Cheese buldak

This recipe for buldak, or extremely spicy chicken, originates from Korea. You can refer to this as “fire chicken” since the Korean words bul and dak respectively, imply fire and chicken.

It was during my time living in Korea years ago that I first learned about this meal. I once spotted a truck serving grilled chicken on the street one evening. Large chunks of chicken coated in a thick, hot paste were being barbecued by the man, who had constructed a makeshift grill with actual fire underneath.

Cheese buldak
Cheese buldak

A throng of people had gathered around, some to purchase his chicken and some simply to join in the celebration, as the sight of the flames and smoke was quite joyous.On the side of his truck, there was a banner that read “안역” (buldak).

Though I had never heard the name before, it sounded like a wonderful name to me, especially with the spicy chicken and the fire he was cooking it over. I purchased some and gave it to my family at home. It was excellent!These buldak trucks gained popularity; they would set up their improvised fire pits in the nights and cook spicy chicken over the fire. Individuals would show up and join in on the fun.

This recipe for buldak, or extremely spicy chicken, originates from Korea. You can refer to this as “fire chicken” since the Korean words bul and dak respectively imply fire and chicken.

It was during my time living in Korea years ago that I first learned about this meal. I once spotted a truck serving grilled chicken on the street one evening. Large chunks of chicken coated in a thick, hot paste were being barbecued by the man, who had constructed a makeshift grill with actual fire underneath.

Cheese buldak
Cheese buldak

A throng of people had gathered around, some to purchase his chicken and some simply to join in the celebration, as the sight of the flames and smoke was quite joyous.On the side of his truck, there was a banner that read “안역” (buldak). Though I had never heard the name before, it sounded like a wonderful name to me, especially with the spicy chicken and the fire he was cooking it over. I purchased some and gave it to my family at home. It was excellent!These buldak trucks gained popularity; they would set up their improvised fire pits in the nights and cook spicy chicken over the fire. Individuals would show up and join in on the fun.

Even though I can’t build a fire pit in my apartment, my recreation is still really hot! This buldak is very soft and juicy, with a hint of sweetness and spice. The crunchy rice cakes add a beautiful texture to the dish; they are optional and my own adaptation. Reduce the amount of hot pepper flakes or use softer flakes to make it less spicy. In my recipe, I use chicken breast, but you could also use chicken thighs.This recipe is sure to please! Tell me if you give it a try!

Cheese buldak pairs well with a variety of side dishes and accompaniments that complement its spicy and savory flavors. Here are some options:

  1. Steamed Rice: A simple bowl of steamed rice is a classic accompaniment to cheese buldak. The mild flavor of rice helps balance out the spiciness of the dish.
  2. Kimchi: Spicy fermented cabbage, radish, or cucumber kimchi adds a tangy and refreshing contrast to the richness of cheese buldak.
  3. Pickled Vegetables: Pickled radishes, carrots, or cucumbers provide a crunchy texture and a hint of acidity that pairs well with the bold flavors of the dish.
  4. Leafy Greens: Serve cheese buldak with a side of fresh lettuce leaves or perilla leaves. Wrap the chicken in the leaves to create a refreshing and crunchy bite.
  5. Steamed Vegetables: Steamed broccoli, green beans, or bok choy add a healthy and colorful component to the meal while providing a contrast in texture.
  6. Egg: A fried or soft-boiled egg on top of cheese buldak adds richness and creaminess to the dish. Break the yolk and mix it with the chicken for an extra indulgent experience.
  7. Korean Pancakes (Pajeon): Crispy Korean scallion pancakes make a delicious appetizer or side dish to accompany cheese buldak. They provide a nice contrast in texture and flavor.
  8. Cold Noodles (Naengmyeon): Cold Korean buckwheat noodles served in a tangy broth make a refreshing and cooling side dish to balance the heat of cheese buldak.
  9. Beer or Soju: For beverages, consider serving cheese buldak with a cold beer or Korean soju. The crispness of the beer or the clean taste of soju helps to cool down the palate between bites.

These are just a few ideas for what goes well with cheese buldak. Feel free to mix and match based on your personal preferences and dietary restrictions.

Cheese buldak
Cheese buldak

Ingredients

For 4 people
2 pounds of chicken breast, cut into cubes that are ¾ inch or 1 inch thick
ν cup gochugaru, which are Korean hot pepper flakes

Cheese buldak
Cheese buldak

2 to 3 tablespoons of hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
30 ml of corn or veggie oil
½ teaspoon of black pepper that has been ground
⅓ cup rice syrup
6 big garlic cloves, chopped up
2 teaspoons of chopped ginger
1/4 pound of mozzarella cheese, cut into little chunks
1 cup of rice cake slices
1 chopped green onion ¼ cup water

Instructions:

  1. Marinate the chicken:
    • In a mixing bowl, combine the chicken pieces with soy sauce, minced garlic, gochujang, gochugaru, honey or brown sugar, sesame oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well until the chicken is evenly coated. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  2. Cook the chicken:
    • Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add sliced onions and bell peppers (if using) to the pan and cook until they start to soften.
    • Add the marinated chicken to the pan and stir-fry until the chicken is fully cooked through, and the sauce has thickened, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Add cheese:
    • Once the chicken is cooked, spread the shredded mozzarella cheese evenly over the top of the chicken in the skillet.
    • Cover the skillet with a lid and let it cook for another 2-3 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  4. Serve:
    • Remove the skillet from heat and sprinkle chopped green onions and sesame seeds over the top for garnish.
    • Serve the cheese buldak hot with steamed rice or noodles.

WATCH HERE:

Enjoy your homemade cheese buldak! Adjust the spiciness level according to your preference by adding more or less gochujang and gochugaru.

Cheese buldak is a popular dish in South Korea, particularly in Korean restaurants and eateries specializing in spicy chicken dishes. It has gained popularity not only within South Korea but also internationally, especially among fans of Korean cuisine. You can find variations of cheese buldak in Korean restaurants around the world, as well as homemade versions made by enthusiasts of Korean cooking.

Faqs:-

 

Sure, here are some frequently asked questions about cheese buldak:

  1. What does “buldak” mean?
    • “Buldak” translates to “fire chicken” in English. It refers to the spicy flavor of the dish.
  2. Is cheese buldak very spicy?
    • Yes, cheese buldak is known for its spicy flavor. However, the level of spiciness can be adjusted according to personal preference by varying the amount of gochujang (Korean chili paste) and gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes) used in the recipe.
  3. What type of cheese is used in cheese buldak?
    • Typically, mozzarella cheese is used for cheese buldak due to its gooey and stretchy texture when melted. However, some variations may use other types of cheese, such as cheddar or processed cheese.
  4. Can I make cheese buldak without chicken?
    • While chicken is the traditional protein used in cheese buldak, you can experiment with other meats or even tofu as a vegetarian alternative. The cooking method and sauce can be adapted to suit your preference.
  5. What are some serving suggestions for cheese buldak?
    • Cheese buldak is commonly served with steamed rice or noodles to help balance out the spiciness. You can also serve it with a side of pickled vegetables or kimchi to add some tanginess to the meal.
  6. Can I make cheese buldak ahead of time?
    • While cheese buldak is best enjoyed fresh, you can prepare the chicken and sauce ahead of time and store them separately in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, simply reheat the chicken, add cheese, and finish cooking until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  7. Is cheese buldak gluten-free?
    • The dish can be made gluten-free by using gluten-free soy sauce or tamari in place of regular soy sauce. Additionally, ensure that all other ingredients used are gluten-free.

These are just a few common questions about cheese buldak, but feel free to ask if you have any more!

 

Leave a Comment