Chicken & chicken soup

Yeonggye-baeksuk 영계백숙

This chicken and chicken soup called Yeonggye-baeksuk in Korean (영계백숙) is a simple, communal dish that’s delicious, filling, and easy to share with many people. It uses a young chicken between 3 and 4 pounds which is boiled and then served with a rice porridge made from the broth.

I remember my grandmother on my father’s side making yeonggye-baeksuk when I was young. She had dozens of chickens running and playing in her yard, and she would pick one out, kill it by twisting its neck with her bare hands, and then put it in hot water to remove all its feathers before cutting it open and removing all its guts. My grandmother was a tough woman! I felt sorry for the the chicken but I was excited to have chicken and chicken porridge for dinner. When the chicken was boiling with lots of garlic, the smell spread through her whole village! I use ginseng in this recipe to boost your energy and to remove the chicken’s gamey flavor, but if you don’t have it you can skip it, it’s not essential.

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You might be wondering what’s the difference between this recipe and the classic Korean ginseng chicken soup called samgyetang. They are similar in some ways but samgyetang is made with small cornish hen, about 1 to 1½ pound chicken, and each diner gets a small hen in their bowl. The hen is usually stuffed with rice and jujubes and ginseng is not skippable in that recipe. It’s also served all at once in a bowl, where yeonggye-baeksuk is traditionally served in stages.

I made a video for yeonggye-baeksuk when I travelled to Costa Rica in 2010  (woohoo! Time flies!) but I figured it was time to update and refine this recipe with exact measurements and film a new HD video for it. In that video I focused on the chicken soup, which is called dakjuk in Korean, but really this dish is all about the chicken we eat and the soup.

By the way, whenever I remake a video for a recipe, you can always find the old video linked from the sidebar. I can’t get rid of those videos, they are my life’s work and precious to me! I had a great time in Costa Rica.

I hope you enjoy this recipe with your friends and family!

Chicken & Chicken Soup (Yeonggyebaeksuk: 영계백숙)

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • a 3½ to 4 pound whole chicken, cleaned and pat dried
  • 1 cup sweet rice (or substitute short grain rice), rinsed and soaked in cold water for 1 to 2 hours
  • 2 large fresh ginseng roots (optional)
  • 1 cup garlic cloves (150 grams)
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt

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For the onion mix dip:

For the salt dip:

  • 1 tablespoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Optional vegetables

  • 1 cucumber, cut into about 3 inch sticks
  • 4 to 5 crispy and mild green chili peppers
  • About ¼ cup ssamjang

Directions

Cook the chicken:

  1. Place the chicken in a large heavy pot. I use my 6½ quart heavy pot.
  2. Add garlic, ginseng, and 10 cups of water. Cover and cook for 20 minutes over medium high heat until vigorously boiling.Chicken & Chicken Soup (Yeonggyebaeksuk: 영계백숙)
  3. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook another 50 minutes until the chicken is tender and fully cooked. While it’s cooking you can make 2 kinds of dip.

Onion mix dip:

  1. Combine onion, green onion, green chili pepper, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame seeds, sugar, and hot pepper flakes in a bowl.
  2. Mix it well with a spoon.
  3. Cover and refrigerate until ready for use.dip for chicken

Salt dip:

  1. Combine salt, ground black pepper, and sesame seeds in a small bowl.
  2. Mix evenly and set aside.salt for chicken and chicken soup

Take out the chicken and make soup:

  1. Transfer the chicken along with the ginseng to a large platter. Place it on the table and let it cool down.Chicken & Chicken Soup (Yeonggyebaeksuk: 영계백숙)
  2. Remove any floating fat with a large spoon and discard.Chicken & Chicken Soup (Yeonggyebaeksuk: 영계백숙)
  3. Drain the rice and add it to the broth. Stir it a few times with a ladle or a wooden spoon.Chicken & Chicken Soup (Yeonggyebaeksuk: 영계백숙)
  4. Cover and cook for 20 minutes over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until the rice is fully cooked and tender.

Serve the chicken first:

  1. While the chicken soup is boiling, serve the chicken with the 2 kinds of dip, kimchi, vegetables, and ssamjang. Prepare individual plates so that they can take some of the chicken and dip it. Be sure to eat the ginseng. Chicken & Chicken Soup (Yeonggyebaeksuk: 영계백숙)

Serve the soup:

  1. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped green onion. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with the chicken and side dishes already in progress.Chicken & Chicken Soup (Yeonggyebaeksuk: 영계백숙)

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90 Comments:

  1. RWhite90 Kansas joined 8/19 & has 1 comment

    I’m so excited! I literally watched the first video yesterday and was wanting to make this! I can’t wait to try this updated recipe :)

  2. WildRose85 Oregon joined 10/13 & has 6 comments

    Fresh ginseng is almost impossible to find. I recommend ginseng powder and some small parsnips to stuff the game hen with. Koreans may enjoy this in the summer but it’s a perfect winter dish for us in the west.

  3. Seika Los Angeles joined 4/17 & has 3 comments

    Glad I finally got to try out this recipe and that I had some leftover chicken legs on hand. I think I did pretty well for my first time, came out a little bit thicker than I wanted but I just added more water to thin it out. And I left the chicken in the porridge instead of on the side because to be honest I was feeling a little bit lazy after 2 hours of work. But it turned out fine! Next time I will definitely have it on the side with dipping sauce and kimchi. Thank you for such a simple recipe.

    Though I’d love to see this modified for the crock pot, too. Not everyone has even 2 hrs free to cook so being able to prepare this the morning of or night before would be really helpful.

