Samgyetang - Korean Chicken Soup


Samgyetang is a traditional Korean dish that consists of a whole young chicken stuffed with various ingredients and simmered until tender. It is commonly enjoyed during the hot summer months as a nourishing and revitalizing meal. Here's a traditional Samgyetang recipe along with the ingredients and cooking instructions:


- 1 whole young chicken (approximately 800 grams to 1 kilogram)

- 1/2 cup of glutinous rice (sweet rice)

- 5-6 dried jujubes (Korean dates)

- 5-6 garlic cloves

- 5-6 ginseng roots (optional)

- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil

- Salt

- Pepper

- Water

- Green onions, for garnish


1. Clean the chicken: Remove any excess fat or organs from the chicken cavity. Rinse the chicken under cold water to remove any impurities.

2. Stuff the chicken: Rinse the glutinous rice and soak it in water for about 30 minutes. Drain the rice and stuff it into the chicken cavity. Add the dried jujubes, garlic cloves, and ginseng roots (if using) into the cavity as well.

3. Tie the chicken: Using kitchen twine, tie the chicken legs together to ensure the stuffing stays inside during cooking.

4. Prepare the pot: In a large pot, add enough water to cover the chicken. Place the stuffed chicken into the pot.

5. Season the broth: Add sesame oil, salt, and pepper to the pot. The amount of seasoning can vary based on personal preference, but a pinch of salt and pepper should be a good starting point.

6. Simmer the chicken: Bring the pot to a boil over high heat. Once it boils, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Allow the chicken to simmer gently for about 1.5 to 2 hours until the chicken is fully cooked and tender. Skim off any foam or impurities that rise to the surface during cooking.

7. Serve: Transfer the cooked chicken to a serving bowl or individual bowls. Ladle some broth over the chicken, making sure to include the rice stuffing. Garnish with chopped green onions for added freshness and flavor.

8. Enjoy: Serve Samgyetang while it's hot and enjoy the nourishing flavors of the chicken and the fragrant broth.

Tips for the best way to cook Samgyetang:

- Use a young chicken, preferably around 800 grams to 1 kilogram, for tender meat.

- Soaking the glutinous rice before stuffing helps it cook evenly and absorb flavors from the chicken and broth.

- If ginseng roots are not available, you can omit them or use other Korean medicinal herbs like dried wolfberries (gugija) or astragalus root (hwanggi).

- Adjust the cooking time based on the size and tenderness of the chicken. The goal is to cook it until the meat is fully tender and easily falls off the bones.

- Some variations of Samgyetang include adding other herbs like dried jujube leaves or chestnuts for additional flavors.

Samgyetang is known for its health benefits and comforting properties. It is often served with a side of kimchi, steamed rice, and other Korean side dishes. Enjoy this revitalizing chicken soup for a nourishing and satisfying meal!