Student staple dak galbi is popular not just in Chuncheon, Gangwon province where it’s a specialty, but all over Korea as a good drinking side-dish, or an easy-to-throw-together panful to share with friends.

The dish started out in the 1960s as a cheap serving of grilled chicken bits, but these days it’s got more flavour and a bit more class. If you’re in Korea, Chuncheon has its own dak galbi alley where you’ll be served it with chilled buckwheat noodles known as makguksu.

If you want to make it at home, the basic ingredients are chicken, hot pepper paste, tteok (rice cake), sweet potato and various other veg. Just slide it all into a pan in sequence, and once it’s good and ready wrap whole fresh lettuce leaves around dollops of it.

Gochujang, the hot pepper paste is absolutely essential to this dish. You can get it online here if your local food shops don’t have anything Korean.

There’s some great dak galbi recipes online. Try this one or this one! Unsurprisingly, Eat your Kimichi have honed their own dak galbi recipe. Their cooking vid is easy to follow along with and they have some sound cooking order advice and vegetarian alternatives on their site. Take a look.


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British writer and editor living in Japan. Currently studying Japanese, Korean, K-pop dance, and the fine form of 이성종's legs.