Fresh ginseng

Susam 수삼

The fleshy root of a slow-growing perennial plant, ginseng is one of the world’s oldest and most popular herbal medicines. Koreans love ginseng for its health-giving properties and we use it sparingly, because it’s usually quite expensive. Find it in the refrigerated section of Korean grocery stores. It can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.



fresh ginseng

fresh ginseng for sale in front of a herbal medicine shop on Jongno, Seoul


Recipes that use fresh ginseng (susam):



  1. shuchee malaysia joined 10/16
    Posted October 26th, 2016 at 4:56 am | # |

    Hi, Maangchi,

    If I were to purchase the fresh ginseng from the market, can I bring it back to my country? Is it illegal to do that? How long normally can the fresh ginseng be keep in the fridge? I would like to cook samgyetang at my own country. Do you recommend me to purchase the pre-packed ingredients or to buy fresh ginseng?

  2. Toto Bonn, Germany joined 6/10
    Posted August 14th, 2010 at 2:36 pm | # |

    I love ginseng and I love samgyetang.
    By the way, I always thought the korean name for ginseng was “Insam” and not “Susam”

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted August 15th, 2010 at 8:10 am | # |

      Insam is dried ginseng and susam is fresh ginseng.

  3. Veron Lau Singapore joined 8/10
    Posted August 10th, 2010 at 4:32 am | # |

    Hi Myla,
    Is there any fresh ginseng selling in Singapore?

  4. Anonymous
    Posted May 31st, 2009 at 5:53 pm | # |

    Maangchi, My mother grows and cooks with two ginseng like plants. I am trying to find more information on this, but do not know how to spell it. One sounds like “dosari” and the other like “da duck”. She said it is very good for your health. It tasted excellent!

  5. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted January 16th, 2009 at 11:44 am | # |

    Did they put dried ginseng in the package? If so, they shouldn’t! Fresh ginseng that’s what you need. Use just one root in each serving, Otherwise, the soup may be too bitter for you.

  6. coeruleo
    Posted January 14th, 2009 at 3:44 pm | # |

    i used the samgeytang packages, and the chestnuts and ginseng were too hard. i think they should be boiled longer before making the soup to make them edible. the fresh ginseng and chestnuts probably don’t need to be cooked longer.

  7. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
    Posted October 24th, 2008 at 4:26 pm | # |

    The package of samgyetang contains small chicken, rice, jujubes,some soaked rice and a ginseng root. right? Yes, You can use it.

  8. Myla
    Posted October 24th, 2008 at 10:42 am | # |

    i already went to korean grocery,but they dont have a fresh ginseng they only have a package of samgyetang recipe i plan to make samgyetang tomorrow, is it ok if i used it???

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