Dak Hanmari (Chicken Stew)

Yesterday was Boknal, which refers to one of the hottest three days between July to August in Korea. On these days, we have a custom of eating something that boosts one’s energy, and the most popular choice will be Samgye-tang. But I’m going for a modern version, called Dak Hanmari. It’s still a slow cooked chicken stew, but can feed two or more people, has more veggies, and it’s just more exciting!

Dak Hanmari literally means “one chicken,” as it’s made of a whole chicken, and also comes with potatoes, rice cakes and a sauce to dip in. After the chicken is all gone and still not satisfied, you can add noodles and rice to the enriched broth, finishing every last drop of the dish. So in a way you get three dish in one pot! If you add noodles you will have Kalguksu, and if you add rice that’s going to become Juk, which is porridge in Korean.

Making of this dish takes a bit of an effort, but it’s a very hearty dish that’s packed with rich flavor, so give it a try on the two remaining Boknals of this year, which is 26th of July, and 15th of August.

INGREDIENTS – serves 2-3

a whole chicken
1 medium potato, sliced into 1cm thickness
1/4 onion, sliced
1 stalk green onions, cut into 5cm long
a handful rice cakes
1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
skin and outermost layer of an onion
green onion roots
4 cloves of garlic
Korean medicinal herbs (optional)
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp white vinegar
1/2 Tbsp water
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp minced garlic
1/8 tsp mustard
1/8 tsp gochugaru
200g cabbage, thinly sliced
1/4 onion, thinly sliced
green onions for garnish, thinly sliced
Kalguksu noodles and/or cooked rice


Cut up a whole chicken into 8-10 pieces. Keep the back bone for making stock.

Bring a big pot of water to boil, add all of the chicken and once it comes to a boil again, blanch it for 3 minutes. Drain the water.

Clean the pot, bring 6 cups of water to a boil, add only the back bone part of the chicken. If you have a cheesecloth bag, put the stock ingredients into them, otherwise just put directly into the pot. Put on moderate heat with the lid off for 15 minutes, then lower down the heat, cover the lid and let it simmer for an hour or more. Sieve the stock and discard everything else.


Bring the the stock and the chicken pieces into a boil in a braising pot. Add 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce and let it boil for a while, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes up to 1 hour, depending on the size of the chicken. Insert a fork in the chicken to check, it should go in with ease.

15 minutes before the chicken is cooked, add the sliced potatoes and onions.

Prepare the dipping sauce. Combine soy sauce, white vinegar, water, sugar into a bowl and mix until the sugar dissolves. Get 2 soup bowls and place the sliced vegetables, divide the sauce into them, and top with minced garlic, mustard and gochugaru.

Right before serving, add rice cakes, green onions, and black pepper to taste.


• I used Milkvetch root and dried jujubes, which are both commonly used in making Samgye-tang. You can find these medicinal herbs often in a small Samgye-tang kit in Asian markets.
Kalguksu noodles is thick wheat noodles, about 3mm wide, and it’s better get the fresh one if possible.
• If you’re making Juk, it’s easier to throw in a bowl of cooked rice and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the grain gets mushy. You would have to start with uncooked rice to make Juk properly, but that’s going to take another hour. Better to keep things simple!

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