Samgyetang (Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup)

Ovulation Phase :: Inner Summer Recipe

Samgyetang (Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup), Kris Gonzalez Acupuncture in Santa Barbara

photo from NY Times Cooking

This is the quintessential summer meal in South Korea. A soup? In hot summer weather? Yep, it's actually the most ideal food to eat on the most hottest days of the summer. Wonder why? It's all about the ingredients!

My mom says there's a saying: Yi yeol chi yeol (以熱治熱: 이열치열), which means “fight fire with fire.” In food energetics, chicken is warming to the body. The other ingredients such as ginseng and dates are qi tonics in Chinese & Traditional Korean Medicine. Consuming these during the hot days will keep up your energy, moderate heat and help your body to generate fluids. 

What you'll need:

  • 2 cornish hens about 1.5 lbs each
  • ½ cup short grain rice (or glutinous rice), rinsed and soaked in cold water for 1 hour
  • 2 fresh ginseng and/or milk vetch roots (astragalus)
  • 4-6 large dried jujubes, washed
  • 16 garlic cloves, washed and the tips are removed
  • 2 to 3 green onions, chopped (for topping later)
  • salt & ground black pepper
  • sesame seeds and sesame oil

Here's a picture from when I made it last summer with my mama. We used milk vetch root which is astragalus. 

Kristin Gonzalez offers Acupuncture in Santa Barbara

1. Soak your rice for at least 1 hour, strain and set aside
2. Wash your hens
3. Stuff each hen with half of the rice, some jujubes, ginseng or astragalus and garlic
4. You can choose to close the opening with some toothpicks or leave it open
5. Place hens in a heavy pot and add 8 cups of water, cover and cook over med-high for 30 minutes. Then turn down the heat to medium, cook for another 40 minutes until everything feels soft. Skim the top from time to time. Add more water if needed.

For serving:
1. Place each hen in separate bowls, add some broth, sprinkle with green onions
2. For dipping sauce mix salt, pepper, sesame seeds and sesame oil
3. Enjoy!