If you are a Korean food lover, I am sure you know Jjimdak. And when we talk about Jjimdak, the first thing that comes to mind is the classic Andong Jjimdak. However, this K-food classic has been elevated. Nowadays, all over Korea, you can find Andong Jjimdak with cheese. It’s to die for!
Jjimdak is a popular Korean braised chicken. It originated in the city of Andong, Korea located in the center of South Korea surrounded by rivers and mountains.
Although jjimdak comes in many varieties, the dish is always savory, mildly salty, and sweet with a spicy kick. It has a somewhat complex flavor making it highly addictive and comforting! It is one of the most well-loved dishes in South Korea.
The first part of the dish’s name – jjim, refers to dishes that are steamed, stewed, or braised in a sauce. The second part, dak means chicken. These two syllables can be reversed, so Jjimdak is also called Dakjjim in some regions. Jjimdak comes in many different variations but always features chicken braised in a sweet and savory sauce with sweet potato noodles.
The first time I tried out Jjimdak was when my professor at Seoul National University made it for us. She brought it to us in class in three big containers and gave it to us. It was delicious and tasted similar to some Malaysian dishes. Her version of the dish included chicken, vegetables including potato, and sweet potato noodles.
Later, I also had a chance to eat Jjimdak with my Korean friends in a restaurant. It was your average Jjimdak restaurant and we ordered a variety of the dish that came with cheese. That was super delicious!
Maybe because I am a cheese lover, I found the chicken and the cheese to be a match made in heaven. The portion was big enough for both of us to eat our fill. The price was around 25,000won for a two-person portion. It was a little bit expensive but it was really delicious and was without a doubt worth it.
Besides going to a Jjimdak restaurant, you can also order it through delivery apps.. It tastes good too but maybe not as nice as the one you eat in a restaurant. It’s hard to keep the stringy cheese effect when the jjimdak isn’t fresh.
However, ordering delivery means that you can scout out unique jjimdak variations. I love everything inside Jjimdak, especially rice cakes. But, I don’t really like dumplings. Sometimes, the flavors conflict with the jjimdak itself and can be a little undercooked.
Although cheese Jjimdak is a little expensive, you should try it out at least once because it is really tasty. After the pandemic, I would like to travel to Andong to try the original jjimdak. The dish is so good, it would be worth the trip.
Jjimdak is one of many dishes made using sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are used for all kinds of things in South Korea – noodles, chips, yogurt, pizza, lattes, the list is endless. To learn more about the many uses of sweet potatoes in Korean cuisine, Click Here!