned a pork restaurant ran out one day, and decided to use chicken instead. It became a huge hit, and since chicken is less expensive, it flourished. Shortly after, many dakgalbi restaurants started to open in Chuncheon. Dakgalbi is symbolic and even has its own road named after it called “MyeongDong Dakgalbi Street,” where you can wander about to decide which restaurant to try.
There may be dozens of dakgalbi places on this street, but each one has its own taste, making it a fun trip if you want to see which restaurant has to best taste in your opinion!
Chuncheon dakgalbi is not just limited to Chuncheon, other places throughout Korea offer this dish, and even Korean restaurants around the world! What makes this dish famous is the gochujang sauce that is used on the chicken, making it easier to taste this dish without having to travel so far!
Have you tried dakgalbi before? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!
Written by Ashton Carson