Thursday, June 6, 2019

[Food] Chuncheon Dakgalbi (Korean Chicken BBQ, 춘천 닭갈비)


[Food] Chuncheon Dakgalbi (Korean Chicken BBQ, 춘천 닭갈비)

Chuncheon Dakgalbi - Stir-Fried Style

In 1960’s Chuncheon city, South Korea, there lived an owner of a Korean pork BBQ restaurant whose name was Youngseok Kim. He usually sold Korean-style pork BBQ on a charcoal grill, like the other restaurants.

One day, he couldn't buy pork to serve his customers because the stock ran dry in Chuncheon city. So he tried 'Plan B', using chicken instead of pork for charcoal BBQ.

The result? An incredibly successful new menu! That was the day when Chuncheon Dakgalbi (Korean Chicken BBQ, 닭갈비) was invented by Mr. Kim in Chuncheon, South Korea. From then on, Chuncheon's chicken BBQ became increasingly famous and spread throughout the entire country. Today, every Korean thinks of Chuncheon when they hear the word 'Dakgalbi (Korean Chicken BBQ)'.

Myungdong street, Chuncheon, Gangwon province, South Korea

Soyang river, Chuncheon, Gangwon province, South Korea

A street by Soyang river, Chuncheon, Gangwon province, South Korea

However, no one knew the founder of Chuncheon Dakgalbi till Chuncheon city hall researched and reported on Mr. Youngseok Kim’s story. Dakgalbi was originally just simple charcoal chicken BBQ; 'Dak' meaning 'chicken' and 'galbi' meaning 'rib'. But Chuncheon dakgalbi doesn't use chicken ribs (you already know why) but boneless chicken meat such as thigh, breast and tender parts which are chewy, juicy and soft to eat. There are two styles of Chuncheon dakgalbi: char-grill and stir-fry. The Chuncheon people usually eat char-grill dakgalbi, while the rest of Korea enjoys stir-fry.

Both use the same sauce, seasoning and chicken parts, but its taste differs.  The Chuncheon people often use only salt and pepper to season the meat before grilling it.

Char-grilled dakgalbi using Korean chili paste marinated in chicken breast

Char-grilled dakgalbi. It looks a bit more spicy than the above

Stir-fried dakgalbi is a little more well-known and common in Korea. It fried spicy marinated boneless chicken with vegetables, sesame leaves, garlic, sweet potato, mushroom and rice cake. Koreans usually add some noodles to the dish, and cook fried rice with its sauce after finishing the meat.

Stir-fried dakgalbi

Dakgalbi sauce with stir-fried rice

Dakgalbi sauce stir-fried rice with kimchi

Chicken, noodle and fried rice! What a delicious dining course :)

If you are planning to visit Seoul, then how about visiting Chuncheon? It's only 40 minutes away from Seoul by train :) Stroll around downtown Chuncheon, go for a drive to Soyang river and Gongji lake, then visit Chuncheon’s dakgalbi street to savor some dakgalbi :) Pack your stuff now.

Bon Appétit!


  1. 日本にはがらあげが多いんですがこれを見るとよだれが出ますね。

  2. 日本でも流行ってるタッカルビも美味しいですけど本場の韓国で作ったタッカルビは本当美味しいそうです