Monday, October 26, 2009

Samgyetang (Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup)

Another chicken soup and another Korean recipe! I just can't ever get sick of either :) This is a recipe perfect for the constipated weather in POZ right now-- freezing cold and drizzling! Ughhh, it's like, please SNOW already... i would much rather walk to class in snow than to prance around the sidewalk avoiding puddles. Anyone feel the same way? Rainy weather just makes this city even more depressing... i wish a snow storm can just secretly invade tonight so i'll wake up to a winter wonderland. At least there will be a better scenery from my window :( But then again, snow in October is a bit too soon... so i think i'll shut up and stop asking God to speed up global warming. So back to my chicken soup- this one is even more benificiary to the body than the others i have posted. Why? cuz it's stewed with chinese medicine! Yep, with both of my parents being traditional chinese medicine doctors, growing up as a kid, i've had more than my share of herbs, grass, antlers, tiger bones, and all that good stuff. It sounds crazy, i know, but in some weird way they have kept me away from hospital/clinics my whole life. I even owe my taller-than-the-average-Asian height to Chinese medicine. With my parents measuring 156cm and 170cm, it's an anomaly that i passed the 160cm mark, hahaha. So if i do successfully become a doctor someday, there is no way i'm feeding my kids any of the chemically engineered, lab-rat tested pills unless it's absolutely necessary. I'm sending them to live with their grandparents until they've past puberty, LOL, jk jk. So if you're thinking about making some chicken soup to warm up the crummy weather, try adding ginseng and have your body revitalized for this early winter.

Samgyetang (Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup)
from Terri of A Daily Obsession
  • 1 large chicken (1.5 -2kg)
  • 1 bulb garlic, unpeeled
  • 3 small pieces dried ginseng root, soaked
  • 10 pieces red dates, soaked
  • 2 thin slices fresh ginger
  • 8 to 10 dried chestnuts
  • 1 cup uncooked glutinous rice, washed & soaked 1/2 hour
  • Spring onions, chopped (for garnish)

  1. Prepare all ingredients [picture 1]. Do not trim too much skin off the chicken's neck and tail end because you want some covering for the stuffing.
  2. Put 1 ginseng root into the neck cavity of the bird to stop the rice from coming out, then some (drained) rice, 2 or 3 red dates, rice again till cavity is almost 3/4 full [picture 2].
  3. Using a wooden skewer or chopsticks, sew up the cavity (rice coming out means you didn't do a good job) .
  4. Boil water in a table-presentable pot, such as Corningware or some cast iron pot. Put the chicken in, carefully, thigh -side up, and add enough water to just cover the chicken. Not too much water or too big a pot or the soup will be too diluted [picture 3].
  5. Add everything else, cover and simmer at least 1 1/2 hours or till chicken is so soft the thighs come off easily, but not so soft the meat has come off.
  6. When you check on it once in a while, move the chicken so the bottom won't stick. Skim off the oil. Soup would be cloudy-white, not due to the rice but the other ingredients [picture 4].

    It's better to leave the soup unsalted as salt may ruin the medicinal purposes of the roots. When serving, have a small saucer of salt and pepper at the side which will be the dip for the chicken.

Samgyetang (Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup)


  1. I didn't know your parents were traditional doctors! My Vietnamese grandfather practiced Western medicine, but he did say that traditional medicine could work wonders. This soup does look great for a chilly day!

  2. wow! having 2 parents who are chinese medicine doctors are really cool! i wish i would have been more familiar with chinese herbs.
    is there a traditional herb/drink that makes u skinny? heheh

  3. yummm! I love that this soup is healthy and delicious. I could use a bowl of this for lunch today since its cold and rainy here

  4. @Valerie: indeed, chinese medicine and western medicine are on completely different tracks. I gave up on trying to understand it since 10 ;)

    @Aisha: LOL, i'm lucky to have parents like them... but no so lucky when they force me to down 3 bowls of black goo everytime i get sick. I envied kids who could have strawberry cough syrup!

    @Tamar1973: LOL, i can tell by your blog! :D I'm also a huge Rain fan *drools*

    @Jessie: definitely give it a try! You might get the urge to add salt to the soup but keep in mind that it will only wash away all the nutrients. hope you enjoy it!