Monday, January 24, 2011

Korean Cornish Hen Soup with Ginseng (삼계탕)

This is one of my favorite Korean chicken soups. I always love the tender cornish hen meat that literally falls off the bones. And the chewy sweet rice, oh my, so flavorful with hints of ginseng and dates or also known as jujube's. This soup is considered medicinal and typically eaten during the summer months. Who knew? I always enjoy this soup during the wintery cold months. The things I've learned while blogging. It amazes me how little I really know.

South Korea is on the southern portion of the Korean peninsula and is known for it's notorious humid temperatures and to replace nutrients lost during those hot months, this soup is sought out. This warm, hearty and healthy broth is basically your "Korean" chicken soup. Comforting on a cold day but for best medicinal benefits, enjoy this soup during the months with the hottest of temperatures.

Korean Cornish Hen Soup
1 Cornish Hen
2 ozs Korean Sweet Rice, washed and soaked in cold water for about 30 minutes
1-2 Korean Dried Dates
1 Large Garlic Clove
1 Small Thinly Sliced Piece of Ginger, Optional
1 Fresh or Dried Ginseng Root (if using dried soak for at least 2 hours or until soft)
1-2 Fresh or Dried Chestnut (if dried soak until the chestnuts softens at least 30 minutes), Optional
2 Scallions, sliced thin
Salt & Pepper to taste

* all items listed above can be found at your local Korean/Asian grocers

1. Rinse and remove innards from your cornish hen. Stuff the hen with the soaked sweet rice, chestnut, ginseng, along with the garlic clove, ginger and dates. Pull the excess skin and tuck under the hen and place in a medium pot or a Korean Clay Pot. Pour water covering the entire hen. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, medium/low and cook for about 1 hour.

Add scallions and salt & pepper to taste. Discard the ginseng and enjoy!

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5 Reactions to this post

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  1. TofuCustard said... January 24, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    Wah! I always wanted to make this but my mum never lets me.. :| Can you omit the ginseng? and can we just use regular rice instead of sweet rice? :]

  2. ~Lisa~ said... January 27, 2011 at 9:41 AM

    @ Tofu custard, why won't your mom let you cook this dish? You could omit the ginseng but you'll lose some flavor and medicinal qualities. And as far as the rice. I'd use the sweet rice. Not sure if regular rice would work since the texture is different. It may get very soft and make the soup thick.

  3. Victoria said... February 15, 2011 at 8:52 AM

    This is one of my all time fave dishes. There are no asian stores near me, so my mom always sends me a package or two of these, and home-made kimchi. All the way from the west coast to the east coast.

  4. minneville said... February 18, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    The first time I tried this is in a restaurant in Seoul and discovered that there was stuffing! The Chinese ones don't have stuffing! I think I'm going to try the stuffing to spice up my regular chicken soup. Sometimes I'd put goji berries too!

  5. takoyakichan said... November 17, 2011 at 8:34 PM

    You don't have to discard the ginseng. I've actually never heard of anyone ever doing that. It's certainly edible...