  4. Speakyword British Columbia, Canada joined 11/16 & has 1 comment

    My mum was in the hospital for 2 months recently and was having a hard time eating. For a while, this was all she wanted because it was tasty, healthy and she could keep it down easily. Thank you for this wonderful recipe! It felt great to bring her something wholesome and homemade.

    I made a few changes. As it’s hard to dip the chicken separately when one is sitting up in bed, I just put the pieces of chicken back into the porridge. I also added a little bit if ginger when I added the rice. I reduced the garlic slightly. I used around 3 bulbs of garlic instead of 1.5 cups which came to a bit more than that… also, I used a litre of chicken stock to replace some of the water.

    In any case, it was super delicious!!!! New staple food for me too.

  5. Aniron Oklahoma joined 5/16 & has 6 comments

    I think you’re keeping my boyfriend and me fed! We loved this simple, amazing recipe. Such a cheap dinner and lots of leftovers!

    (Also, I think my picture is trippy. That’s probably because the table it’s on is a mirror.)


    See full size image

  6. Sasstronaut Sacramento, CA joined 4/16 & has 1 comment

    I made a huge pot and ate nothing but this and Kimchi while I was sick this weekend. I feel so much better!
    I love Korean food and I miss it. Thanks for making it so easy for foreigners to learn how to make such wonderful food.

  7. lm0679632 joined 1/16 & has 1 comment

    Maangchi,
    If I used boneless chicken breasts instead of a whole chicken, would the recipe be the same?

    • Fany joined 12/15 & has 20 comments

      Hi, as you can see I’m not Maangchi, but I made these porridge a few days ago with boneless chicken ( I made half of this portion) and I made it without modifying this recipe, and it turned out really well.
      Good luck with making your porridge ( or maybe you’ve already done it, because you posted your comment a month ago)

    • Mdefields Indiana joined 1/17 & has 11 comments

      In case anyone else is wondering – I would use some chicken stock in place of part of the water since the dark meat and bones really make the stock for the porridge.

  8. Cheesecakeu98 joined 10/15 & has 1 comment

    I made this for my mommy and my siblings when they were sick, they enjoyed it ! It was really easy to follow and it tasted really good . Thank you <3

  9. geanie_choy Lafayette joined 2/15 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi! You are the cooking teacher I wish I had growing up. I’m Korean and I have my own family to feed now. But I never learned to cook Korean food because my grandmother never used a recipe! LOL. Thank you for allowing me to keep some traditions alive with this dakguk recipe! Sometimes, for fun, I like to throw in some goji berries and veggies into the soup.

  10. Young Gun East Cost, USA joined 12/14 & has 1 comment

    Maangchi,
    Thank you so much for your informative site! I see the locals in the photos sharing your meal. Didn’t they tell you this dish resembles their “yellow chicken rice” When I had their food, it reminded me of this dish. Both very tasty!

    I want to ask you (or any reader) what is the Korean name of a dish similar to this? I was watching a Korean drama the other day and they were having this for dinner. Mmm I forgot the name of this dish – I need its Korean name so I can find it if not I will make it myself :) Basically its a rice porridge, thicker than this dish, with small pieces of (leftover) chicken meat or beef. I am more used to the beef variety and if I know the name maybe I can get it :)

    Thanks again – keep up the good work – and enjoy your holidays!

  11. rubi london joined 7/14 & has 1 comment

    This looks yummy but I was wondering if you would have a vegetarian version at all? I hope there is one around thank you😊

  12. Koffee London, ON joined 5/14 & has 2 comments

    I used your recipe and substituted turkey drumsticks in place of the chicken. I used 2 duck eggs instead of chicken eggs and it turned out great! The first day I made it, it had an overwhelming taste of garlic, but when i left it overnight in the fridge, the flavors blended so nicely and tasted even better! Can’t complain, garlic is so good for you! Instead of serving the meat separately from the porridge, I peeled pieces of the meat and returned it to the porridge. I found that if I left the turkey drumstick out, it would have dried out. Overall, this recipe was so easy to follow and so delicious! Must make! (^^ I’m making it for the 2nd time today, right at this moment!) Always have some ready in your fridge; convenience for satisfying your hunger. :)

  13. sjl2107 Upland, CA joined 11/13 & has 3 comments

    WOW, WOW, WOW! Excellent directions and very easy to make! I love porridge and this came out better than my moms…. thanks for sharing this with us. My husband and I had a wonderful dinner tonight!

  14. Bitha_bee Indonesia joined 2/14 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi,

    I really love your site. I was looking for Korean recipe 3 years ago and fortunately I found your site. *glad. This is my first comment and I hope you’ll help me.

    My mom fell down at the bathroom a couple day ago and nobody help her when she is unconscious because nobody’s home that moment. She often fainted because she had low blood pressure, and we recently lost a family member also. She was exhausted due to set many things as the eldest. She refused when I asked her to go to hospital, and now she refuses to eat. I’m so afraid now. Maangchi can you recommends any recipe to me.

    Much love from Indonesia.

    • annabanana Vancouver, Canada joined 2/09 & has 68 comments

      Bitha,
      I’m sorry to hear about your mom. I have had low blood pressure in the past, too. For me, it was the result of avoiding any added salt in my diet for years. I have since found that adding natural sea salt to some of my foods has helped – the refined, table salt stuff people should avoid.
      Anna

  15. Coko Moko Florida joined 8/12 & has 3 comments

    I love your videos, they make me so happy!

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