29. Dak-galbi (Chicken Ribs): Grilled chicken on an iron plate

Dak-galbi Recipe: Korea’s Spicy Chicken Ribs


Dak-galbi, a tantalizing dish that embodies the rich flavors of Korean cuisine, has been capturing the hearts and palates of food enthusiasts worldwide. This fiery chicken dish, known for its unique blend of spices and tender chicken ribs, offers a culinary experience like no other. As we delve deeper into the intricacies of Dak-galbi, you’ll discover its origins, preparation methods, and the cultural significance it holds in Korean traditions.


1. Origins of Dak-galbi

The roots of Dak-galbi trace back to the city of Chuncheon in South Korea. Originating in the 1960s, local residents began grilling marinated chicken ribs with a spicy gochujang-based sauce, creating what we now know as Dak-galbi. Over the years, this dish has evolved, incorporating various ingredients and techniques, yet retaining its authentic essence.

2. Ingredients That Make It Special

At the heart of Dak-galbi lies its marinade, a harmonious blend of gochujang (red chili paste), soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and other secret spices. These ingredients infuse the chicken ribs with a robust flavor profile, complemented by the addition of vegetables like cabbage, sweet potatoes, and scallions, enhancing both texture and taste.

3. Dak-galbi Recipe: A Spicy Delight from Korean Cuisine

Dak-galbi, a cherished dish from South Korea, is a delightful fusion of spicy flavors, tender chicken ribs, and vibrant vegetables. This iconic dish has garnered global acclaim, enticing food enthusiasts with its irresistible aroma and rich taste. Let’s embark on a culinary journey as we explore the intricacies of crafting an authentic Dak-galbi at home.



800g chicken ribs, bone-in
2 cups cabbage, sliced
1 sweet potato, thinly sliced
2 scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths
1 onion, thinly sliced

For the Marinade:

4 tablespoons gochujang (Korean red chili paste)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil


Sesame seeds
Chopped scallions



Prepare the Marinade:
In a mixing bowl, combine gochujang, soy sauce, minced garlic, grated ginger, brown sugar, and sesame oil. Whisk until the ingredients are well incorporated, forming a smooth marinade.

Marinate the Chicken Ribs:
Place the chicken ribs in a large bowl and pour the marinade over them, ensuring each rib is well coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, allowing the flavors to meld.

Cooking the Chicken Ribs:
Heat a large skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Add the marinated chicken ribs, reserving any excess marinade. Cook the chicken ribs for 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally, until they are browned and cooked through.

Incorporate the Vegetables:
Add the sliced sweet potato, onion, and cabbage to the skillet, arranging them around the chicken ribs. Drizzle the reserved marinade over the vegetables, ensuring even distribution.

Cook Until Tender:
Continue cooking for an additional 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and caramelized, and the chicken ribs are glazed with the marinade.


Garnish and Serve:
Transfer the Dak-galbi to a serving platter, garnishing with sesame seeds and chopped scallions. Serve hot and enjoy the spicy, savory flavors of this iconic Korean dish.

4. Regional Variations

While Chuncheon remains the epicenter of Dak-galbi, variations of this dish have emerged across South Korea. Different regions boast unique twists, from spicier marinades to alternative ingredients. However, the essence of Dak-galbi remains consistent: a celebration of spicy, savory flavors.

5. Pairing Dak-galbi with Banchan


In Korean cuisine, banchan (side dishes) play a pivotal role in enhancing the dining experience. When enjoying Dak-galbi, traditional banchan like kimchi, pickled radishes, and spicy cucumbers complement the dish, offering contrasting flavors and textures that elevate the overall meal.

6. Dak-galbi in Modern Culture

Today, Dak-galbi stands as a symbol of Korean culinary pride. Its popularity has transcended borders, gracing menus in international restaurants and captivating global audiences. From food festivals to cooking shows, Dak-galbi continues to garner acclaim, solidifying its place in the pantheon of iconic Korean dishes.

7. Health Benefits of Dak-galbi

Beyond its delectable taste, Dak-galbi offers nutritional benefits. Chicken, rich in protein, promotes muscle growth and repair. Additionally, the vegetables incorporated into the dish provide essential vitamins and minerals, making Dak-galbi a wholesome dining choice when enjoyed in moderation.

8. Tips for Cooking Dak-galbi at Home


For enthusiasts eager to recreate the Dak-galbi experience at home, a few tips can elevate your culinary endeavors. Ensure the chicken ribs are well-marinated, use a hot grill or pan for optimal caramelization, and don’t shy away from experimenting with additional vegetables or spices to tailor the dish to your preference.

9. Cultural Significance of Dak-galbi

In Korean culture, Dak-galbi transcends its culinary appeal, embodying communal dining and shared experiences. Gathering around a sizzling pan of Dak-galbi fosters camaraderie and connection, making it a cherished tradition for families and friends alike.

10. Dak-galbi: A Culinary Journey

Embarking on a Dak-galbi culinary journey unveils the rich tapestry of Korean flavors and traditions. From its humble beginnings in Chuncheon to its global acclaim, Dak-galbi encapsulates the essence of Korean cuisine, inviting food enthusiasts to savor its spicy allure and embrace its cultural heritage.


Dak-galbi, with its fiery flavors and cultural significance, stands as a testament to the culinary excellence of Korean cuisine. Whether enjoyed in the bustling streets of Seoul or crafted with love in home kitchens worldwide, Dak-galbi invites you on a flavorful journey, celebrating tradition, community, and the joy of shared meals.


What are the key ingredients in Dak-galbi?
The key ingredients include chicken ribs, gochujang (red chili paste), soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and various vegetables like cabbage and sweet potatoes.

Is Dak-galbi spicy?
Yes, Dak-galbi is known for its spicy flavor profile, derived from the gochujang-based marinade.

Can I adjust the spiciness of Dak-galbi?
Absolutely! You can adjust the spiciness by modifying the amount of gochujang or incorporating milder chili variants.

What are traditional banchan served with Dak-galbi?
Traditional banchan include kimchi, pickled radishes, and spicy cucumbers, among others.

How long should the chicken ribs marinate for?
It’s recommended to marinate the chicken ribs for at least 2-3 hours to allow the flavors to infuse.

Can I use alternative meats in Dak-galbi?
While chicken ribs are traditional, you can experiment with alternative meats, though the cooking times and flavors may vary.

What beverages pair well with Dak-galbi?
Beverages like Korean rice wine (makgeolli) or cold beer complement the spicy flavors of Dak-galbi.

Is Dak-galbi suitable for vegetarians?
While the traditional version features chicken ribs, vegetarian alternatives using tofu or mushrooms can be explored.

How is Dak-galbi typically served?
Dak-galbi is often served on a sizzling pan, accompanied by rice and various side dishes.

Where can I find authentic Dak-galbi recipes?
Authentic Dak-galbi recipes can be found in Korean cookbooks, online culinary platforms, or by exploring local Korean markets for traditional ingredients.

Today’s Quiz

Quiz Question: What city in South Korea is renowned as the birthplace of Dak-galbi?

Answer: The city renowned as the birthplace of Dak-galbi is Chuncheon in South Korea.


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