Gochujang Chicken with Crispy Rice

If residency forces a woman to identify with any one particular Disney heroine, I feel that Ariel from The Little Mermaid is who I’ve become. Each time I come home from a 30 hour shift and find myself ELATED to have the simple pleasure of making myself a salad at home or sweeping my own floor like a real human, it is as though I’m coming up for air from under the sea and wondering why I can’t use a giant flipper for legs. “What would I give, if I could live out of these waters. What would I pay to spend a day… [like a normal human].”

In the constant hospital bum rush I’ve really just been making slapdash salads before I crash and burn when I get home, but here is what I plan to make again as soon as our chicken defrosts. Because it was so spicy and delicious.

Gochujang Chicken with Crispy Rice

Adapted from Bon Appetit

1 small onion, finely chopped

8 garlic cloves, finely grated

1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled, finely grated

¼ cup gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)

¼ cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon mirin

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more

3 cups cooked short-grain rice

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon mustard powder

8 chicken drumsticks, patted dry

Kosher salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

6 scallions, white and pale-green parts only, cut into 1-inch pieces


Mix onion, garlic, ginger, gochujang, soy sauce, sugar, mirin, sesame oil, and 1 tsp. pepper in a medium bowl to combine; set sauce aside.

Toss rice, cumin, garlic powder, and mustard powder in a medium bowl to combine; spread out on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and chill until cold, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, season chicken generously with salt. Heat butter and vegetable oil in a medium heavy pot over medium. As soon as foaming subsides, add chicken and cook, turning occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add reserved sauce and bring to a simmer; cook until sauce appears to thin out, about 3 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, partially cover pot, and simmer, turning occasionally, until chicken is very tender, 45–55 minutes.

Divide rice into 4 portions; form into ¾”-thick disks (moisten hands with water to prevent sticking). Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium. Working in 2 batches, cook rice cakes, turning halfway through, until crisp, puffed, and golden, about 10 minutes. Transfer to plates.

Add scallions to chicken and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Top each cake with 2 chicken legs and a few scallions; spoon plenty of sauce over.

And for burnout, I recommend a splash of humor. And kindred spirits to enjoy your scarce meals with…

One thought on “Gochujang Chicken with Crispy Rice

  1. Aaahhhh I love your wig, your plate, and your and your dining companion’s facial expressions! 🙂 The seasonings in this recipe sound just delicious. Fuerza (energy/strenght/force) to you for those 30-hour shifts, Doctora!

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