Dak GangJeong: The Chicken You Never Knew You Needed

By Stephanie Lemus

Korean fried chicken is known around the world, it’s been popularized by dramas like My Love from the Star and Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo. Though, we’re not here to discuss the popular beer and chicken combo known as Chimaek (치맥). There’s many mukbangs (먹방) or eating shows dedicated to this specific kind of fried chicken known as Dakgangjeong (닭강정). But what exactly is it?

First, we need to talk about Gangjeong. It has been around for a long time. It’s a traditional Korean dish that consists of hollow rice puffs made of rice, spices, and peanuts. Gangjeong is served at important events like weddings and Korean New Years, just to name a few; while Dak Gangjeong is more of a street food that can be bought on any occasion. Dak means chicken in Korean; Dakgangjeong is essentially crispy chicken. Some people call it popcorn chicken or even chicken nuggets. It really depends on who you’re talking too.

DakGangJeong is downright heavenly. Not too heavy but still very filling. There’s a variety of flavors too, depending on the place! From spicy to vinegary,  even garlic flavored; there are various mouth watering flavors. It also doesn’t have bones, so all of you boneless wing fans out there can rejoice. Looking at the Instagram hashtag for a split second will leave your mouth watering.

For those who plan on visiting the L.A. County,  Koreatown, Los Angeles is the place to go if you want to try this delicious dish but can’t afford to travel all the way to Korea. There’s a restaurant that makes some of the best Dakgangjeong in the area. The GangJung is on the third story of the MaDang Courtyard, a place always populated by people of all ages. They also have regular fried chicken on their menu but the DakGangjeong is really worth a try.

If you want to take a try at making Dakjeongang in the comfort of your home, I recommend Maangchi’s recipe. She’s a delightful cooking teacher that comes from Yeosu, South Korea.  The dish can be made from different parts of the chicken such as chicken breast or the drumstick; however, in her tutorial, she makes the dish by using the wings. As long as you use chicken and you have the crispy Gangjeong along with it,  then you have Dakgangjeong. You can find her recipe here or watch her cooking tutorial on Youtube. She demonstrates how to cook the chicken step by step and gives great advice in order for people to get the best of her recipe. So, now you know what you have been missing out on.

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