Korean Food - Chicken (Menu, Locations, Tips)

Food in Korea | Harry

May 23, 2019

(The following text is referenced from "Chicken" by - Amos Farooqi)

Hello, this is the second addition to my blog series of 'Food in Korea' along with 'beef'. Chicken in Korea is consumed as a dish of its own, usually with vegetables especially radish shaped in squares. It is uncommon to see chicken consumed with rice, unless the chicken is dipped in a soup, or stew.




In Korea, chicken is the second most consumed meat after pork. Although the concept of western KFC style fried chicken was a recent addition to the Korean diet, chicken in general is nutritious, high in protein, has healthy fatty acids and is easy to digest. You can often see fitness trainers or people on diet consume chicken breast, due to its low calory, but high protein intake.


Drumsticks, are one of the most expensive and prized parts of the chicken, and in Korea, there is an interesting culture in which taking both chicken legs when sharing friend chicken with your Korean friend is taboo. 


Chicken Cuts / Parts

 Whole Chicken   Samgyetang, Fried Chicken, Jjimdak
 Wings  Savory, high in collagen  Buffalo Wings
 Drumstick / Thigh Chewy, Consist of Dark Meat Only Dakgalbi, Cutlet
 Breast / Tenders Soft white meat, contains little fat Dakgalbi, Salad
Feet Full of Collagen, mostly skin Spicy Dakbal
Gizzard Very Chewy Deep-fried, Stir-fried



Korean Dishes / Menus made from Chicken


1. Fried Chicken


One of the most popular food in all of Korea, with over 40,000 fried chicken restaurants currently open, chicken, in this case, friend chicken have been the best friend of Koreans throughout several years now.

The national craze for chicken came about during 2002 World Cup, as chicken was the perfect food to eat while watching the game. In addition, chicken also became commonplace as delivery services in Korea developed.
Along with chicken came its best friend, beer. Although beer was popular in the past before the chicken craze, the combination of chicken and beer brought rise to a new term chimaek (chicken + maekju).

Chimeak has spread out across the world as hallyu fans spotted their favorite celebrities having chimaek in a number of K-Dramas. For instance, when the drama "My Love from the Stars" was on air in China, people lined up 5 hours to eat chimaek at Chicken restaurants. 


- Popular Variations of Fried Chicken:


  • Fried Chicken - Basic crisy fried chicken without any sauce, or toppings
  • Yangnyeom Chicken - Fried Chicken Coated with a signature style sweet and spicy sauce. 
  • Ganjang Chicken - Fried Chicken coated with sweet soy sauce and sprinkled with nuts and chilli
  • Gu-un Chicken - A Roasted version of Fried chicken
  • Tongdak - A whole chicken deep-fried or roasted
  • Soonsal Chicken - Boneless Fried Chicken, a lot more pricy


Where to eat?

- Below are some of the hottest Chicken franchises and restaurants across Korea. Don't forget that most of these franchises also provide delivery service!


  • BBQ (Currently number one franchise in Korea, as of 2018)
  • BHC (The chicken brand which was featured in "My Love from the Stars")
  • Nene Chicken (Promoted by the famous comedian/entertainer Yu Jae Seok)
  • Pericana (One of the first to come up with Yangnyeom Chicken)
  • Kyochon (More popular in the southern parts of Korea, than in Seoul)
  • Mom's Touch (A typical chicken fast food restaurant like KFC, but much cheaper)
  • Goobne (One of the first 'baked' chicken franchises)
  • Hosigi Dumari (Basic menus consist of two chickens, but the price is similar to other major franchises)
  • Mexicana (Famous for creative chicken menus)


2. Samgyetang


(Photo from Korea Tourism Organization)
A whole chicken soup dish which is filled healthy ingredients. The chicken itself, it stuffed inside with rice, jujube, ginseng and other healthy ingredients as well.

Samgyetang is usually eaten by Koreans during the hottest days of summer to regain energy and stamina, but it is still popular all year-long round. 

There are many varieties of samgyetang depending on what goes in the soup, such as hanban samgyetang (herb) or jeonbok samgyetang (abalone)


Where to eat?


- Samgyetang is not a regional dish, and you will be able to find franchises and great family-run restaurants serve samgyetang. Samgyetang is usually served in a clay pot, or ttukbaegi, and it may take some time to boil the chicken in the soup. It is recommended that if you know the number of the restaurant, you can call to reserve samgyetang beforehand, and have it served right away when you arrive.



3. Jjimdak


(Photo from Korea Tourism Organization)
Jjim dak is a dish made with chicken, various vegetables, and glass noodles braised in a savory, mildly sweet and salty soy-based sauce. But don’t be deceived by its unthreatening color. Spicy green peppers are usually part of the dish.

There many are other varieties of jjimdak such as cheese jjimdak or gochujang jjimdak.


Where to eat?


- For the most authentic taste visit the Jjimdak Alley in Andong, Gyeongsangbuk Province, where more than 20 thousand visitors from all over the country come every weekend to indulge in this delicious dish.

4. Dakgalbi

(Photo by Korea Tourism Organization)
Dakgalbi is made by marinating boneless cuts of chicken breast and chicken thigh in a chili-paste based sauce, then stir frying it with sweet potatoes, cabbage, perilla leaves, tteok (rice cake), and other ingredients. 

There are several variations and franchises that serve dakgalbi. The most popular addition is cheese, and bogkeumbap (fried rice), after you finish the dakgalbi.


Where to eat?
- To try authentic dakgalbi, many people go to Chuncheon, which is close to Seoul, and accessible by the Subway. There is a famous dakgalbi alley in Myongdong (Myongdong of Chuncheon, not Seoul) where you can taste another specialty of Chuncheon, makguksu (sweet and spicy cold noodles), as well.
5. Dakbal

(Photo taken by Amos)
Dakbal literally means ‘chicken feet’ in Korean, but it usually refers to a dish made with dakbal that is grilled or stir-fried with an extremely spicy sauce. The spicy taste is to cover up the distinctive smell of the chicken feet.

This is one dish that many foreigners abhor, not just because of the creepy shaped feet which has hardly any meat, but also because of the extreme spiciness.


Where to eat?
- You can find dakbal offered at Korean style bars. One of the bar franchises that played an important role in popularizing the dish is Hanshin Pocha, and the first store in Nonhyeon station is always crowded with people






Welcome to my Blog


Hello, and welcome to my blog! My aim is to provide new tourists and expats information and daily tips about living in Korea. These tips will be ranging from visa, some history and overview, food, popular attractions, and general information about Korea.