dak jjim: braised soy garlicky chicken stew


ask a parisian how many times he/she heard sirens blaring today.

for me, i counted and fifty-four sirens and oh, i can’t forget the eight helicopters that flew over my apartment today. paris went through a lot today; the ninth gilets jaunes riot and a bakery that exploded in the 9th, leaving fifty+ people injured :( my coworkers warned me yesterday that the riots could get a tad bit more violent this weekend since the government warned that police would be taking physical action on violent protesters. so far, i’ve used the protests as an excuse to coop up in my apartment, away from the cold, but knowing that i’m (sadly) able to count the weekends i have left with my fingers, i pushed myself out the door to go and explore.

i decided to start my day off with a run because i literally felt myself growing out of my jeans this past week. i started down rue reamur from arts and metiers, swung down beaumarchais to bastile and then down rue de lyon to check out la coulée vert, which is the highline of paris. my friend stacey tried to take me up there last weekend, but it closed early for some odd reason and to my luck it was closed again today. i have a hunch that it was closed it just in case the protesters somehow made their way east.

soooo i ran back the other way and found myself amongst a large group of gilets jaunes protesters at bastille. internal panic set in so i turned into a safer more familiar street and thennnn found myself at the doorstep of blé sucre, a bakery that’s famous for their croissants. i clearly lack any self control because before i knew it, i found myself indulging in what i think is the best cheapest thrill in paris: sitting on their terrace chowing down on a pain au chocolat with a short espresso.

this croissant was basically out of control and it deserves its own paragraph…you know how pain au chocolats usually have a solid piece of chocolate inside and the outer layer is this sort of wilted soggy mess? well dear LORD, blé sucre’s pain au chocolat had this mushy oozy bittersweet chocolate inside moist layers of dough nestled in a thin crispy outer layer lacquered with butter. i took maybe a million pictures of this moment because i not only wanted it to last forever, but i also wanted to remember it for the rest of my life.

i also made a mental note that life is way too short to count calories, and that sweet little pudge growing ever so quickly on my waistline has been nurtured by nothing but the finest butter in the whole world. i was tempted to pick the gold croissant flakes off my lululemon running pants and place them in my mouth, but you know, i have to practice self control. so i dusted them off and made my way to marché d’aligre.

i’ve been to this market a handful of times and i’ve learned to come prepared with my noise cancelling headphones to keep my cool and to not get in trouble because the produce vendors always yell niiiihaoooo to get my attention. but other than that, this wonderful corner of paris has almost everything under the sun and you most likely will not leave disappointed or empty handed!

as for me, twenty euros later, i had a few chicken drumsticks (or in french, pilons) and vegetables in my market bag and i was off to make my mom’s dak jjim. dak jjim (dagk-cheem) directly translates in korean to boiled or steamed chicken, which is so nondescript and unhelpful to what koreans actually imagine when they hear the word “dak-jjim”. i don’t know about you, but i picture a dish that boasts of rich and dense sweet garlicky soy saucy flavors that should be enjoyed on certain occasions.

the recipe here is for a dak jjim that can be cooked for casual dinner nights since the base is lighter and rather more of a broth than a sauce. we had it all the time growing up, and it was my jam. ladle if over a bowl of rice and you’ll definitely have all that you need to stay indoors for the rest of the weekend >:]

xo, christine


dak jjim

{braised soy garlic chicken stew}


main ingredients

5 large chicken drumsticks

10 cloves garlic roughly minced

2 small yellow onions cut into quarters

4 medium carrots peeled and cut into thumb sizes

5 small waxy potatoes diced

2 thumbs ginger peeled and sliced into disks

3 large button mushrooms sliced

2 korean chili peppers diced

seasoning and cooking the chicken

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 tablespoon black pepper

3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

3.5 cups water

braise sauce

7 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoon 3 crabs fish sauce

1 tablespoon mirin

1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

4 tablespoon cane sugar

1/2 tablespoon gochugaru (crushed korean red pepper flakes)

to garnish

2 stalks of green onions thinly sliced diagonally

toasted sesame seeds


  1. season your chicken thighs with 2 tbs kosher salt and 1 tbs of black pepper for at least 20 minutes before cooking

  2. prep garlic, yellow onions, carrots, potatoes, ginger, mushrooms, and green pepper. set aside

  3. bring medium sized dutch oven or pot to a medium high heat, toss in chicken and sear for 2-3 on each side until skin has turned yellow. toss in garlic and sauté together for another minute

  4. toss in onions, carrots, potatoes, and ginger into pot and sauté for 3-4 minutes until all the vegetables are coated in oil and you can begin to see them sweat

  5. pour in 3.5 cups of water into pot + braise sauce. give a good stir, cover, and bring heat down to a medium simmer. simmer for 25 minutes or until the potatoes have cooked through

  6. toss in green peppers and mushrooms and simmer for another 10 minutes. at this point, the meat should be falling off the bones and the broth should be a bit thicker (and taste like an umami soy garlic with a bit of sweetness)

  7. before serving, remember to pick out ginger slices

  8. serve over a bed of rice, garnish with green onions and sesame seeds. enjoy!