November 27, 2014

Korean Stuffed Chicken with Fresh Ginseng Soup (SamGyeTang)

This soup reminds me of the wonderful visit I made to South Korea a few years ago. Our friends took us to a different restaurant each day. One of my favorites was this quaint restaurant, where we all sat down on the wooden floor around a low table. We were served with a variety of colorful dishes, piping hot ginseng soup and Makgeolli, a milky colored rice wine. I love the sweet taste of this wine, and I am quite smitten by it's unique taste and flavor. It reminds me of Chinese rice wine, that my mother used to make in Malaysia.Ginseng is a popular health food in Korea, and the Koreans eat ginseng and other herbs to recuperate strength and for youthful complexion. Ginseng has been used as medicine for thousand of years both in China and Korea, and Korea is one of the largest producer of ginseng.I bought some fresh ginseng roots in a Korean supermarket to make this nutritious soup. This soup calls for young chicken, preferably 100-day old hens. You can also use black silky chicken, or raise your own pullets. I used Cornish game hens for this recipe. Enjoy!
1 Cornish game hen (thawed if frozen)
1/2 cup sweet rice (washed, soaked overnight)
2 fresh ginseng roots
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
8-10 Chinese red dates (jujube), seeds removed (soaked to soften)
1 stalk of fresh spring onion, cut into short lengths
a small handful of wolfberries (optional)
fresh ginseng roots
dried red dates, jujube
sweet rice 
wolf berries
1. Clean and rinse the inside and remove innards from chicken. Trim off excess fat and tail (bishop's nose)
2. Drained water from sweet rice, and red dates.
3. Stuff the inside of chicken with half of the following: sweet rice, garlic, ginseng roots, spring onions, and wolf berries (if used).
4. Make a slit in one of the leg and push the other leg into the opening to close. The other option is to use skewers or toothpicks to close up the opening.
5. In a large saucepan, place the stuffed chicken and the rest of the ingredients. Pour enough water to cover the chicken.
6. Bring to a boil on high and let it cook uncovered for about 10 minutes. Skim off excess scum from the top. Lower the heat to low and simmer for another 1.50 hours, or until you see the meat is cooked through.
7. Season to taste with salt, and serve warm.
Tips: You can cook this soup in a slow cooker (crockpot). I left this to cook overnight on low and have it ready the next morning.
stuffed chicken with above ingredients and put to boil.
fermented rice wine, completes the meal.
Printable Recipe

No comments: