Ginseng chicken soup

Samgyetang 삼계탕

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!


  • 2 cornish hens. Each hen weighs about 1 ½ pounds, a nice portion for 1 person.
  • ½ cup short grain rice (or glutinous rice), rinsed and soaked in cold water for 2 hours
  • 2 fresh ginseng roots, washed
  • 2 large dried jujubes, washed
  • 16 garlic cloves, washed and the tips are removed
  • 2 to 3 green onions, chopped
  • salt
  • ground black pepper

fresh-ginseng (susam: 수삼) cornish-hens

For the sesame dipping sauce:

For  sweet sour soy dipping sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey (or sugar)
  • ½ a medium size onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 Jalapeno (or green chili pepper), chopped


Make the dipping sauces:

  1. Combine salt, sesame seeds, ground black pepper, and sesame oil in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside.
    sesame salt dipping
  2. Combine soy sauce, vinegar, and honey (or sugar) in another bowl. Mix well with a spoon. Add onion and jalapeno. Set aside.

Cook the chicken:

  1. Strain the rice.
  2. Remove the giblets from the hens and rub them with salt all over to clean them nicely. Rinse under cold running water.
  3. Put the hens on the cutting board, pat dry, and remove any extra fat around the body cavities with kitchen scissors. Cut off the tips of wings if you want.
  4. Stuff each hen with rice, 1 ginseng, 1 jujube, and 8 garlic cloves. Put any leftover rice in the pot.
  5. Place the hens into a heavy pot. Add 8 cups of cold water, cover, and cook over medium high heat for 30 minutes.Samgyetang making (삼계탕)
  6. Turn down the heat to medium and cook another 40 minutes until the chicken, ginseng, and rice turn soft. Open up the pot from time to time and ladle some broth from the bottom over top of the chickens. If the broth evaporates too much, add more water.
  7. Remove from the heat.samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup: 삼계탕)samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup: 삼계탕)


  1. Place each hen into 2 individual bowls and add the chicken and broth. Sprinkle with chopped green onion and ground black pepper. Serve with kimchi and the 2 kinds of dipping sauce.
  2. If you serve them in earthenware pots, preheat the pots with a little water inside (about 2 tablespoons) and add the chicken and broth. Let them sit in on the heat until the samgyetang starts to sizzle. Then remove from the heat and sprinkle green onion over top and grind some black pepper. Serve hot with the dipping sauce and kimchi. 



  1. pp_123 Hong Kong My profile page joined 12/14
    Posted April 11th, 2015 at 4:54 am | # |

    Maangchi I found out that my soup turned out to be kinda yellowish instead of having that beautiful white colour. Is it something to do with the chicken I used? The chickens we commonly eat here in Hong Kong are rather big in size and the chickens’ skin is kind of yellowish. My first attempt of following this recipe didn’t go so well. The taste was good but the soup somehow became very thick and it looked like some kind of chicken porridge lol. I think I must have cooked it for too long over high heat…

    • pp_123 Hong Kong My profile page joined 12/14
      Posted April 13th, 2015 at 4:39 am | # |

      Maangchi, your comment doesn’t sound like making samgyetang lol

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted April 13th, 2015 at 7:17 am | # |

      ” I found out that my soup turned out to be kinda yellowish.. ”
      I thought you talked about ox bone soup! lol
      It’s normal the color of samgyetang turns out a little dark because of ginseng and jujubes. Use less ginseng and skip jujubes (or use only 1) if you like to make yours milky.

      “the soup somehow became very thick.” I would add more water to thin it out before serving. Good luck! : )

  2. Lynlyn Sweden My profile page joined 10/14
    Posted October 21st, 2014 at 11:24 am | # |

    hi Maangchi

    Im just wondering is it necessary to have jujubes on the soap? because its hard to find jujubes here, and i really want to cook your Samgyetang,..

  3. nemeriza82 philippines My profile page joined 8/14
    Posted August 25th, 2014 at 2:52 pm | # |

    Hi just wanna ask if i could use other pot like stainless pot.since i dont have that kind of pot you are using. Thank you

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted August 26th, 2014 at 3:53 pm | # |

      yes, you can. Cook it in a large stainless steel stock pot and serve it in a ceramic bowl.

  4. Raymond Singapore My profile page joined 12/13
    Posted December 6th, 2013 at 1:04 am | # |

    Great video, easy to follow steps. First time making, the taste was great but not enough soup at the end and the chest meat was still not as soft as those Korean stall.
    Next time I need a bigger cooking bowl and cook it longer. :)
    The sweet rice was finger licking good.

