Sunday, August 30, 2020

[Food] Dakhanmari (닭한마리, One Whole Chicken)


[Food] Dakhanmari (닭한마리, One Whole Chicken)

Many people may misunderstand Seoul, the capital of the Republic of Korea, to be a state-of-the-art city alone with global culture, but if you visit its narrow alleys behind its skyline and high-rise buildings, you will meet Seoul's particular traditional and modern culture :)

Dakhanmari (닭한마리 which means one whole chicken) is Seoul's indigenous food culture which originated in Dongdaemun alleys. There have been many chicken noodle soup restaurants in the alleyways of Dongdaemun since the 1970's with customers shouing 'Give me one whole chicken!' as they enter the restaurant to order chicken noodle soup. So 'one whole chicken' became the name of this menu :) Originally customers came to this alley to eat 'noodle soup with chicken', but gradually the menu was changed to 'whole chicken soup with noodle' because all customers shouted 'Give me one whole chicken!':)

The recipe is simple but every restaurant has a different know-how with its secrets for their dakhanmari recipe. They all put one whole chicken, leeks, water and spicy red pepper powder, but differ with the rest of the ingredients. Some put ginseng or kalopanax (thorn tree) or oriental herbs, and so on. So you can taste unique dakhanmari at each dakhanmari restaurant :)

One big whole chicken is served in a huge stainless bowl on a gas stove which customers chop with scissors (scissors are a typical utensil on the Korean meal table) when it's boiled. Then you eat pieces of chicken with the restaurant's unique spicy sauce and chopped chives. When you are finished with the chicken, you can order chopped noodle to eat with chicken soup :)

Similarly, the whole chicken is boiled in water for Samgyetang and Baeksuk but it's different from dakhanmari as that has a different recipe for soup and uses a spicy sauce :)

So, if you are visiting or living in Seoul...then how about tasting healthy dakhanmari at a Dongdaemun alleyway today? :)

Bon Appétit!


  1. For Koreans, Samgyetang is the best health food. I would like to eat it now.

  2. there's nothing better than a good chicken soup

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