Ever since I’ve been introduced to Gochujang, the most delicious of fermented Korean chili pastes, I’ve fallen in love. I’ve been looking for all kinds of different ways to use it in my cooking from glazes and sauces to dips and dressings. I even tried working it into an experimental meatball recipe.

Throughout my culinary journeys, however, I neglected to take it back to its source: Korean recipes. Although I made some minor changes, this Dakgangjeong recipe takes all the traditional flair of the Korean original and adds a bit of fish sauce and some corn starch (I was out of rice flour) to craft something easy and delicious.

I hope this inspires you to check out your local Asian grocery store and try some new ingredients that may not yet have a place in your pantry.

Open your mind and enjoy the fermented goodness!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 3 T mirin
  • 2 T rice wine vinegar
  • 1 T Gochujang
  • 3 T honey
  • 2 t sesame oil
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1 t minced garlic
  • 1 t grated ginger
  • 1 t ground black pepper
  • 1 t granulated sugar
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • ¼ C toasted sesame seeds
  • ½ t fish sauce
  • 1 red chili pepper, sliced
  • ¼ C corn starch

Method:

  1. In a large zip top plastic bag, place chicken thighs, salt, pepper, and granulated sugar and allow to brine for at least 3-4 hours, preferably overnight.
  2. After brining, remove the chicken from the bag and coat evenly with corn starch, shaking off the excess.
  3. Using a mortar and pestle or food processor, blend together sesame oil, chili pepper, ginger, and garlic.
  4. For the sauce: in a mixing bowl, combine this paste with the soy sauce, mirin, rice wine vinegar, Gochujang, honey, brown sugar, and fish sauce. Mix well and set aside.
  5. Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. In a large cast iron skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat and fry the chicken for 3 minutes on each side until skin is crispy, but the chicken is not cooked all the way through.
  7. Place the chicken, still in the cast iron skillet, into the pre-heated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
  8. Remove the chicken from the oven and fully coat with the sauce on all sides, making sure all surfaces are thoroughly covered. Place the glazed chicken back in the oven for 5 minutes to set.
  9. Remove the chicken from the oven and dust with toasted sesame seeds.
  10. Serve over white, jasmine, or basmati rice.

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