    Thanks for the video.

  5. virulain United States My profile page joined 4/12
    Posted August 2nd, 2013 at 5:19 pm | # |

    I found a samgyetang “kit” with the sticky rice, dried jujubes, and dried ginseng in it at our small, local Korean grocery and remembered that I always see this in my Korean cookbooks and on your site, Maangchi! Tonight I will try to make it using your recipe as guidance, since I cannot read Korean well (yet). My husband is excited to try it; maybe 어머님 will be impressed when he tells her I made it, haha!

  6. mabellth Australia My profile page joined 6/13
    Posted June 23rd, 2013 at 12:08 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    Is the soup suppose to not add salt and pepper? :)

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted June 24th, 2013 at 1:57 pm | # |

      yes, when you eat it, add some salt to your taste. check out the step 6 in the recipe please.

  7. ana lee malaysia My profile page joined 8/12
    Posted January 15th, 2013 at 9:04 am | # |

    Hi maangchi..
    where can I get the sweet rice? Can I just substitute with Thai’s sticky rice?? or normal rice???

  8. MeepKitty Florida My profile page joined 10/12
    Posted October 29th, 2012 at 7:27 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi! Thankyou for the great recipe!! The weather has been chilly lately, and my boyfriend fell into sickness..so I was in search for a good healing soup for him and decided this was the one..~ I added some small carrot pieces and shredded the chicken and placed it back into the soup so it was easier to eat.The balance of flavours were soooo good (:. He told me this soup reminded him of his own mother’s soup! We ate it with a lot of black pepper and the garlic was soft and sweet. Yummm!!! Thank you again :)!!!

  9. Cselestyna canada My profile page joined 2/10
    Posted June 26th, 2012 at 7:03 pm | # |

    I make this dish alot it’s one of my favorites and i always look forward to it, but cornish hens here are expensive and i wanted to experiment, so last night i did and it was the worst it’s ever turned out! So here is my tip: if you are using a piece of chicken instead of a Cornish hen, make-sure the skin isn’t real fatty! I used a leg last night and it turned out that the skin was so fatty that it actually ruined the soup, it ended up being disgusting! the small amount of meat i actually got was fine but the fatty skin and fatty meat ruined this dish! so if you’re trying this out use a good piece of chicken with minimal fat and a nice thin skin!

    lol However on a side note, I didn’t have any ginseng and couldn’t find any in my area for that time of evening, so I went to the superstore and bought ginseng tea. i used Korean ginseng tea that came in granular form. I used 3 packages and it worked really well, of course since my fatty chicken ruined my soup i’ll have to try it again!!

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted June 30th, 2012 at 9:39 am | # |

      Simple solution! Just skin the chicken and make samgyetang if you don’t like to see the floating fat. Or make it and later scoop out the floating fat

      • Cselestyna canada My profile page joined 2/10
        Posted July 1st, 2012 at 3:29 am | # |

        LOL, the fatty skin actually made the liquid part of the soup more of a gross gelatinous texture, it ended up being more of a really weird half jelly- half liquid like chicken dish that only tasted somewhat like ginseng soup; i ended up taking the chicken out, rinsing it under running water and eating it with steamed rice :p next time i will pick out a nice piece of chicken instead of whatever is in my freezer hahaha :D

        • jaylivg Houston My profile page I'm a fan! joined 7/10
          Posted August 15th, 2012 at 5:49 pm | # |

          LOL , here is tips for you .. next time do not use chicken thighs , why ? because chicken thighs contains the most fat . Next time , do use chicken breast , skinless , boneless , if you don’t want any fat floating around , but i must warn you , if you choose chicken breast , skinless and boneless then u must be careful , why ? because your meat might turn out pretty dry . Even cooking regular chicken noodles soup , i still end up with some fat floating around .. no biggie , don’t fuss over it , just remove it .. end of story !! Even the cornish hens still have little fat floating around !!!

  10. tspoke Wisconsin My profile page joined 4/12
    Posted April 14th, 2012 at 2:31 pm | # |

    Great video! I love Korean Food, especially Samgyetang and kimchi chigae. Where can I purchase the pot you used in this video? What is it called? I live in Wisconsin, so I probably need to order it online. Please help! I need to make this!

