Fire Chicken

by Susan Hanna

This recipe for the New York Times is a Korean dish also known as cheese buldak. It sounds a little strange to melt cheese over chicken, but it is delicious and the version made by Internet star Emily Kim (aka Maangchi) has had seven million views on YouTube! I used regular hot pepper flakes and Sriracha instead of the Korean hot pepper flakes and red-pepper paste. The rice cakes are optional.

Serves 4

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the red-pepper flakes and red-pepper paste for additives and colour. I used Simply Organic sriracha as a substitute for the gochujang and tamari instead of soy sauce. No-name pizza mozzarella is an additive-free low-moisture cheese. For more recipes using all-natural ingredients, visit Eye For a Recipe.

Ingredients:

  • ¼  cup (60 ml) gochugaru (Korean red-pepper flakes)
  • 2  tablespoons (30 ml) gochujang (Korean red-pepper paste)
  • 3  tablespoons (45 ml) light brown sugar
  • 3  cloves garlic, peeled and minced (about 2 tablespoons/30 ml)
  • 1  (1-inch/2.54-cm) piece ginger, peeled and minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1  tablespoon (15 ml) soy sauce
  • ½  teaspoon (2.5 ml) freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound (454 g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into ¾-inch cubes
  • 2  tablespoons (30 ml) neutral oil, such as canola or peanut
  • 4  ounces (113 g) sliced Korean rice cakes (optional)
  • 6 to 8  ounces (170 to 226 g) low-moisture mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 2  scallions, sliced, for garnish

Preparation:

  1. Combine the gochugaru, gochujang, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and black pepper in a medium bowl and mix well. Add the chicken and stir until it is well coated.
  2. If you’re using the rice cakes, swirl the oil into a large, oven-safe skillet set over medium-high heat and wait for it to shimmer. Add the rice cakes and cook, turning the cakes often, until they are a little crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the rice cakes to a small bowl and set aside. If you’re not using rice cakes, simply swirl the oil into the pan and move along to the next step.
  3. Add the chicken mixture to the pan along with ¼ cup (60 ml) water. Cover and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring in the rice cakes halfway through, if using. Meanwhile, heat the broiler in your oven.
  4. Remove the chicken from the heat. Cover the pan with the sliced mozzarella, then slide the pan under the broiler. Cook until the cheese has melted and browned in spots, about 2 minutes. Remove from the oven, and sprinkle with scallions. Serve immediately, with rice.

From the New York Times