Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup–Samgyetang (삼계탕 韩式人参鸡汤)

Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup–Samgyetang (삼계탕 韩式人参鸡汤)

INTRODUCTION

As a Chinese, I am not unfamiliar with the common household ginseng chicken soup. My family used to prepare this when we  took our examinations or when someone get tired easily . However, our ginseng soup is very simple, purely ginseng and chicken, not even salt was added.. It is rather concentrated and most Chinese in Singapore and Malaysia will use dried sliced ginseng for this purpose. It is purely chicken broth flavoured by ginseng.

Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup–Samgyetang (삼계탕 韩式人参鸡汤)

But this recipe is Korean style of ginseng soup and the name of the dish is “Samgyetang” . Though I have never been to Korea, but I have my fair share of eating this soup in local Korea restaurants and also restaurants in Jilin province of China (Boundary Chinese province next to North Korea) . Though it is a very tasty soup but it tastes rather different from the traditional Chinese style of ginseng soup. The ginseng flavour are not as concentrated as what my late mum used to prepare.

Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup–Samgyetang (삼계탕 韩式人参鸡汤)

There are many reasons accounted for the difference. One of them the ingredients used. Firstly, glutinous rice was used in the Korean version. I am unsure why glutinous rice was used in the soup but possibly because glutinous rice is considered as warm properties to the body and it also help to thicken and colour the soup.. Secondly, besides ginseng, other herbs such as jujube and garlic was used. Before serving, chop onions was added to the soup. All these strong flavoured herbs had alter the original flavour of ginseng and come to a unique flavoured soup.

Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup–Samgyetang (삼계탕 韩式人参鸡汤)

Do not asked me where i got my whole ginseng. I am also unsure but I saw quite a lot in my fridge possibly gifts given to my wife. I have also given about 80% of the ginseng to my mother in law who are here to visit us. I remembered seeing fresh ginseng being sold in Singapore supermarket but I can’t recall which supermarket. It could be a seasonal produce imported by the supermarket. Donkey years ago when I used to travel between Singapore and North Eastern part of China, fresh ginseng is easily available at the souvenir shop, airport and other tourist area possibly because it is the region of ginseng production.

Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup–Samgyetang (삼계탕 韩式人参鸡汤)

While I knew fresh ginseng may have different medicinal properties as compared to dried ginseng, I do not think I am qualify enough to tell you the difference. While I am cautious on serving Chinese ginseng soup to growing kids, for Korean version using fresh ginseng, I will just treat it as one of soup items for the family. The reason is that it is not as concentrated as the dried ginseng slices. In fact, for this illustration subsequent to the picture taking, I have added a handful of dried ginseng to the soup.

Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup–Samgyetang (삼계탕 韩式人参鸡汤)

Since this is a Korean famous dish, I have followed strictly on the source recipe from a Korean website. I did not alter much the recipe except the water used and that very much will depends on the pot one uses for stewing. Taste is definitely acceptable and if kids has no complain about the ginseng taste, I will cook it more often.

Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup–Samgyetang (삼계탕 韩式人参鸡汤)

As per Wikipedia:

Samgyetang (Korean pronunciation: [sʰamɡjetʰaŋ]) means ginseng (kor. insam) – chicken (kor. gye) – soup (kor. tang). It consists primarily of a whole young chicken (poussin) – filled with garlic and rice -, scallion and spices, among them jujubeand Korean ginseng. Samgyetang is a hot soup for hot summer days. It is especially popular to eat this chicken soup on sambok (삼복) days, which are three distinct days of the lunar calendar — Chobok (초복), Jungbok (중복), and Malbok (말복) – which are commonly among the hottest and most sultry days in Korea.It is believed to eat the soup three times in this period is good for your health. Some specialty restaurants in South Korea serve nothing but samgyetang, having gained local popularity through their special recipes for the dish, which are often kept as secrets. The dish is usually accompanied by side dishes and, in some restaurants, a small complimentary bottle of insamju (ginseng wine) (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samgyetang)

Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup–Samgyetang (삼계탕 韩式人参鸡汤)

 


WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: 4 – 6 adults

Recipe adapted from: Ginseng chicken soup (Samgyetang) recipe – Maangchi.com

Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup–Samgyetang (삼계탕 韩式人参鸡汤)

  • One chicken of about 1 kilogram
  • 1/4 cup of glutinous rice, rinsed and soaked in cold water for at least 2 hours
  • 1 fresh ginseng roots
  • 1 large dried jujube or red dates
  • 8 cloves of garlics, clean
  • 2 stalks of spring onion
  • Salt to taste
  • Dashes of white pepper or black pepper

Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup–Samgyetang (삼계탕 韩式人参鸡汤)

Sesame dipping sauce:

  • 1.5 teaspoon of salt
  • 1.5 teaspoon of sesame seeds
  • Dashes of white pepper or black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of sesame oil

Sweet and Sour dipping sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons soya sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar or honey
  • 1/2 medium size onion, chopped
  • 1 green chilli or jalapeno or red chilli, chopped

Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup–Samgyetang (삼계탕 韩式人参鸡汤)


STEPS OF PREPARATION

Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup–Samgyetang (삼계탕 韩式人参鸡汤)

  • Clean the chicken and stuff the fresh ginseng, jujube, glutinous rice in the chicken cavity. Use a needle to seal the cavity (optional). Transfer the chicken to the braising pot, add about 8 cups of water (original recipe is 4 cups) or adequate water to cover at least 3/4 of the chicken. The amount of water will very much depend on size of your pot. Bring to boil under high heat for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer for another 30 minutes. Timing will very much depends on your preferred texture and your chicken used. Some chicken are tougher and some are easy to cook. You will have to monitor the progress. Turn the chicken every 15 minutes to ensure all parts are thoroughly cooked. Add salt and dashes of white or black pepper before off the heat.

Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup–Samgyetang (삼계탕 韩式人参鸡汤)

  • To prepare the dipping sauce, for each recipe, put all the ingredients in one bowl, stir until well combined.

  • For servings, the chicken soup is best served hot  with some kimchi and dipping sauce prepared above.

Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup–Samgyetang (삼계탕 韩式人参鸡汤)


CONCLUSION

This recipe shall be a guideline for house chefs. Do feel free to add or minus the ingredients added. Though it is different from Chinese style of Ginseng chicken soup, I am still happy with having this pot of hot soup in the rainy seasons.

Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup–Samgyetang (삼계탕 韩式人参鸡汤)

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Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup–Samgyetang (삼계탕 韩式人参鸡汤)


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Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup–Samgyetang (삼계탕 韩式人参鸡汤)

Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup–Samgyetang (삼계탕 韩式人参鸡汤)

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Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup–Samgyetang (삼계탕 韩式人参鸡汤)

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Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup–Samgyetang (삼계탕 韩式人参鸡汤)

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