  11. ZenMistress California My profile page joined 4/12
    Posted April 6th, 2012 at 1:10 am | # |

    This was really really delicious. Wonderful delicate flavored broth, thank you for this recipe. I was fortunate to find some fresh ginseng at the Korean grocery store, and immediately wanted to make your recipe. I made this with both a small chicken and cornish game hen! They were both really good. Thank you for sharing this truly traditional old world korean recipe. I remember my mom making this for my dad when I was growing up.

  12. Ange 창원시 My profile page joined 1/12
    Posted January 26th, 2012 at 7:39 am | # |

    I’m living in Korea, and just stumbled on this blog after a quick search for 삼계탕. My reaction? OMFG. I’m never going to a restaurant again! Or, at least, less.

    Thank you so much for making this website~~~<3!

  13. hapacalgirl California My profile page joined 7/11
    Posted November 20th, 2011 at 9:13 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    I love your recipes! Lucky for me we have a Zion Korean Market in my city so finding ingredients is really easy. I have question, for the ginseng, do you need to peel it first or do you just put it in the hen as is? Thanks!

  14. Urahara Canada My profile page joined 8/11
    Posted September 16th, 2011 at 1:44 pm | # |

    Hello Maangchi!

    I’ve been wanting to make Samgyetang for a while now, especially for my eomma’s birthday which is on sunday, but I discovered this week that it is illegal in Canada to buy or sell or export fresh ginseng… Can I replace it with something else? Jujubes are impossible to find too :(
    Aigoo Eotteoke~!

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted November 21st, 2011 at 1:34 am | # |

      “Aigoo Eotteoke~!” lol!
      Skip ginseng then. It will still be delicious.

    • GiveMeKimchi Philadelphia My profile page joined 3/11
      Posted October 28th, 2012 at 10:54 pm | # |

      I know this was posted almost a year ago, but if you ever get to read this Urahara, I think you’ve been misinformed. Who told you that fresh ginseng is illegal to buy in Canada? It seemed improbable, so I tried looking it up, and nowhere did it say that fresh ginseng is illegal to buy, sell, or export. Hopefully, you found out the truth and was able to make yourself some samgyetang, because it would be such a pity not to haha.

  15. lukaaleeya malaysia My profile page joined 7/11
    Posted July 9th, 2011 at 8:13 am | # |

    i cook this soup today,,,today is my friend birthday and i cooked this for her,,,,a surprise party,,,,,and the recipe help me a lot,, it was a huge success,,,thank you so much for the recipe,,,btw i substitute the fresh ginseng root with the dried one,,since i couldnt find the fresh one here at my place….this soup is so yummy

  16. mase kul My profile page joined 12/10
    Posted December 31st, 2010 at 3:42 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi

    *Happy New Year*

    Can I substitute the dried root ginseng with ginseng extract instead.
    That’s what I have presently.

    If so how much should I use with the chicken stuffing. Thnx.

  17. mase kul My profile page joined 12/10
    Posted December 16th, 2010 at 1:25 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi

    Is samgyetang eaten during winter b’cos of the cold weather? Do you eat this on its own or with rice and other side dishes.

    The jujubes look like red dates(taste sweet right?).

    I must ask my sister to buy me some Korean ginseng during her vacation in Korea. I would like to follow exactly the ingredients that you use. I’m curious as to how it taste.


    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted December 16th, 2010 at 1:48 pm | # |

      Ironically samgyetang is more popular in the summer among Koreans because we believe it helps us overcome hot summer heat by eating it. Sizzling hot samgyetang will warm your body in the summer.The room will seem colder than it was before you ate the soup, because your body is now warmer.

      Jujube photo is here:

      Use only one root in this recipe if you eat it for the first time because 2 roots may be too strong and bitter for you.

  18. Kavanaru France My profile page joined 1/10
    Posted October 29th, 2010 at 1:53 pm | # |

    Great! I need to try this one! I make a similar soup I learned from a vietnamese friend. Basically the same but using shitakii instead of jujubes and gingseng…. a very nice way to surprise your friend, who will end up “eating soup” with chopsticks :)

  19. the-weekend-kusinera Philippines My profile page joined 9/10
    Posted September 24th, 2010 at 9:54 pm | # |

    is it necessary to use a clay pot? or is any kind of pot okay for this recipe? thanks

    • annabanana Vancouver, Canada My profile page joined 2/09
      Posted September 16th, 2011 at 1:37 pm | # |

      My mom just used a regular metal pot whenever she made this.

