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Posted by on Aug 8, 2011 in Commentary, Korean Food | 2 comments

What’s the difference between spicy chicken dishes dakkalbi and buldak?

Korean language teacher BusyAtom JB of Korean Every Day asked me via Twitter:

Could you explain the difference between 닭갈비 and 불닭?

I couldn’t answer that in 140 characters or less. I broke my reply into two parts.

Reply No. 1:

불닭 (fire chicken) is much spicier than 춘천 닭갈비 (chuncheon dakkalbi).

Buldak literally means “fire chicken.” Dakkalbi is a spicy chicken dish that’s a specialty of Chuncheon, a city in the mountains east of Seoul.

Reply No. 2:

also 불닭 has mustard seasoning while 춘천 닭갈비 may include curry powder & of course, 춘천 닭갈비 has 가래떡 (garaetteok) noodles

Garae tteok is a long cylindrical rice cake a few centimeters in diameter.

A picture can be worth a thousand words, but a video is worth even more. Watch the buldak cooking video below made by YouTube user Krassav4eg from Novosibirsk, Russia, and then read my Chuncheon dakkalbi  recipe to discover for yourself additional differences between these two popular dishes.


  1. Although my daughter's favorite food is Korean, I know so little about how to prepare it that I find it very helpful to come here for tips and to learn something new. Thanks for explaining th difference between dakkalbi and buldak here.

  2. I'm learning something new every day. Thanks for sharing this journey with me. If you have any questions, feel free to ask

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