[AJU VIDEO] Easy & quick recipe for Samgyetang – Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup

By Park Sae-jin Posted : June 28, 2016, 16:53 Updated : June 29, 2016, 15:57


Samgyetang - Korean ginseng chicken soup [Photo and video by Park Sae-jin]

Samgyetang (Ginseng Chicken Soup) is one of Korea's special summer dishes. It tastes great, easy to make, and usually requires about an hour to cook. It's a great choice for a special meal occasion for two to four people (depending on the size of a chicken).

Koreans name the year's three hottest summer days as "Sambok". The dates vary every year because a lunar calendar is used, but they are normally positioned from mid-July to early August. On each Sambok day, Koreans traditionally eat hot pots of Samgyetang and drink alcoholic beverages to rejuvenate tired bodies and minds from the excruciating heat.

Samgyetang - Korean ginseng chicken soup [Photo by Park Sae-jin]

There are many different versions of Samgyetang, but basic ingredients used generally for one meal include a couple of ginseng roots (fresh or dried), a whole chicken, a cup of sweet rice, and several cloves of garlic. More ingredients such as chestnuts, dried jujubes, onions, spring onions, and medicinal herbs are added to make the soup more flavorful and healthier.

Usually, a chicken weighing about 700 grams (1.5 lbs) is enough for serving one person. A large chicken weighing about 2.5 kilograms (5.5 lbs) is enough for serving at three three.

For those living outside South Korea, dried ginseng roots are available at your local oriental market. So are dried jujubes and sweet rice. Fresh ginseng would add a stronger flavor to Samgyetang, but dried roots are just as flavorful and medicinal.

Samgyetang - Korean ginseng chicken soup [Photo by Park Sae-jin ]

Samgyetang is served with both the chicken and soup together. Ingredients stuffed inside the chicken are all edible. The sweet rice can be added to the remaining soup after you consumed the chicken first, or can be cooked into porridge.

- A chicken which weighs about 2.5 kilograms (large enough to serve three people)
- A cup of sweet rice (short grain rice)
- Two or three roots of ginseng (fresh or dried)
- Five cloves of garlic
- An onion
- A spring onion or leek (chopped into length of about five centimeters)
- Five chestnuts ( peeled and washed)
- Five dried jujubes (washed)
- Salt
- Pepper

Additional ingredients for herb bag (can be cooked without)

Ingredients for herb bag [Photo by Park Sae-jin ]

- A few slices of licorice branch
- Two or three slices of castor oil tree branch
- A finger's length of oriental raisin tree branch
- Insert the ingredients into a cooking bag, ready for broth making

Cooking directions
- Cut off fatty bits around the tail and the neck
- Cut off the wing tips
- Stuff with sweet rice, three chestnuts, three dried jujubes, three cloves of garlic, and two roots of ginseng. (Placing ginseng inside the chicken before other ingredients make the whole process much easier!)
- Cross the legs of a chicken, tie them together with a string.
- Close the opening with toothpicks to prevent the ingredients from falling out
- Place the chicken in a pot, add enough water to have it just covered
- Add onion and chopped spring onion into the pot
- Add a bag of herbs (not necessary)
- Heat until the water starts to boil
- Turn down heat to medium when the water boils. Cook for an hour

Serving directions
- Place the chicken into a bowl and add soup.
- Garnish with chopped spring onion.
- Season with salt and black pepper
- Serve hot

For more news about Samgyetang, click this link

Aju News Park Sae-jin = swatchsjp@ajunews.com
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