  20. partyallmyown1 Honolulu My profile page joined 7/10
    Posted August 3rd, 2010 at 3:33 am | # |

    what is jujubes …really…and i live in hawaii but i cannot find jujubes or fresh ginseng…and good substitutes

  21. shaoen01 My profile page joined 6/10
    Posted July 5th, 2010 at 11:06 am | # |


    Can we stuff the chicken with other ingredients beside rice? Also, is the jujubes a must or is there an alternative? I don’t think i can find jujubes here.

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted July 6th, 2010 at 6:43 am | # |

      “Can we stuff the chicken with other ingredients beside rice?”: why not?

      Jujube is optional. Skip it if it’s not available in your area.

  22. idan2point0 California My profile page joined 4/10
    Posted April 13th, 2010 at 8:38 pm | # |

    a few things,

    1. everything you make is so good! the recipies I have made after you are always delicious and I thank you!

    2. I know this song you used, and I think you should let us know what song you play in the background of your videos, you always pick such good music, and I am always wondering what the songs are! lol

  23. Julia
    Posted December 29th, 2009 at 1:21 pm | # |

    Hello! I have a question with the rice. Do I have to use only sweet rice?
    or can I use regular rice also?? and does it have to be cooked before to soak in the water?

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted April 13th, 2010 at 9:22 pm | # |

      Hi, Julia,
      no, you can use short grain rice, too. Yes, you will have to soak rice before stuffing in the chicken.

  24. Kim Johnson
    Posted November 22nd, 2009 at 12:25 am | # |


    Hello! My husband and I have been looking over you website for the last couple of weeks. We are currently living in Seoul but are going to be heading back in a few months. I wanted to start learning how to cook Korean food while I am here so we can eat it back in the states. We already tried cooking Daegujeon, Dubu buchim yangnyumjang, Japchae, and Kimchi chigae. Everything has turned out great. Tonight we are going to try cooking samgyetang since it is so cold outside right now. We are both excited. Thank you for all of the work you have put into this website. It will be a life saver when we move back to the U.S..


  25. Karen
    Posted November 8th, 2009 at 11:40 pm | # |

    it looks sooo juiciee!~ i luv ur recipes ^_^

  26. Ji-Hyun
    Posted October 27th, 2009 at 4:25 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    Whenever my mom made me samgyetang, she always used a ginger root, not ginseng, and never used dates. Is there a big taste difference?

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted October 27th, 2009 at 5:59 pm | # |

      oh, yeah? ginger instead of ginseng. Are you kidding? Of course the taste will be different. ; )

  27. Indonesian girl
    Posted October 22nd, 2009 at 7:49 am | # |

    Can breastfeeding mom eat samgyetang? Do u eat the ginseng or not?

  28. curiouskitty
    Posted October 21st, 2009 at 3:09 pm | # |

    i can find any ginseng where i am but i saw ginseng ‘maca’ powder ca i use it?

  29. Ann
    Posted October 11th, 2009 at 9:30 pm | # |

    I can’t find fresh ginseng root….can I use dried one?

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted October 12th, 2009 at 12:29 am | # |

      Just skip it instead of using dried ginseng root. Dried ginseng is so hard that it will not get soft when your chicken soup is cooked fully.

      • izumi
        Posted November 21st, 2009 at 2:32 pm | # |

        mmm … alwayz use the dried one but before putting all the ingredients I alwayz cook the ginseng root in the same pot and then when it sofens u could cut it in small strands and place it inside the chicken so dat way u could use the dried one … ^_-

        • izumi
          Posted November 21st, 2009 at 2:32 pm | # |

          sorri I meant I have alwayz used it

  30. Evan
    Posted August 29th, 2009 at 4:04 pm | # |

    hi maangchi-ssi! thx so much for the video, this looks really easy to make. just like to check, is it ok to substitute fresh ginseng for dried ones? i bought a pack of the dried ones (called jilin ginseng), do i use the same amount? would appreciate your advise.

    also, do you have a recipe for kyeran mari (egg rolls), i wanna make that after watching 꽃보다 남자. hehe. thanks!

