Korean Cooking: Ginseng Chicken Soup 삼계탕 (Samgyetang)


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Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup or Samgyetang is one of the most comforting, nourishing one-pot meals you can make for the whole familyGinseng is believed to help boost the immune system, improve physical and mental energy levels, lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, as well as reduce stress. It’s both good for health and absolutely delicious. Shall we begin?

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Ingredients:
1.2kg small chicken
5 bulbs of garlic
1 fresh ginseng root
3 tablespoons sweet rice/mochi rice
1 thin ginger slice
2-3 jujubes or dried red dates
1 white scallion
5 cups of chicken stock
2 scallions to garnish
salt & pepper to taste

Start by soaking the mochi rice in water for two hours. After that, save the rice water for the soup! It really helps give it a thicker, more creamy consistency.

Then, clean out the inside of the chicken, and stuff the whole garlic bulbs, jujubes and ginseng inside the chicken before tying its legs shut to seal the opening.

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Then, place the rest of the herbs, ginseng, spring onions and chicken in the chicken broth, cover and boil on high heat for about 10-15 minutes.

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Then, once the chicken is cooked, turn down the heat to medium and then simmer for 20-30 minutes. Feel free to skim away the excess residue from the surface if you prefer. But I find leaving some of the oil in there really adds flavour to the broth.

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You can even prepare this beforehand and reheat when ready to eat. We served this with freshly-made kimchia Spinach side dish and some Korean Shrimp Pancake.

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The chicken meat was INCREDIBLY tender and juicy. I was so surprised! Usually, chicken meat in soups tend to either be very over-cooked and dry or super tough after awhile. But this was just falling off the bone and absolutely delicious. It went super well with some garlic chili.

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Do share your easy Korean recipes with me too! I’d love to learn from you (:

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