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Korean barbeque-Buldak-01.jpg
Alternative names Fire chicken
Place of origin South Korea
Associated national cuisine Korean cuisine
Invented 2001
Serving temperature Hot
Main ingredients Chicken
Cookbook: Buldak  Media: Buldak
Korean name
Hangul 불닭
Hanja n/a
Revised Romanization buldak
McCune–Reischauer puldak
IPA [pul.dak̚]

Buldak (불닭) or fire chicken is a heavily spiced, barbecued chicken dish.[1][2] The term bul is Korean for "fire" and dak translates to "chicken."


Around 2004 in South Korea, buldak became popular for its extreme pungency, as South Korea's long term recession and economic downturn caused people to seek spicy food in order to relieve stress.[2][3][4] Buldak set the trend for extremely hot dishes in South Korea, with the rise of buldak franchise restaurants.[2] However, the term buldak had been registered at a patent office in April 2001 by Buwon Food, who claimed the copyright to the name. Strong oppositions were from Hongcho Buldak and other leading buldak restaurants, who argued that the term had been used as a common noun.[5] In 30 April 2008, the Patent Court of Korea agreed that term was generalized and buldak became free for public use.[6] In 2015, buldak was one of the most popular takeaway food in the United Kingdom.[7] In South Korea, although the popularity of buldak has declined in recent years, the food has led to the development of other successful dishes inspired from it, such as buldak-flavored instant noodles by Samyang Food.[8]

Preparation and serving[edit]

Buldak can be grilled or deep-fried bite-size chicken pieces, served in spicy sauce usually including gochutgaru (chili powder), gochujang (chili paste), soy sauce, jocheong (starch syrup), garlic, and ginger. Chili powder made from Cheongyang chili pepper is preferred, as it is spicier than regular chili powder used in Korean recipes. Sliced garae-tteok (rice cakes), melted cheese are common addition to the dish. Mild side dishes such as gyeran-jjim (steamed eggs) or boiled nuringji (scorched rice) are often served with buldak to help with the spiciness. Alcoholic drinks such as beer are also common accompaniments.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lee, Jiyeon (29 May 2012). "Don't say we didn't warn you: Korea's 5 spiciest dishes". CNN. Retrieved 2 June 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d Lee, Jiyeon; Han, Sol (31 August 2015). "7 Korean dishes that are super spicy -- and tips for eating them". CNN. Retrieved 2 June 2017. 
  3. ^ 황, 인원 (29 July 2004). "매운 맛을 보여다오.". Kyunghyang Shinmun (in Korean). Retrieved 19 April 2017. 
  4. ^ 정, 충신 (7 October 2004). "입안이 ‘화끈화끈’ 홍초불닭". Munhwa Ilbo (in Korean). Retrieved 19 April 2017. 
  5. ^ 임, 도원 (24 January 2007). "'홍초불닭' 상표 못쓴다...대법원 "부원식품 '불닭' 상표와 유사"". Korea Economic Daily (in Korean). Retrieved 2 June 2017. 
  6. ^ 송, 인걸 (1 May 2008). "‘불닭’ 상표권 등록 안돼". The Hankyoreh (in Korean). Retrieved 2 June 2017. 
  7. ^ Alexander, Stian (21 January 2016). "UK's new favorite takeaway has been revealed - and it's not what you'd think". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 19 April 2017. 
  8. ^ Jeon, Ji-hyun; Baek, Sang-kyung (29 November 2016). "Korean instant noodles hot in overseas as ramen challenge goes viral". Maeil Business Newspaper. Retrieved 2 June 2017.