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Ginseng chicken soup (in Korean, Samgyetang) is a hot, steaming, delicious dish that features a small chicken stuffed with rice, ginseng, garlic, and jujube. You have to commit to eating a whole chicken all by yourself when you sit down for a bowl of samgyetang! But it’s totally worth it.
A while ago I ran into one of my readers in a restaurant here in New York. He was sitting at a table with his friend.
The first thing he said was: “Oh man, Maangchi!! I can’t believe I ran into you here!”
We talked for a while and I asked him what his favorite recipe of mine was. He answered “Samgyetang” and told me how he often made it for himself and his mother. I was very impressed!
My original video for samgyetang was one of my earliest videos, made all the way back in 2007! July is a good time to remake it in HD, because Koreans traditionally eat this dish during the hottest days of summer as a way to keep up their energy and to balance their body heat with the weather outside. We have a saying: Yi yeol chi yeol (以熱治熱: 이열치열), which means “fight fire with fire.” If it’s hot outside, you have to overcome it with hot soup!
Koreans designate the 3 hottest days of a year as sambok (3 bok: 삼복) and their dates vary from year to year but they usually fall in July and August. First is chobok (beginning), and then 10 days later is jungbok (middle), and 20 days after that is malbok (last).
During this time, well-known samgyetang restaurants will be lined up outside, and inside they are full of diners eating hot, steamy, ginseng-infused soup, with sweat trickling down their foreheads as they fight fire with fire! Housewives make samgyetang for all her family, too. I usually prepare samgyetang and cold watermelon. After finishing hot samgyetang, finish with cold watermelon. The contrast makes your body feel shocking cold.
So if you like to follow Korean tradition, you can join them in 2015 on July 13 (chobok), July 23 (jungbok), and August 12 (malbok). Let me know how it turns out!
For the sesame dipping sauce:
For sweet sour soy dipping sauce:
Make the dipping sauces:
Cook the chicken:
Posted Sunday, October 14th, 2007 at 9:55 pm
Tagged: chicken soup, cornish hen recipe, ginseng chicken soup, 삼계탕, Korean chicken soup, Korean cooking, Korean cuisine, korean food, Korean recipes, Maangchi, maangchi's samgyetang, samgyetang, stuffed ginseng chicken soup
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