Discover Korean Food 161: Dr. Sook-Ja Yoon’s “Samgyetang, Ginseng Chicken Soup ”


Samgyetang is a chicken soup made by stuffing a young chicken cavity with glutinous rice, ginseng, jujubes and garlic, then simmering it for a long time. In Korea, there are three traditional hottest days (sambok) in the summer. People have samgyetang on those hottest days to overcome the hot weather.

[Ingredients & Quantity]
4 heads (2.2 kg) young chicken
180 g (1 cup) glutinous rice
40 g (4 roots) fresh wet ginseng, 20 g (4 heads) garlic, 16g (4 ea) jujube
2.6 kg (13 cups) water
20 g green onion, 12 g (1 tbsp) salt, 0.3 g (⅛ tsp) ground black pepper
Milk vetch water: 20g (4 roots) milk vetch roots, 3 kg (15 cups) water

1. Remove internal organs and excess fat from the chicken through under the stomach, and wash it cleanly (500 g).
2. Wash the glutinous rice and soak in water for 2 hours, drain water on a strainer for 10min. (220 g).
3. Wash the milk vetch roots and soak in water for 2 hours.
4. Wash and clean the fresh wet ginseng and cut the head part (35 g). Wash and clean garlic and jujube.
5. Wash green onion and chop them finely (16 g).

1. Put the milk vetch roots and water in the pot, heat it up for 20 min. on high heat. When it boils, lower the heat to medium, simmer it for 40 min, filter it through a strainer to make milk vetch water (2.6 kg).
2. Stuff each chicken cavity with the rice, ginseng, garlic and jujube. Criss-cross the legs of each chicken to keep the stuffs inside.
3. Put the chicken and milk vetch water in the pot, boil it for 20 min. on high heat. Reduce the heat down to medium and simmer it for 50 min. until the soup turns milky white.
4. Serve it with green onion, salt and ground black pepper.

*Do not boil the chicken soup too long, or it may be untasty because of crushed meat.


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