  31. inung
    Posted August 4th, 2009 at 2:22 am | # |

    hi maangchi,
    this morning I went to korean groceries to buy ginseng for samgyetang. but they run out of ginseng. so I went to japan grocery, I found ginseng-like root, labeled “doraji/ginseng”. at that moment i forgot that the koren name for ginseng was susam, so I bought some. but when I saw the price, I wondered why that ginseng was much cheaper than the ginseng I used to buy. I asked the lady who sold it, she said that it was ginseng.
    I just realised that it’s not the same ginseng as I used to buy, right after I got back home. and i search in the internet, that it’s called bellflower & not for samgyetang.
    what i wanna ask you, is doraji similar with susam? can I make samgyetang with it? is it good for health as susam? i want to make ginseng soup for my brother who suffered from fever, to help him getting back his stamina.

    thank you

  32. inung
    Posted June 25th, 2009 at 7:39 am | # |

    maangchi, it’s me again.
    you know, now I’ve just made samgyetang soup an hour ago for dinner, at least that’s what I planned to ;) . because I couldnt get small chicken, i used breast chicken. unfortunately I’m not a good wrapper, so the rice was all over the pot. now, I come out with samgyetang porridge ha.ha.ha. but it’s also delicious though. it gives me idea to make chicken & ginseng porridge again one day. now I’m still trying to finish my dinner.
    I also want to try to make sikhye but it’s difficult to find the barley powder. I’ve got two korean minimarkets close to my office but both dont have it. there is only the barley seed. so, can i use the seed? if it’s okay, how to make the sikhye with barley seed? I have lakchi, can you suggest me what is it for?
    thanks a lot!

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted June 25th, 2009 at 8:11 am | # |

      Yeah, you made chicken porridge called daakjook in Korean. I will post daakjook recipe someday. I use a huge pot when I make the porridge. Anyway, I’m glad your chicken soup turned out good!
      To make shikhye, you will have to find right ingredient barley malt powder: Yeotkireum
      I am copying and pasting my answer made for someone else a few days ago.
      “There are 2 types of barley malt: powder type and coarsely crushed (or pounded )barley malt.
      I use either powder type or crushed type. But be sure it is really crushed barley malt. If you find these words “엿기름 가루” or “식혜가루” on the package, buy it.”

  33. Yun-Chong
    Posted June 14th, 2009 at 7:27 am | # |

    OMG!! I tried some of your recipes and it came out sooo good!! My husband, who is American, loved it too! I am going to try Samgyetang some time this week! I have to drive 45 minutes to our “local” Korean grocery store, but it will be all worth it!!!

  34. JuJu
    Posted June 10th, 2009 at 4:58 am | # |

    만지님 you are awesome! ^0^
    Now i can learn to cook for my bf after his military serviceㅎㅎ
    Can`t believe you have 삼계탕 here! Thank you so much!!!
    Anyways in the chicken section you only seem to have 2 recipesㅠㅠ
    By any chance will you be posting on how to cook 닭똥집? Possibly
    something that looks like this?? ^^;;

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted June 10th, 2009 at 9:12 am | # |

      chicken gizzard recipe, sure!
      Good luck with making samgyetang! You will impress your bf with your delicious samgyetang. ; )

  35. Dora
    Posted June 2nd, 2009 at 9:13 am | # |

    The pot can stand on an elektronic plate for cooking?

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted June 2nd, 2009 at 7:03 pm | # |

      yes, earthenware pots can be used with any heat source.

      • deborah Toronto, ON My profile page I'm a fan! joined 4/09
        Posted August 16th, 2009 at 9:58 pm | # |

        as sturdy as these pots are, i managed to crack one of mine over the stove… but i was not thinking properly and added cool water to a heated pot… it didn’t explode but it made a crackle sound and it was leaking for the rest of the time i was making soup :(

  36. susan
    Posted May 4th, 2009 at 11:01 am | # |

    hi: i’m trying your samgaetang recipe however i’m making 2 cornish hens in one pot. would i could it for the same amount of time, boil 20 high heat, then boil 40 min over medium heat? i don’t want to over cook it.

  37. dhee
    Posted May 1st, 2009 at 10:14 am | # |

    thx lord.. finally i found korean food recipes…
    i really love samgyetang.. hahha… i always order it everytime i visits the korean restaurant.. ^^ (i’m at jakarta, indonesia and hell yeah they got many korean restos here!!)

    고마워요…!!! ^^ ㅎㅎㅎ

  38. Polsinki
    Posted April 13th, 2009 at 7:25 am | # |

    hi maangchi i am seriously saying thank you to you i had throat infection that was so painfull that when i speak few words also i fell pain i made sampyetang 3 days regularly and i am very well now

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted April 13th, 2009 at 7:50 am | # |

      wow,good news! I should make samgyetang for myself now because I’m struggling with the similar symptoms that you had. Take care,

  39. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted March 8th, 2009 at 3:29 pm | # |

    no, don’t skin it unless you really want to.
    Today I made chicken porridge using normal size chicken. I skinned it to remove fat and it turned out good.

