I seem to be cooking a lot of chicken dishes lately, probably because I find that chicken is such a versatile ingredient that can be prepared in so many ways and rather quickly too. Also, I don't tend to get tired of eating chicken as much as I do other meats like beef, lamb or pork. In today's post, I am sharing with you a recipe for Dak Bulgogi by Hyosun of Eating and Living fame. I'm sure many of you are familiar with her blog and the mouth-watering photos and recipes of delicious Korean food. I was captivated by photos of her Dak Bulgogi and couldn't wait to try making it too. So I went out to buy some Ssamjang, which is like a spicy soybean paste type of chilli sauce (or paste) that you will usually find at Korean bbqs where you add it to your grilled meats before wrapping them in lettuce leaves. It tastes so good with the chicken bulgogi!
The marinade for the chicken is predominantly soy, ginger and honey, so it's quite similar to the Chinese version of honey soy chicken, except that this one has quite a punch from the ginger as well as some zing from the lemon juice. When eaten with the ssamjang and wrapped in lettuce leaves, it transforms into something different altogether, as the ssamjang has that big taste of Korea that is quite addictive. Hyosun suggests that you can also serve it with doenjang if you don't have ssamjang. I really enjoyed this dish, alongside some spicy Kongnamul Muchim (seasoned soy bean sprouts) which I also made. Yum!
500g (or 1 pound) boneless chicken thigh fillets
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey (or 1-1/3 more tablespoons brown sugar)
1 tablespoon rice wine (or mirin)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon sesame oil
pinch black pepper
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
Lettuce leaves, washed and dried
Cut each of the chicken pieces into small sizes (about 2-inch long and 1-inch wide).
Mix the marinade ingredients in a bowl until the sugar has dissolved. Combine chicken with marinade and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat a skillet (or a large non-stick wok) over medium high heat. Add the chicken pieces, reserving the marinade. Cook until cooked through and slightly caramelized, about 2 minutes each side. (The sugar and honey in the marinade will burn easily, so watch it carefully and add the reserved marinade by tablespoon when the pan gets dry. You can slightly reduce the heat to avoid burning. Dish out on to a plate. To serve, take a piece of lettuce and place a little ssamjang/doenjang in the middle, followed by a piece of chicken. Wrap up in the lettuce and enjoy!