When I first saw this dish, it was introduced by a friend of mine. I really like how cheesy this idea is… So, you have chicken marinated in Korean way of sweet and spicy sauce then grilled. Cheese are then sprinkled on top then melted. A literally “cheesy” way of presenting a chicken dish and I love it.
We all talk about cheesy food being comfort food such as loaded fries with melted cheese, Mac N Cheese and many more. The Koreans has definitely combined both ideas of cheesy comfort and fiery spicy kick into one dish. They call it “Buldak” which means fire chicken. When I first had it, at first it was OK and I can’t stop eating because it was really delicious. After a while, I felt that something is wrong, this cheesy chicken dish is really really really spicy! I felt like plucking my tongue out and soak it in the ice water. The chicken didn’t really look that fiercely spicy which were hiding under that innocent looking melted cheese.
When making this dish, let’s see, first of all, I used thigh/drumstick meat for this. I just need the experience to be succulent and easy for biting hence the thigh/drumstick part. About the chili, it is supposed to be fiercely spicy but I really can’t take that level of spiciness and I have toned it down.
When you pick that first piece of chicken covered in cheese and pull it up, the strings of cheese follows, what a moment… isn’t this what food gastronomy is all about? Not only it appeals your eyes, it also appeals to your smell and taste senses. When biting into it, first you bite through the springy stringy cheese and then the succulent chicken. The aroma from the sweet and spicy marinade that coated the chicken plus pan fried is phenomenal.
A note here, sorry for being long winded and whiny, I have eaten the original version of this dish but I can’t take the spiciness of that and therefore I reduced the level of spiciness. If you want to have fiery kick in your mouth, add more chilli paste and korean hot chilli pepper to the marinade. Double, triple or quadruple all you want.
Cheese and Chicken – The Korean way (serves 2)
Adapted from Maangchi’s recipe
- Marinade for the chicken:
- 1 tablespoon of Korean chili paste
- 1 tablespoon of Korean soybean paste
- 1 tablespoon of korean rice syrup or golden syrup or corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- ¼ teaspoon of Korean hot chili pepper powder
- ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon of sesame oil
- 1 inch of ginger, grated
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- 350g of chicken cubes (about 3cm x 3cm), deboned from thigh or drumstick
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- ½ cup of kimchi, roughly chopped
- 1 medium sized onion, sliced
- 2 sprigs of spring onion, sliced
- 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame seeds
- ½ cup of mozzarella cheese
- Combine the ingredients for marination and marinade the chicken for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat your oven at 160°C.
- Heat up the pan in medium to high heat. Put in the vegetable oil.
- Put in the marinated chicken cubes to pan fry. About 2 minutes on each side.
- Add in the onion and kimchi to stir fry until the onion turns soft. About 2 minutes.
- Sprinkle the sesame seeds, half of the spring onion and follow by the cheese on the chicken.
- Bake in the oven for about 5-6 minutes until the cheese is melted.
- Sprinkle with the balance of the spring onion and serve immediately.