  40. togiltokki
    Posted March 8th, 2009 at 12:35 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi, I love your blog. It makes cooking korean food so much easier! Since I am half korean, it is really important to me.
    Today i try to cook samgyetang myself and I got confused at my first step, the chicken now lying on my kitchen table: Did you take of the skin of the chicken before cooking it? Or do you leave it on? Probably a stupid question but i really dont know and i cant tell from just looking at the chicken in your video^^

  41. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted February 27th, 2009 at 9:03 am | # |

    I suggest using a half ginseng root for each serving. Cut a small size fresh ginseng root in half lengthwise. You can skip ginseng root if you don’t like the flavor.

  42. blia
    Posted February 27th, 2009 at 4:20 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi!
    I’m going to make this for my little sisters and we’ve never had ginseng before. I’m just wondering, how many ginseng roots do you recommend for a mild flavor? I notice you used 4 roots in the video but only suggested 2 in the ingredients list. I just don’t want the ginseng flavor to be too strong since I don’t know what it tastes like.

    Can’t wait to make this soon. Please get back to me when you can!! :)

  43. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted February 24th, 2009 at 12:20 am | # |

    Thao Bui,
    oh, I’m sorry to hear about your husband! I’m praying for him at the moment! Yes, samgyetang will be good food for him. Why don’t you make it instead of looking for a restaurant? If you find a fresh ginseng root, it’ll be easy to make good samgyetang.
    You can leave your question on the forum at http://www.maangchi.com/talk/forum/general-discussion
    then you may get good answer from someone else.
    I don’t know much about Korean restaurants in Hochiminh city.

  44. Thao Bui
    Posted February 23rd, 2009 at 2:37 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    Would you please give me names of Korean restaurants in Hochiminh city, Vietnam where I can buy Sam Gye Tang? I’d like to buy it for my husband who just get an operation of liver cancer. I think it good for him, isn’t it? Thank you.

  45. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted February 5th, 2009 at 7:06 pm | # |

    sorry I can’t give you answer because I have never used dried ginseng for samgyetang. You can leave your question here http://www.maangchi.com/talk/forum/general-discussion

  46. julisensei
    Posted February 5th, 2009 at 9:48 am | # |

    Hi Maanchi,

    I have some slivers of dried ginseng that I would like to use in my Sam Gye Tang. If I pre-soak it, how much should I try to use do you think? This is probably American Ginseng that my mom got at the Chinese supermarket that is frequently used for making individual cups of ginseng water, so I know that a little goes far.

  47. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted February 1st, 2009 at 10:21 pm | # |

    oh, I’m sorry to hear that!
    Skip ginseng then. Dried ginseng is very hard so it is usually used for medicine by boiling for days.

  48. koreanfoodlover
    Posted February 1st, 2009 at 10:12 pm | # |

    maangchi…i can’t find fresh ginseng…all I can find is dried ginseng. Would it still be okay since I can’t find any fresh ginseng?

  49. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted February 1st, 2009 at 9:06 am | # |

    no, you need fresh ginseng root.

  50. livy
    Posted February 1st, 2009 at 12:11 am | # |

    HI Maangchi,

    Can you use dried ginseng?

  51. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted January 12th, 2009 at 11:21 pm | # |

    Jennifer C,
    It is usually sold in China town or Korean grocery store. If you find it, please leave the address of the store on the forum here. fresh ginseng is used for ginseng chicken soup.

  52. Jennifer C.
    Posted January 12th, 2009 at 3:21 pm | # |

    Where can I buy the Korean gingseng when I am around San Francisco Bay Area, near Sunnyvale? The white gingseng you use for the Korean Gingseng Soup.

    • leeemur SF Bay Area My profile page joined 7/09
      Posted February 16th, 2010 at 10:02 pm | # |

      I think Hankook supermarket in Sunnyvale has it. If not, try Kyo Po Market. :D
      If you still can’t find it there, I bet the 99 Ranch in Cupertino has them.

  53. Umshik
    Posted November 27th, 2008 at 5:00 am | # |

    I am so glad to have discovered your blog. You are my cooking hero. We swapped places – you in Canada, me in Korea.

  54. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted November 24th, 2008 at 8:34 am | # |

    I found an interesting article about samgyetang on the internet. Check this out.

