Samgyetang (Ginseng Chicken)

In an attempt to cook a meal that will last into the week, K and I decided to make a chicken soup. But I also wanted to make something Korean to alleviate some of my Japan-homesickness. So we found recipes for Ginseng Chicken. The added benefit of this is that it’s an excellent dish if you are feeling under the weather–which K and I both have been. A hazard of a bitingly cold environment and working with small children.

Here’s the recipe I used, derived from a few different websites, as well as pictures of the prep and presentation.

Samgyetang–Ginseng Chicken


  • A medium sized chicken (cornish hens were also recommended if you wanted everyone to have their own portion, but we wanted this to last a while)
  • 1/4 c. sweet rice (we used brown rice, because that what we like)
  • 2 whole ginseng roots
  • 8-10 jujubes (red dates), pitted
  • 6-8 garlic cloves
  • 2 large green onions, sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • Korean red hot chili powder (optional)


  1. Wash and soak the rice for an hour.
  2. Clean the chicken thoroughly with cold water and remove the guts. Disgard the tail ends.
  3. Spoon the rice into the cavity of the chicken. Add the jujubes, garlic, and whole ginseng roots. Tie or skewer the legs closed.
  4. Place the chicken in a heavy bottomed pot, or any pot it fits in. Cover with water and add the green onions, salt, and pepper.
  5. Bring to a boil and then reduce to medium heat. Cook on medium heat for 20-30 min, or until the chicken is cooked through. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer for another 30 min to an hour.
  6. To serve, remove all the meat from the bones, and pull apart into bit-sized pieces. Place in a large earthenware bowl to be kept warm at the table, or keep in the cook pot and ladle out individual bowls. Serve immediately.

**Don’t eat the ginseng root**

These are the websites I looked at for this recipe: Maangchi Korean Cooking and Muffin Top. The recipe on No Recipes also looks really good, but we didn’t have all the ingredients.


We followed this up with dessert out: a sweet bread toasted and topped with bananas, ice cream, caramel, chocolate syrup, and powdered sugar form Kukimono (a small dessert cafe not far from our apartment).

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Chuck
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 22:22:31

    Wow, great job of photographing the steps!


  2. Lindsay
    Dec 13, 2011 @ 02:23:04

    YUM! So I wrote you a letter and I kept leaving it at home and forgetting to send it but then I put it in my bag thinking “I’m going to send this and it’s going to work out great!” Of course then I started drinking Johnnie Walker with one of my flatmates and then we went out and met up with more of my flat mates for trivia night(which we actually didn’t lose!) and then we went to this diner bar which was bizarrely awesome. ANYWAY, what I’m getting to is that after we got off the bus on our way back I was a bit smashed and I suddenly noticed a mail box! The issue is that it was right nest to a trash can. Now I’m pretty positive it went in the right one because one of my flatmates was watching me but hey, if you don’t get a letter then woops!


  3. annwilt
    Dec 14, 2011 @ 10:56:55

    These look so good! I’m sure it is both the cook and the photographer!


  4. LiaLia
    Mar 11, 2012 @ 10:27:24

    AHHHH!!! That dessert looks AMAZING!!!


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