Cycle 12 – Item 189
13 (Tue) July 2021
-Changgok, Sujeong, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-
with the Family
The term “chi-kin (치킨)” in Korean parlance refers specifically to fried chicken, usually the American-style breaded deep-fried chicken, as well as any newfangled versions offered by neighborhood delivery joints. Koreans are aware, of course, that the word in English usage refers more broadly to the bird and the meat.
Chikinbab is a Korean dish, sort of. It involves rice (bab), seasoned with soy sauce and mirin (sweet rice wine), topped with chunks of fried chicken, then steamed.
I learned the basic recipe from MtG, who found it on YouTube, developed by a chef who was looking for ways to use up leftover chikin.
MtG’s kid is a super picky eater – once, hearing that he likes Pringles, I bought him a can, but he refused them because they weren’t Sour Cream & Onion flavor – so his dad is constantly on the search for innovations that will intrigue the kid to eat, like chikinbab.
Though not part of the original recipe, I trimmed away the excess pieces of skin, minced them into bits, seasoned them with salt + cracked black pepper + sesame seeds, then popped them in the air-fryer for 5 minutes to get them super crispy.
When the rice was done, it was mixed with the fried chicken, topped with crispy skin bits, sprinkled with chives, and served.
MtG’s version called for cooking the rice in a pot on the stove, which is how I did an initial batch.
I had enough chicken to make a second batch in the rice cooker.
Overwhelmingly, my family preferred the rice cooker batch. The rice was more evenly cooked, and the chicken was moist and tender. By comparison, the stovetop batch turned out kinda dry.
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)
(See also RESTAURANTS IN KOREA)