Thursday, January 31, 2013

Dahk Kalbi (닭갈비)

I am so so so excited to share my recipe for 닭갈비 (dahk gal-bee). Literally translated it means "chicken ribs" which is so weird because ribs are not an ingredient in this dish. It originated as a dish meant to be a little cheaper than the regular bbq-at-your-table dishes. It's one of those mish-mosh type dishes that incorporates a lot of ingredients and can be customized to suit your tastes. The first time I had it was at my friend (and former roommate)'s house and it's a perfect time to share this recipe, as it is her birthday! I went over her house during one of our college breaks and she made this for us and I loved it.

Ingredients [serves 4]:
1 lb chicken thighs (you can use breasts too but the thighs are more moist and flavorful!)
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 green cabbage, sliced
3 tablespoons hot pepper paste (gochujang)
1 tablespoon hot pepper flakes (gochugaru)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon + 1 tablespoon sesame oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1 cup rice cakes
1 package udon noodles
1 package enoki mushrooms
3 scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
2 cups cooked short grain sticky rice (1-1/4 cups uncooked)
+ strips laver/nori (dried seaweed)
+ chopped kimchi
+ sweet potatoes (or regular potato) - I didn't have any sweet potatoes at home and I forgot to pick some up from the market so I had to omit this ingredient. However, if you decide to add these, cut the potatoes up into chunks and then boil until they are tender so that you don't end up with crunchy potatoes, as the rest of the dish cooks up rather quickly.
The first step is to make the sauce. Combine the hot pepper paste, hot pepper flakes, brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil (1/2 teaspoon), garlic, and ginger and stir together.

Next, chop up the chicken and place in a bowl. Add in about 1-1/2 tablespoons of the sauce mixture and stir together. Set aside and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes. If you want to do this step a day in advance, you can. Reserve the leftover sauce, to be used in the dish again later.
Prepare the vegetables. I just wanted to show this cross section of cabbage because I think it looks so pretty. Is it just me?
Cut the cabbage into slices and then the layers will separate and turn into strips; same thing with the onions. Chop up the scallions into small pieces and chop the bottoms off of the mushrooms and set aside.
If your rice cakes and udon noodles are frozen (like mine), soak them in a little water to defrost AND rehydrate them (kill two birds with one stone!).
If you have any leftover rice, this is a great way to use it up. Otherwise, make some!
Last step of the prep is to cut up 1 sheet of nori (sushi seaweed) into little strips. It's easiest to use scissors but you could also just tear it up into pieces with your hands, if you prefer.
The best part of this meal is cooking it on one of these little camper gas stoves right at the table. If you don't have one of these, you can definitely make this on a normal stovetop. But if you DO have one, it's really impressive and fun for entertaining so invite some people over!
To start the cooking, get a wide flat pan - the widest, flattest pan you own. Get the pan heating and really hot before adding some oil and then the chicken. Use tongs to spread the chicken out on the pan and allow the meat to sizzle and cook for a few minutes, moving it around with your tongs to make sure it doesn't stick. Once the chicken is pretty much cooked through, add the cabbage and the onions (and sweet potatoes, if you have them). Toss around a bit and then add in 1-1/2 tablespoons of the sauce and mix in (and save the leftovers again because you will use it one more time). Allow to cook for a few minutes until the onions and cabbage are soft.
Once the cabbage is softened, add in the rice cakes (drained) and mix in to coat in the sauce. Then add in the udon noodles (also drained) and stir again, to coat in the sauce. The last step is to add in the mushrooms and scallions. Stir in to make sure the mushrooms wilt and then turn off the heat.
How yummy does this look?
The final touch is to sprinkle with a few sesame seeds. And then, start eating! To serve this dish, give each person a plate and have it be a self-serve kind of deal.
Once there's just a bit of chicken and other vegetables left on the pan, turn the heat back on and push the leftovers to one side of the pan. Add in about 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and then add in the rice and the kimchi and the last bit of leftover sauce. Mix together until everything is evenly coated and then add in the nori.
Mix in the seaweed and then remove from the heat once again and enjoy round 2 of the meal.

Here's the recipe page:

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