Since I'm Korean I always crave Korean food. But every now and again, I want to update some classic dishes. Bibimbap is one of those dishes that can be easily changed while still keeping the same idea in mind. If you're not familiar, it's basically a rice bowl with various vegetables and bulgogi all mixed together with a spicy gochujang sauce. I have bibimbap all the time so today, I decided to mix it up a little by adding some extra spice to the mix. Love Korean spicy chicken? Then you'll love this Korean spicy chicken bowl! Loaded with caramelized onions, garlicky kale, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, and the most flavorful chicken, it's one full meal in a bowl.
Korean Spicy Chicken Bowl
- 2 lb chicken thighs boneless, skinless
- 2 tbsp rice syrup
- 2 tbsp gochujang (Korean chili paste)
- 1 tbsp gochugaru (Korean red chili flakes)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp mirin
- 2 tsp sake
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp ginger minced
- 3 tbsp gochujang
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- ¼ cup oil divided
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 2 medium carrots thinly sliced
- 12 ounces shiitake mushrooms sliced
- ¼ cup chicken stock
- 1 tbsp sherry wine
- ½ tbsp soy sauce
- 2 bunches kale stems removed, leaves torn
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- salt and pepper
- 4 cups rice cooked
- Marinade the chicken. Combine all of the ingredients for the chicken marinade (rice syrup - minced ginger) in a bowl. Add the chicken, tossing to coat. Let sit at room temperature for at least one hour or in the fridge overnight.
- Make the gochujang sauce by combining gochujang with honey, water, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and sesame seeds. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and cook until caramelized, about 20 minutes. If the pan gets too dry, add a splash of water. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In the same pan, heat another tablespoon of oil. Cook the sliced carrots until tender, about 7-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Heat another tablespoon in the same pan. Add the shiitake mushrooms and saute until browned and caramelized, about 5-6 minutes. Add the chicken stock, sherry wine, and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and continue to simmer until all of the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
- Heat the last tablespoon in the same pan and saute the kale until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another minute. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Wipe the pan clean. Increase the heat back to medium and cook the chicken until slightly charred and the juices run clear. Remove from heat and rest the chicken for 5 minutes. Slice into bite-size pieces.
- Assemble the Korean spicy chicken bowls. Portion the rice into 4 bowls and top with the caramelized onions, carrots, garlicky kale, shiitake mushrooms, and spicy chicken. Garnish with scallions and drizzle the gochujang sauce on top. Mix all of the ingredients together and dig in!
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
To make this Korean spicy chicken bowl, first, you have to marinate the chicken. We're going to use a combination of Korean staple ingredients such as gochujang, gochugaru, mirin, and soy sauce. If you want a less spicy chicken, decrease the amount of gochujang and gochugaru. This recipe yields a fairly spicy chicken so if you like the kick, stick to the original amounts.
I'm a hard chore dark chicken meat fan but you can also use chicken breast. You can even swap out the chicken for pork, beef, or even tofu.
While the chicken is marinating, make the gochujang sauce. All of the components already have a ton of flavor so you may not even need it for your Korean spicy chicken bowl. However, if you're like me and you want extra spice, make the sauce.
Now it's time to make the other components including the rice and vegetables. This is where you can get creative with the toppings. I chose a couple of classic toppings such as carrots and mushrooms but decided to add caramelized onions for a touch of sweetness and kale for greenness. You can also serve this bowl with sauteed zucchini, bean sprouts, and spinach, or get crazy with sweet potatoes or broccoli. Almost anything is fair game!
By now the chicken should be ready to go. Cook the chicken until the juices run clear and the outside is caramelized. Be sure to keep the flames on medium to prevent the outside from burning before the inside is done. Let the chicken rest for several minutes before slicing and then assemble the Korean spicy chicken bowls.
Drizzle the bowls with extra gochujang sauce if desired and give everything a good mix. Make sure you get all of the ingredients in one bite to really enjoy the dish! This chicken bowl definitely hit the spot, delivering on spicy and comfort all in one. Delicious!
For more Korean food inspiration check out this rabboki (ddukbokgi with ramen) recipe!