SOUTH KOREA Andong Jjimdak

SOUTH KOREA Andong Jjimdak

 Chicken braised in a fiery sweet sauce: it’s definitely not granny’s Sunday casserole, but Andong jjimdak just might become your family’s favourite weekend comfort food.

Origins
Legend suggests this soy saucebased fricassee was created in the 1980s in response to the surging popularity of fried chicken. The traditional way of serving chicken in market restaurants, boiled in a bland broth, was losing appeal. Creative minds in Andong had a Eureka moment: add some potatoes. Other suggestions followed and the idea for a new regional fare hatched: seasoned chicken casserole with veggies, glass noodles and a dollop of chilli peppers.


You’ll need

1.5kg (3lbs) chicken meat
(thighs, wings and legs work
well)
100g (3½oz) glass noodles
(vermicelli)
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup oyster sauce (use more
soy sauce if not available)
4 tbs rice syrup (corn syrup
or honey)
1 tbs dark brown sugar
1–2 tbs minced garlic
1–2 tsp ginger, finely chopped
¼ tsp ground black pepper
2 cups water
4 medium potatoes, peeled
and cut into chunks
1 medium carrot, sliced
lengthways
1 medium onion, chopped
1 whole dried red chilli
pepper, sliced
1–2 whole green chilli
peppers, sliced
5–7 green onions, chopped
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sesame seeds, to garnish


Cooking Method

1 Cook the chicken in boiling water for 1 minute to remove excess fat, then drain and set aside.

2 Soak the noodles in a bowl of warm water for 20 minutes, then drain.

3 Combine the soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice syrup, sugar, garlic, ginger and pepper in a bowl.

4 Place the chicken, sauce mixture and water in a wide pot and bring to the boil, then turn down to a medium heat, cover and cook for 10 minutes.

5 Add the potatoes, carrot and onion and simmer 10 minutes, keeping the lid on.

6 Add the drained noodles and chilli peppers and simmer for 7-10 minutes over a medium– high heat, until the sauce reduces by a third.

7 Remove from the heat and pour into a wide serving dish.

8 Stir in the sesame oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve.


Tasting notes

On a warm Saturday afternoon, the staff in the jjimdak restaurant near Busan’s baseball stadium aren’t in a hurry. There’s a ball game on TV and the place will soon enough be packed with raucous fans looking for post-game drinks and a hearty meal. Graciously, the server takes the order and, thankfully, the owner points out the menu’s hot pepper options. Minutes later, a wide serving dish arrives. It’s brimming with chicken pieces, potatoes and carrots swimming in a garlicky sauce. Sure, it’s a simple casserole, but the mélange of earthy flavours and the whiff of chilli pepper heat come together in a presentation that tickles the senses and inspires dinner guests to eagerly dig in.

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