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Spicy Korean Chicken Stew with Potatoes

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How to make spicy Korean chicken stew with potatoes, tender chicken pieces and potatoes coated in a spicy sauce made with Gochujang paste.

korean chicken stew recipe

Asian chicken stew

This Korean chicken stew has become one of my favorite chicken dishes lately. I have already cooked it several times, it is just that good.

A very straightforward recipe, no special techniques or steps required, just a few good ingredients and a minimum of effort. And the result is absolutely mouthwatering. You will not believe how tender those thighs will become, how good that sauce will be and how you will lick every bit of leftover sauce from the bottom of your pan after being finished with the chicken and potatoes.

And the best thing about this Asian stew, if you ask me, is that I get to taste something so different from the food I usually eat without having to spend lots of money on ingredients that are not available here or having to learn special cooking techniques.

I make one stew or another very often, my blog is full of stew recipes. But they are mostly Romanian stews because Romanian people like me just love food served in form of a stew. Just have a look at this Romanian paprikash with dumplings, this chicken and pea stew, or this easy potato stew, for instance.

So cooking this Asian stew was both familiar and different. Completely different taste, although so similar to a regular Romanian or European-style stew. But the spices make all the difference.

korean chicken stew with gochujang sauce



  • You can use a whole chicken and cut that into 8 parts. Or you could use just legs like I did, either thighs or drumsticks or rather a mixture of the two.
  • I don’t often skin the chicken when cooking it, but I do that most of the time when cooking a stew. I like the skin a lot when it is crispy and spicy, but I don’t like it when it is soft and floppy and that’s the way it will become when braised almost immersed in a lot of sauce.
  • The skinning is optional, do as you like. I do recommend removing the skin, but that is just personal preference. Read the end of the blog post to find out how you can use the leftover skin.

Korean Gochujang paste:

  • Another important ingredient, the only one which might require an Asian store (or the internet) in order to buy it.
  • The Gochujang paste is a fermented condiment – hot pepper paste – containing chili powder, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, and salt.
  • It comes in several heat degrees, so you might want to pay attention to that when purchasing gochujang paste.
  • I used a medium Gochujang paste, which is so hot it makes me wonder how hot the hot paste is… Probably unbearable for me.
  • I bought this paste to make the Korean chicken wings and the oven-baked chicken drumsticks with honey and I still have some, it keeps well in the fridge and I can never use as much as required in a recipe, it is just too much. So, because I use it so economical, I still have some to use for other recipes as well.

Other ingredients:

  • The rest of the ingredients are pretty basic and easy to find just about anywhere.
  • In case you cannot find or want to buy a bottle of rice vinegar, you can use cider vinegar instead, cider vinegar is a pretty mild-flavored vinegar that will not overpower the dish.
korean chicken potato stew

How to make?

  • Mix the wet ingredients (water, soy sauce, vinegar) in a wide and not too tall a thick-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, a pot large enough to hold all the meat pieces in a single layer. Whisk in the Gochujang paste and the honey, add the chili flakes and the pepper.
  • Skin the chicken pieces (if desired) and place the parts in the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes.
how to make korean chicken stew
  • Add the chopped vegetables (potatoes, onion, carrots, garlic, and ginger), stir well, cover again and cook for further 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  • Remove the lid and continue cooking for about 10 minutes or until the meat is cooked through and the sauce is slightly thickened.
  • If you like your sauce to be thicker, you can thicken it with a small amount of corn starch slurry (1 tablespoon corn starch mixed with 1-2 tablespoons cold water to form a runny thick paste, which will be whisked into the boiling sauce).
  • Stir in the sesame oil, check the seasoning and sprinkle the chicken stew with chopped scallions and toasted sesame seeds just before serving.
how to cook korean chicken stew

How to serve?