    “Samgyetang is an ideal body energizing food made of chicken, which is rich in protein and essential amino acids, and ginseng (or “panax” in scientific parlance), known since ancient times as a cure for many diseases.

    It is an outstanding stamina-improving food with well-balanced nutrients from ginseng, glutinous rice, jujube and chestnut.

    According to the “Donguibogam,” a famous Oriental Science Medicine book, “ginseng in samgyetang strengthens the heart’s functions; garlic plays the role of a body energizer; chestnut and jujube protect the stomach and prevent anemia; and pumpkin seeds prevent parasites.”


  55. Cathy
    Posted November 24th, 2008 at 1:26 am | # |

    When I lived in Korea, whenever I felt a cold coming on, I went to Ajumma’s restaurant and order SamGaeTung. It is great for clearing the sinuses and I always felt better after having it. I can’t totally attest that it got rid of my cold, but I honestly believe it made it less severe, if I caught it in time.

    When I had it in Korea, it had a prune inside instead of jubejubes.

    This is a great meal on a cold winter night or when you’re feeling under the weather.

  56. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted November 8th, 2008 at 1:31 am | # |

    red ginseng is better quality than white ginseng. Yes, you can use it in samgyetang.

  57. armie
    Posted November 7th, 2008 at 3:52 pm | # |

    hi…… i made this one yesterday and it taste great!!!!!!

    whats the difference of the red ginseng and the white one? can i use the dried red ginseng in this soup?

  58. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted October 31st, 2008 at 5:48 pm | # |

    Yes, it’s glutinous rice. If you don’t have it, you can replace it with plain short-grain rice (rice for sushi).

  59. chichay
    Posted October 31st, 2008 at 10:28 am | # |

    hi maangchi!!!! love your site… what is sweet rice? i wonder if that is the same as sticky rice…thanks!!!

  60. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted October 16th, 2008 at 6:48 am | # |

    yes, just jujubes that’s what I use in “samgyetang”.
    check the dried red jujube picture on the page.
    Good quality of jujube is red, wrinkly, and sweet. You can eat it as it is.

  61. Liz
    Posted October 16th, 2008 at 2:52 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi! Can any dates be used in this recipe or just jujubes? How can you tell if jujubes are ripe? I bought some from my local market a few weeks ago and they were hard as rocks but smelled awful!

  62. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted October 15th, 2008 at 6:03 am | # |

    Thank you for your update! Wonderful!

  63. Doris
    Posted October 15th, 2008 at 12:12 am | # |

    Hello Maangchi! Thank you for replying! I’ll be waiting for that one to be up. Today I made the Sweet Soybean SideDish! I Love it! came out just as I expected! Thank YOU!

  64. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted October 14th, 2008 at 6:34 am | # |

    sure gamjatang!, it’s already in the list of my upcoming cooking videos. Thank you!

  65. Doris
    Posted October 14th, 2008 at 1:49 am | # |

    Hello Maangchi! Your blog is so awesome! I learnt so much from looking at your recipes. Loving this! I was trying to find a recipe for Gamjatang, I wonder if you’d have it. My Mom loves it, so I’d like to make some for her. Thank you! Keep up this site! =D

  66. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted October 9th, 2008 at 5:59 pm | # |

    ? ginseng is root, right? ; )
    Use fresh ginseng.

  67. LaLa
    Posted October 9th, 2008 at 5:51 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi

    I was just wondering, does it have to be ginsens root or can you just use ginseng itself?

  68. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted September 30th, 2008 at 5:30 pm | # |

    Jiyoon Kim,
    Congratulation on you successful chicken soup making! You made “dak jook” instead of “samgyetang”. Dak jook (chicken soup) is also really good. Some people who don’t like ginseng taste prefer dak jook to samgytang.
    Put lots of garlic in chicken soup. : )
    “gyeran jjim” is very easy to make it even though you don’t cook often.

  69. Jiyoon Kim
    Posted September 30th, 2008 at 12:21 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,
    I don’t cook Korean food very much at all as I don’t know how and due to where I live it’s hard to get hold of some or most ingredients!!
    But I have been watching yr videos which inspired me to cook and I am now cooking Sam Gye Tang without ginseng which is the most important ingredient, the broth taste amazing and can’t wait the finished result!! Just wanted to thank you for making me to cook!! My b/f will be pleased!! :)
    Take care.. xx

  70. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted September 4th, 2008 at 5:17 am | # |

    Yes, you can. Thank you!

