Street food is one of the best ways to experience any culture. Korea has no shortage of delicious and varied street food. Although it may be hard to choose, a definite must try is Dak-Kkochi (Korean Chicken Skewers.)
Dak-Kkochi is a very popular street food, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a tasty, skewered, grilled chicken with green onions that’s often coated with a thick sauce. There are many varieties of the sauce, some are sweet and salty and some are spicy.
Varieties include –
Eomuk Kkochi – Fishcake skewers, made by threading different types of eomuk (fishcakes) on skewers and cooking them in a broth flavoured with Korean radish and kelp. It is a popular winter street food in Korea.
Sundae Kkochi – The Korean blood sausage is sometimes skewered and sold on the street, from street stalls or snack bars. The dish is often brushed with gochujang-based sweet and spicy sauce.
Tteok Kkochi – Rice cake skewers, consisting of skewered and fried tteok (rice cakes) brushed with spicy gochujang-based sauce. It is a popular snack bar item.
For the Chicken:
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast or chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces.
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 3 tbsp cooking wine
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1 tbsp grated garlic (approximately 3 cloves, use zester or cheese grater)
- 8 to 10 green onions, 1½-inch long pieces
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup Sweet Sauce (Recipe above)
- 1 tbsp gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)
- 1 tbsp sriracha
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 6 to 8 bamboo skewers soaked in water at least 30 minutes to an hour beforehand.
- Combine chicken, salt, pepper, cooking wine, ginger and garlic in a large mixing bowl. Give it a good mix. Cover with a plastic wrap, marinate in a refrigerator for at least 20 minutes, if not overnight.
- Meanwhile, let’s make the sauce! To make the sweet sauce, whisk soy sauce and honey in a medium mixing bowl until they are combined well.
- To make the spicy sauce, add half of the sweet sauce (approximately ½ cup), gochugaru, sriracha and black pepper in another medium mixing bowl and whisk everything together.
- When making the skewers place a piece of green onion first then one to two pieces of chicken. Once you have used up all your chicken and green onions, it’s time to cook them!
- Heat your grill, skillet or sheet pan over a medium-high heat. Place chicken in the pan and cook 4 to 5 minutes on the first side. Flip it over then start brushing your choice of sauce all over. Cook for another 2 minutes and flip it again, brushing with more sauce.
- Now, keep flipping and brushing sauce on both sides as much as you wish until chicken is fully cooked and color and char is perfect to your taste. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Not a fan of meat?
For vegan and vegetarian alternatives, substitute the chicken with firm tofu and follow the recipe as usual. If you don’t like tofu, you can swap that out for a variety of vegetables, including mushrooms, peppers or just your favourites.