  • We served the Korean chicken and potato stew with kimchi, but a green salad with vinaigrette dressing would be great as well.
  • The stew reheats well.
korean chicken stew with potatoes

A note on the chicken skin:

  • If you don’t like wasting the skin of the chicken, you can cut it into small pieces and render their fat in a small pot.
  • Place the finely chopped skin to a small thick-bottomed pot or saucepan and render the fat on very low heat, until the skin pieces are golden and crispy and the fat surrounds them.
  • Strain the fat through a small sieve into a small jar, let cool and refrigerate.
  • Place the crispy skin pieces onto kitchen paper, which will absorb the extra fat, salt them and enjoy them very fresh, either on top of the chicken stew, on a salad, or just like that. They are best eaten fresh, they become soft after a while.
  • You can use the rendered fat instead of oil or butter when cooking and you can even smear it thinly on fresh bread, sprinkle it with salt, and enjoy it as it is, this kind of bread with rendered fat (mostly pork) was a very common bread spread in the Communist days in Romania.
spicy korean chicken stew

More Asian dishes:

Rice Noodle Beef with Green Onions

Sweet and Sour Tofu

Napa Cabbage Rolls (in Ginger Broth)

Mushroom Egg Noodle Soup

Okonomiyaki – Japanese Cabbage Pancakes

pot with chicken pieces, potatoes and carrots

Spicy Korean Chicken Stew with Potatoes

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

How to make spicy Korean chicken stew with potatoes, tender chicken pieces, and potatoes coated in a spicy sauce made with Gochujang paste.


  • Sauce:
  • 350 ml/ 12 fl.oz/ 1 ½ cups water
  • 60 ml/ 2 fl.oz/ ¼ cups soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar (Note 1)
  • 1-2 tablespoons Korean Gochujang paste (Note 2)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Stew:
  • 1,2 kg/ 2.6 lbs chicken thighs
  • 500 g/ 1.1 lbs potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 medium onion
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 thumb-size piece of ginger
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch, optional (Note 3)
  • 1-2 tablespoons cold water, optional
  • Serving:
  • 2 scallions
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • fine sea salt


  1. Use a wide, thick-bottomed pot or Dutch oven that will hold all the chicken pieces in one single layer. Place the water, soy sauce, rice vinegar, Gochujang paste, honey, chili flakes, and pepper into the pot. Whisk well.
  2. Skin the chicken pieces and arrange them in the pot in a single layer. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, peel and chop the potatoes into large chunks. Cut the carrots and the onion into chunks as well. Peel the garlic cloves and chop them finely. Peel and grate the ginger.
  4. Add the prepared vegetable to the pot and stir to make sure that they are all mixed in the sauce. Cover again and cook for further 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  5. Remove the lid from the pot and continue cooking for about 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is slightly thickened.
  6. If you like your sauce to be thicker, you can thicken it with a small amount of corn starch slurry. Mix 1 tablespoons corn starch with 1-2 tablespoons cold water to form a thick yet still runny paste. Whisk this slurry into the boiling sauce, let bubble shortly, and remove the pot from the heat.
  7. Stir in the sesame oil, check the seasoning, and sprinkle the chicken stew with chopped scallions and toasted sesame seeds just before serving.


  1. Cider vinegar can be used instead.
  2. Use Gochujang paste according to taste. My paste is medium, yet so hot I cannot use more than one tablespoon if I want the kids to be able to eat with us.
  3. You will only need the corn starch slurry (made with corn starch and water) if you desire your sauce to be thicker. Otherwise, you can leave this step out.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1/4 of the dish
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 740Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 366mgSodium: 1809mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 5gSugar: 15gProtein: 79g

Nutritional information is not always accurate.

Kelly | Foodtasia

Wednesday 5th of December 2018

Adina, this stew looks so cozy and homey. Love the Korean flavors in it. I'll look for the Gochujang paste in my local Korean market. I'd love to wrap up in a cozy blanket and eat a big bowl of it right about now!


Monday 3rd of December 2018

IMO - Korean Gochujang paste is the best chile paste out there. I put it on everything and because of that I know that this chicken stew could easily become a favorite. It looks quite hearty and very delicious!

Marvellina | What To Cook Today

Monday 3rd of December 2018

This is definitely one of my favorite. Gochujang paste is very versatile. Very similar to Chinese fermented bean paste, if not the same!


Thursday 29th of November 2018

Hi Adina - this looks like a great stew! I well remember the Gochujang paste from your Korean chicken wings post. This looks like a great way to use chicken and I like that you don't need a lot of fancy ingredients for a different flavor pop. I already have the sesame seeds, garlic, rice vinegar and fresh ginger on hand. It's super cold here right now, the wind is whistling - this would be a great stew for cozying up by the fire. Your blog looks great, BTW - I really like the layout. Have a great day, hope all is well with you and your family. XO


Thursday 29th of November 2018

This would be really nice with some parsley rice!

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