Burn your lips and remember me: How to make Korean Spicy Fire Chicken (불닭)

When you buy powders and pastes for your recipes, you end up cooking similar dishes. After buying a huge packet of Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru 고추가루) that I doubt I will finish using*, I searched for recipes that require that as an ingredient. And I settled on this Spicy Fire Chicken, which sounds terribly spicy but is manageable with rice.

*If you would like some Korean red pepper flakes, let me know how much you’d like.

A photo of the Korean ingredients I bought for this recipe.gochujang and ddokErhm, so I still haven’t cooked any rice since learning how to cook. 😅 And as I was cooking for one person (it was about 2+pm so everyone else had eaten), I decided to treat myself to instant Korean rice. When on exchange in Korea, this was a staple. I would eat it with dumplings (man-doo) or microwave it with packet curry and a sausage (pictured here).

Dinner circa 2010

The recipe calls for chicken breast cut into cubes but lo and behold, Cold Storage sells chicken breast ALREADY cut into cubes. I decided to mix chicken breast with chicken leg, which you can see has more fat, as I wanted a mix of textures and felt it would be less dry this way.Chicken cubesMixing most of the ingredients in!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhile this paste looks sibeh spicy, it was manageable. (This comes from someone who get a tummy upset from eating McSpicy burgers.) Spot the cup of bubble tea I was drinking to stave off the hunger while cooking. 😜OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe picture of a relaxed mass of chicken, after having been given a shiatsu massage.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter frying the chicken, add the fried ddok. This was perhaps the point where my mum walked into the kitchen and asked what I was cooking and said it smelled quite good. If you like to make your neighbours jealous of what you’re cooking, now is probably a good time to open your windows. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen the frying is done, add the cheese! And be more generous than I was. I just put in whatever I found in the freezer.

Korean Spicy Fire Chicken (불닭)

After the cheese had melted, add the spring onions as garnish and serve warm! Demolish this dish with rice. It’s not something you would eat on its own. :p

Korean Spicy Fire Chicken (불닭)


  • 2 pounds of chicken breast, cut into 3/4 or 1 inch cubes
  • ½ cup Korean hot pepper flakes (gochugaru고추가루)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons hot pepper paste (gochujang고추장)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3tbsp cooking oil
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ⅓ cup rice syrup (or corn syrup, sugar, honey)
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, minced
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese (optional), cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup of sliced rice cake – ddok떡! (optional)
  • 1 green onion (chong), chopped
  • ¼ cup water

Let’s do it!

  1. Combine hot pepper flakes, hot pepper paste, soy sauce, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, ground black pepper, rice syrup, garlic, and ginger in a bowl.
  2. Mix it well into a sweet and spicy paste. (At this point, I thought it started to smell like something you would get from 4fingers. HAHA. The paste is a pretty tasty combi.)
  3. Add the chicken and mix well by hand AKA give it a massage.
  4. Add 1 tbsp of oil to a frying pan. Add sliced rice cakes (dokk 떡) and fry them for a few minutes until both sides are crispy and light golden brown.
  5. Remove dokk and set aside.
  6. Place the marinated chicken into the frying pan that you just used to cook the dokk떡 (save on washing!) Add some water to rinse the bowl and get the last of the sauce into the pan.
  7. Cover and cook over medium high heat for 7 – 9 minutes. Ensure the chicken does not burn by stirring frequently.
  8. Turn down the heat very low. Cover and let cook another 10 minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked.
  9. When the chicken is cooked, put the cheese over the top. Slip it into the oven for a few minutes until the cheese melts.

Thank you Maangchi for this recipe! 🙂

After action review:

The only downside of this dish was the hard ddok. Perhaps I should have fried it for a longer time. Any suggestions? :p

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