Wednesday, July 31, 2019

[Food] Dak-Gangjeong (닭강정, Sweet and sour chicken)


[Food] Dak-Gangjeong (닭강정, Sweet and sour chicken)

It is an undeniable fact that famous deep-fried chicken originates from the U.S.A through the tragic history of slavery. Nevertheless, when deep-fried chicken flowed into Korea, Korean-style deep-fried chicken became more famous globbally than the original. (However, it doesn't mean Korea didn't have any deep-fried chicken recipe. Korea had traditional deep-fried chicken recipe called 'Pogye', which is soy-sauce and vinegar-based deep-fried chicken.).

Today's dish, 'Dak-Gangjeong (닭강정, Sweet and sour chicken)', is a very modern Korean dish that appeared from 1970s; the era when Korea was massively industrialized and started to develop its culture, quality and diet. In 1993, dak-gangjeong was introduced in a newspaper as a good dish to cook when deep-fried chicken is left over at home, which means dak-gangjeong was a beloved and popular recipe for the public.

A dak-gangjeong shop in a market of Gangneung Central Market
Dak-gangjeong originated in two cities, Incheon in western Korea and Sokcho in eastern Korea. Several dak-gangjeong shops claim that they have the original dak-gangjeong with 40 years of tradition but no one knows who the original really is.

Dak-gangjeong slightly differs from 'Seasoned spicy chicken' through some of its features, though it is similar. Its seasoning is less watery, more viscous, and fully coated fried-chicken, not 'poured' on chicken. It is usually spicier than seasoned spicy chicken because of garlic and spicy chili, and a bit more crunchy with more nuts.

Western dak-gangjeong from Incheon features bigger chunks of chicken which is very similar to seasoned spicy chicken. On the other hand, eastern dak-gangjeong from Sokcho has smaller pieces of chicken and is usually boned. To me, they are all nice and delicious anyway.

The recipe is very similar to seasoned spicy chicken.

1. Deep-fry chicken pieces.
2. Stir-fry them on a wide and round pan with sliced garlic and spicy chili.
3. Add soy-sauce, starch syrup and water. (Here you can add more seasoning such as chili paste, chili powder etc.)
4. Add starch water and nuts, boil down.

'Dak' means chicken and 'gangjeong' means traditional Korean crunchy crackers with rice, sesame, beans, nuts etc. in Korean. I think that its name suits it very well with its crunchy and sweet features. Dak-gangjeong is one of my favorite dishes, and it is also very popular to many tourists who visit Korea because....I mean, who dare hates deep-fried chicken?! You look at the photos in this article. Don't you see that crunchy, crispy-fried chicken with lip-smacking seasoning?

A dak-gangjeong from Shinpo Market, Incheon, western South Korea

A dak-gangjeong from Sokcho Central Market, Sokcho, eastern South Korea

Nowadays, you can find dak-gangjeong very easily in any market in Korea because it is popular to Koreans and non-Koreans alike. Once I saw tourists from the U.S.A trying some sample of dak-gangjeong at a market in Busan (when I visited Busan), then they bought 2 boxes of dak-gangjeong per person.

A dak-gangjeong with fried rice cake pieces

If you are sick of 'normal' fried chicken, try dak-gangjeong. It will open your door to a new world of deep fried chicken :)

Bon Appétit!


  1. Looks delicious. If I ever come to Korea, this will be one of the first dishes I try!

  2. I want to eat. Tastes must be good.

  3. Superb, look forward to korea just for this dish LOL !


  5. Amazing chickjen recipe thank you for sharing

  6. Yum!! Thanks for sharing this recipe! : ))

  7. Hmmmmmmm...... Let's get some chicken going here

  8. 2am: Drooling as I read... Looks :9!!!

  9. 唐揚げと似てるんですけど、、、美味しそうであう。

  10. I love chicken!!really delicious!!

  11. チキンぽいし唐揚げぽいですね、辛そうで甘そうですね