Samgyetang, an invigorating, representative dish in Korean cuisine, is made by simmering a whole chicken stuffed with ginseng, dates, ginger, and garlic. The main ingredient, chicken, is a high-protein, low-fat, and low-calorie food. Ginseng, an essential ingredient, is effective in overcoming fatigue, depression, anemia, and diabetes. For these reasons, samgyetang—a rendezvous of chicken and ginseng—is emerging as one of the healthiest Korean foods.
The nutritional value and harmony of a thick broth with tender chicken attract a lot of foreigners. Retort samgyetang products (pre-cooked samgyetang packages) are receiving much attention in different markets. All you have to do to make a bowl of wholesome soup is to simply put a pouch in water and boil it. Such products are also easier to export than other chicken products because it is a heat-treated processed food. They enjoy a particular popularity in Japan, the US, and China.
Samgyetang on TV
In episode 12 of Descendants of the Sun, Captain Yoo (Song Joong-ki) puts on an apron over his military uniform and cooks samgyetang for Dr. Kang (Song Hye-gyo) to cheer her up after her ordeal with weapon-traffickers who tried to kidnap her. When serving the dish to Kang, Yoo says, “I hope it tastes good. I made it to help you restore your strength.” Not only the heroine but many women in Asia were fascinated by his sweetness.
Cooking Time: 90 min
Main Ingredients: A young chicken, 1/4 cup glutinous rice, 2 roots ginseng, 12 cups water
Sub Ingredients: 5 cloves garlic, 20g spring onion, 3 jujubes, 1 tsp salt, 2 chestnuts, a little bit of black pepper
1. Remove internal organs and excess fat from the chicken and wash it in running water.
2. Wash the glutinous rice, soak it in water for 30 minutes, and drain.
3. Wash and clean the ginseng; remove the head part.
4. Wash the garlic and jujubes.
5. Stuff the glutinous rice, ginseng, garlic, and jujubes into the chicken belly. Cross the chicken’s legs to keep the stuffed ingredients inside.
6. Put the chicken and water in a pot and boil until the soup turns milky.
7. Slice the spring onion.
8. Season the soup with spring onion, salt, and black pepper. The dish is ready.
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