Cheesy Dakgalbi aka Spicy Chicken Stir Fry at Hong Chun Cheon – NYC
OMFG, this coronavirus situation is getting real! Times Square is shut down, Broadway is shutdown, and beginning tomorrow, all restaurants and bars will be closed for service — except for take-out, delivery and carry-out alcohol. It’s cray, but I realize it’s better safe than sorry. (Who else watched Contagion recently? 🙋🏻♀️).
So if you’re self-quarantining and social-distancing, what is there to do at home? Well, if you didn’t spend all your money on toilet paper and bought food instead, you can always cook. Need an idea on what to cook? What about dakgalbi (닭갈비)?
If you’re not Korean and unfamiliar with dakgalbi, it’s totally understandable. For the longest time, there wasn’t a dakgalbi restaurant outside of Queens. Which is kinda lame as the spicy chicken dish is always a fun, messy and satisfying affair, especially with drinks with friends. Recently, Hong Chun Cheon (홍춘천) changed all of that by opening a dedicated dakgalbi restaurant in K-Town.
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Hong Chun Cheon serves their dakgalbi pre-cooked in a large cast iron pan which is kept warm on a burner at your table. I actually prefer the version when the dakgalbi is cooked at the table, however, the pre-cooked method does make for a cleaner, more splatter-free experience. Two servings of cheese dakgalbi is $19.95 a serving, with a minimum of 2 servings. Dakgalbi is not a solitary kind of food. The more the merrier, so don’t complain about the minimum as some people did over at Gothamist. Also, when you’re just about done, but not quite, you can ask your server to make fried rice for you with the leftovers. It’s an extra $4.95, but it’s more than worth it.
Hong Chun Cheon also serves fried chicken ($11.95 for 1/2 a chicken), but the chicken on my visit was dry. I would have preferred more dakgalbi instead. It’s their specialty for a reason.
So what to do with this information if all restaurants and bars in New York City are closing tomorrow? Again, just think of this as inspiration. Two great recipes for dakgalbi can be found at Maangchi and My Korean Kitchen. Hong Chun Cheon will be reopening as soon as this craziness is over.
Stay safe everyone! And please share how you’ve been coping and what you’ve been eating at home.
Visit Rating: 3/5 stars
Pro Tip: Skip the fried chicken and order an extra order of dakgalbi. Also, don’t forget to order the fried rice at the end. It’s a must!