Friday, January 28, 2011

chicken gal-bi (dak-gal-bi)

Choonchun, located north eastern part of South Korea, is known for origin of Dak gal-bi (chicken gal-bi). It was regional food but became so popular that we can find it on the menu anywhere in Korea. But still, it is regarded as a fun and nostalgic thing to take a slow and old train to visit Choochun to eat this food. Chicken gal-bi is a kind of food for crowd. So, it's a perfect motivation to get together for a day trip. The ride is very scenic and in a few hours the hungry group can get to the destination.

from left to right: cabbage, wild sesame leaves (perilla leaves), carrots

ground fresh wild sesame seeds

Just like beef gal-bi, chicken gal-bi is often cooked on the table. I have 4 chicken gal-bi experts over my kitchen. Certainly everybody revealed their own secrets to make chicken gal-bi! We followed the tradition: eat chicken gal-bi first and make fried rice with the left over yummy sauce on the pan. IT'S VERY IMPORTANT AND PROPER!

for 4 hungry people
ingredients
2 lb chicken boneless, skinless thigh meats
1 carrot- cut to 2 inch-lengh, thinly sliced
1/2 onion-sliced
1/3 cup sliced scallions
1/2 small cabbage/roughly sliced to carrot's size
1 medium sized goguma (Korean sweet potato) or yam-thinly sliced to carrot's size
20 wild sesame leaves / available on Korean market-cut to quarters
1/4 lb sliced plain sticky rice cake (ddeuk)/available in Korean market
2 Tbsp ground wild sesame seed
about 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
about 3/4 cup basic spicy sauce (depends on your heat tolerance)

basic spicy sauce (makes 32 0z)
1cup gochujang (Korean fermented chili paste)
1cup gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup seasoned rice wine (Mirin)
1/3 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup chopped garlic
1/4 cup pureed onion
3 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp ginger powder
!) make the basic spicy sauce, couple of days ahead. The flavor becomes better and better as it gets maturer in the refrigerator. It is a wonderful basic spicy sauce for all sorts of Korean food so make a big batch as above and keep it in the refrigerator. You can keep it up a month in the refrigerator or freeze for longer use.

to marinade the chicken meats
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 t salt
1/4 cup of the basic spicy sauce

to make fried rice
1 cup chopped Kimchi
3 Tbsp (or more) sesame seed oil
Korean dried toasted gim (aka nori)/broken to small pieces
3 cups cooked rice

Prepare chicken. Cut chicken to 1 inch pieces. Marinade chicken with curry powder, salt and 1/4 cup of the basic spicy sauce for overnight in the refrigerator. Prepare the basic spicy sauce and vegetables and sticky rice cakes (ddeuk). When the hungry crowd gather, heat a big heavy skillet with some vegetable oil. Cook the hard vegetable first (sweet potato and carrots), covered tightly on medium to low heat, stirring frequently. Be careful not to burn, pour 1/4 cup of water if it looks like sticking to the pan. When the hard vegetables are half way cooked, add onion, cabbages,sticky rice, about 3/4 cup of basic spice sauce and chicken. Cover and cook, add more oil if needed. When chicken is cooked through, add wild sesame leaves, seeds and scallion. Cook for a few minutes, uncovered.

AND EAT.

When you are done eating chicken gal-bi, make fried rice using the left over stuff in the pan. (please don't clean the pan yet!) Heat some sesame seed oil on the same skillet, add kimchi and rice on medium-high heat. Stir fry for a few minutes. Flatten down the fried rice onto the pan, leave it for a couple of minutes longer, and undisturbed to build crust on the bottom. When the crust is developed golden brown, stir in broken gim. Serve.



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