  71. merilyn
    Posted September 4th, 2008 at 12:40 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    Is it alright to replace sweet rice with normal rice?


  72. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted August 24th, 2008 at 7:24 am | # |

    How about the recipe I posted radish soup with beef. I strongly recommend it. I posted it when I made stuffed cucumber kimchi (oisobagi)

  73. catherine
    Posted August 24th, 2008 at 4:22 am | # |

    This is so beautiful! Do you have recipes for more similar soups? Thanks maangchi.

  74. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted July 10th, 2008 at 7:56 am | # |

    I never use ginseng powder in sam gye tang. fresh ginseng is good. If you have to use the ginseng powder, use only 1 or 2 ts. If you put it too much, the soup will be thick.

  75. Anonymous
    Posted July 9th, 2008 at 8:11 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    I like to know if I can substitute the ginseng root with Ginseng powder?


  76. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted April 21st, 2008 at 5:38 pm | # |

    wow, congratulaion!

  77. denise
    Posted April 21st, 2008 at 2:46 pm | # |

    Hey Maangchi!
    I made this soup a little while ago and my mom and brother LOVED it and it was gone before the day was over. Thanks so much for posting these recipes! :)

  78. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted December 17th, 2007 at 7:10 am | # |

    Your lesson sounds like poem!
    The soup seemed to be medicine instead of a meal. : )
    Sorry to hear about your failure.
    Anyway thank you for sharing your story even though it was failure.
    “Don’t use much ginseng for samgyetang”!

  79. Agasuka
    Posted December 17th, 2007 at 12:56 am | # |

    I wish to try fresh ginseng, it is not available here. (There’s Hong Sam red ginseng root available for 19.99/lb)

    I made the Sam gye tang with dried ginseng root hair but it was a failure.

    Since you used 4 thick fresh ginseng, so I added 2/3 cup of dried ginseng root hair, however, it became way too bitter, as the tiny ginseng roots enlarged after cooking, it was almost 2 cups. I had to added a lot of water and green onions to cover up the overwhelmed ginseng taste, on the other hand, the taste of chicken was diluted.

    Lesson learned:
    Do not add too much ginseng.

    Interesting facts that I’d like to share:
    Maybe it was a late supper…
    Maybe I was very tired…
    Maybe it was the power of the amazing ginseng…
    After having the “Super” ginseng soup, I felt very sleepy, and I had a very nice sleep that night right after the meal. :)

    The other person who had my super soup felt warm current inside his chest after tasting the soup.

  80. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted December 9th, 2007 at 1:11 am | # |

    Yes, I think it will be ok. Why don’t you ask the owner of the store if you can buy a good looking ginseng? : ) I paid $ 10.00for 3 or 4 roots of ginseng here.

  81. Agasuka
    Posted December 9th, 2007 at 12:11 am | # |

    I saw packages of tiny roots of Korean ginseng available at a Korean store for $15.99 USD per pound.

    I wonder if I can use these hair like little roots to subsitude the actual body of ginseng for the sam gae tang.

  82. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted October 26th, 2007 at 4:57 pm | # |

    I usually go to a korean store located west of bloor and bathurst. The closest subway is Christie or Bathurst. You can ask people where a korean grocery store is. There are 3 or 4 grocery stores there.
    I bought the fresh ginseng there.
    Or when you come down to Toronto, let me know via email, then I will find a time to help you get it.

  83. Anonymous
    Posted October 16th, 2007 at 8:37 pm | # |


    I would love to make this soup – however, I wouldn’t know where to buy the ginseng. I live close to Toronto, Canada – can you suggest any shops?


  84. Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
    Posted October 15th, 2007 at 4:51 am | # |

    Good to hear from you!
    Since I met you last time, I sometimes have been thinking about you, especially when I make some special food. I just think, “Deborah may like to learn this.” : )
    Next time I make my kimchi, I will let you know through e-mail.

  85. Deborah Toronto, ON My profile page I'm a fan! joined 4/09
    Posted October 14th, 2007 at 11:27 pm | # |

    fantastic video!! sam gye tang looks sooo simple (and yummy) to make :) i’m definately gonna try this recipe out at home.

    p.s. hope you have been well :)

    • Leah Kim
      Posted April 16th, 2009 at 10:23 pm | # |

      Can you put ginger and Ginseng into the chicken when you cook it? Chicken has a smell to it so I thought Ginger goes into this dish as well.

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