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Korean Food: Traditional Korean Chicken Soup (삼계탕)

aeriskitchen's picture
Today, I will show you how to make Korean Chicken Soup. In Korea, people love to eat this chicken soup when summer starts. Why do Koreans like to eat hot soup in the hot days of summer? The belief is that you can get very tired and weak because of the hot weather, so you need to recover or prepare your body with healthy food.
  Cornish hen with skin 1
  Sweet rice 1⁄3 Cup (5.33 tbs)
  Water 5 Cup (80 tbs)
  Garlic cloves 10
  Ginseng root 1 Medium
  Dates 6
  Chestnuts 3 (Optional)
  Fine sea salt 1 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Green onions 2 Tablespoon, finely chopped

1. In a large bowl soak sweet rice in water for 2 hours.
2. Clean the insides of the Cornish hen by removing all of the organs. If it is frozen, completely thaw it first.
3. Gather and prepare the dates, garlic cloves, ginseng, and chestnuts. Be sure to soak ginseng and chestnuts over night before using them if they are dried. If some of the ingredients are difficult to find, try to stock up on them so you always have them on hand.
4. Two hours later, rinse the rice twice and drain out the water.
5. Inside the Cornish hen, add 2 Tbsp of rice, 4 garlic cloves, 3 chestnuts, 3 dates, and 1 more Tbsp of rice and pack and close the hole. Use a toothpick to seal the hole. Till it looks like instructed in the video.

6. Place the hen in a medium sized pan. Pour 5 cups of water in the pan.
7. Add the ginseng, 6 garlic cloves, and 3 dates and mix in the left over sweet rice.
8. Cook it for 30 minutes on high. Make sure to turn the side of the hen once or twice, so both sides are cooked evenly.
9. Occasionally, remove the foam that forms on the surface of the soup, this will help the soup be clear.
10. To the soup now sprinkle fine sea salt. This soup is served with salt and black pepper later, so you don’t have to worry about the saltiness at this point. After 30 minutes, reduce the temperature to medium, and then cook for 1 more hour.
11. Before serving, sprinkle some finely chopped green onions on top.

12. Before eating, break the chicken apart and take out everything inside of the hen, mixing it with the broth. Best served with salt and pepper on the side to be used to dip the meat and enjoy!

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: 
Main Dish
Summer, Healthy
High Protein
Preparation Time: 
150 Minutes
Cook Time: 
90 Minutes
Ready In: 
240 Minutes
Asian Samgyetang
Chicken soup in summer? While in most other cultures it isn’t common to eat hot chicken soup in summer, the Koreans love to differ in this regards. The goodness of chicken, ginseng, dates, chestnuts and rice helps to recover energy and strength that is drained from the body in the heat! This soup is so delicious, you shouldn’t wait for summer to try it.

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Nutrition Rank

Nutrition Facts

Serving size

Calories 456 Calories from Fat 155

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 17 g26.5%

Saturated Fat 4.7 g23.6%

Trans Fat 0 g

Cholesterol 120.7 mg40.2%

Sodium 1270.5 mg52.9%

Total Carbohydrates 52 g17.4%

Dietary Fiber 3.5 g13.9%

Sugars 17 g

Protein 25 g49.6%

Vitamin A 14.7% Vitamin C 21.7%

Calcium 6.3% Iron 15.2%

*Based on a 2000 Calorie diet


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Korean Food: Traditional Korean Chicken Soup (삼계탕) Recipe Video, Asian Samgyetang