Korean Cuisine: Ginseng Chicken, Samgyetang (삼계탕)

My korean cuisine exploration continue with Samgyetang (삼계탕), a chicken soup cooked from a small whole chicken and ginseng. This is a very popular korean dish that is mainly eaten to beat the hot summer heat while to stay energized during the season. And since it is also very hot here where I stay now, I decided to cook this for dinner.

Usually cooked using Cornish Hen aka young chicken but I could not find it so decided to use the regular chicken that was available at the market.

Samgyetang (삼계탕) are usually served where the whole chicken are uncut. However, for my family dinner, I had to cook it in a separate pot as the chicken was too big for the korean stone bowl that I have. And I cut them into smaller pieces just before serving it in the korean stone bowl.


  • 1 chicken (about 2 kg)
  • 2 fresh korean ginseng root
  • 3 tablespoons sweet rice, soaked for 1 hour (optional)
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 1 cm ginger slice
  • 8 jujubes / dried dates
  • 1 scallion for garnishing
  • 5 to 6 cups of water


  1. Clean the chicken. Keep the neck and legs. Pat dry the chicken inside and out
  2. If you are using the sweet rice, stiff into the cavity of the chicken and 2 cloves of garlic. Add 2 jujubes / dried dates
  3. Tightly close the cavity with toothpick or a small skewer. This will help to keep the rice inside while being cooked
  4. Cross the chicken legs and tie together
  5. Place the chicken into the pot and add the water (enough to cover the chicken). Add the garlic, ginger, jujubes and ginseng
  6. Bring to boil and skim off any foam on top (if there are any)
  7. Cover and boil for 20 minutes
  8. Reduce the heat to medium low and continue to cook covered for another 30 minutes. You may adjust the boiling time depending on the size of the chicken
  9. Once chicken is cook, turn off the fire and let to rest for 10 minutes
  10. Serve hot with scallions
  11. Serve salt and pepper on the side. This will enable them to be able to adjust the flavoring in accordance to their taste. I personally like it without any seasoning which would give me the best natural taste of the chicken soup






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