Last year’s White Day, the International Relations Office of Hannam University treated all the foreign students in a Dak Galbi (닭갈비) restaurant. That was not my first time to hear the word Dak Galbi but that was the first time I tried eating it. During that time, I only now that we are going to eat chicken since it’s Dak Galbi but it was more than what I’ve expected.
The korean ahjummas served the side dishes: pickled radish and a mixture of onion, garlic and other vegetables.
After serving the side dishes, the ahjumma heated the pan and put the grated cabbage, sliced sweet potatoes, rice cake or 떡 then the chicken with the special sauce they call yangnyeom. It looked so delicious!
The ahjumma told us not to mix the ingredients first and just let it cook in the pan. After around 5 minutes, the ahjumma came back to our table and mixed the ingredients. She also added some special rice cake. The white rice cake was filled with cheese and the violet rice cake was filled with sweet potatoes. Koreans love sweet potatoes.
After few more minutes, the ahjumma told us to check the rice cakes. If they are already soft, then we can eat the dish already. We also checked the chicken if it’s already cooked and yay! it’s already cooked!
This was my first plate of Dak Galbi. It was really, really good! Our other friends warned us that the dish is spicy. I like spicy food but I still found it spicy lol. But now I’m already used to eating these types of spicy food, thanks to the other Korean dishes. The chicken was to tender, the rice cakes tastes so good, especially the cheese-filled rice cake! The cabbages tastes so fresh and yummy! The yangnyeom was really spicy but there was also a sweet taste because of the sweet potatoes.
Eating Dak Galbi is not complete without the fried rice in the end of the meal. The ahjumma put some fried rice (rice with kimchi and chopped laver) on the pan and mixed it together with the left over yangnyeom and vegetables. She flattened it on the pan and she said let it cook for a few minutes. And they were right, that was the BEST part of eating Dak Galbi. The rice stick into the pan and it was really delicious! You can still taste the yangnyeom and eat the vegetables. The kimchi and the chopped laver added more flavor to the rice. It tasted sweet and spicy! Yum!
This Dak Galbi house was my favorite among all the Dak Galbi houses that we’ve visited. The price is so cheap too! 5,500won for one order of Dak Galbi and additional 1,500won for the fried rice. You can also add the special rice cakes, 2,000won for cheese-filled rice cake and another 2,000won for the sweet potato-filled rice cake. I think the name of the place is Ilmi Dak Galbi (일미 닭갈비). It’s located near Hannam University Dorm in Daejeon. This one is near 맛짱 (Mat Jjang). They are usually busy during lunch time on weekdays.
I’m not sure if there are branches of this store in other places in Korea, I have to check if there’s a branch in Seoul. If I will have the chance to visit Daejeon again soon, I have to eat again in this Dak Galbi restaurant.