SAMGYETANG (GINSENG CHICKEN SOUP)
1 whole chicken
125 ml uncooked short-grain rice
2 fresh ginseng roots
4 large dried jujubes (mareun daechu)
16 garlic cloves
3 spring onions, chopped
ground black pepper
Sesame dipping sauce:
5 ml salt
5 ml sesame seeds
a pinch of ground black pepper
30 ml sesame oil
Sweet and sour soy dipping sauce:
3 tablespoons soy sauce
30 ml white vinegar
5 ml honey (or sugar)
½ a medium size onion, cut into chunks
1 Jalapeno, chopped
Samgyetang is a hot soup that is traditionally made and enjoyed in Korea’s hottest months. The idea is that by raising a sweat, the body naturally cools itself in hot weather. Whether you follow this idea or not, samgyetang is absolutely delicious. It is highly fragrant, rich and deeply satisfying, exploring the commonly held Korean belief that food is medicine.
Rinse the chicken in cold running water and pat it dry with paper towel.
Rinse the rice and soak it in a litre of cold water for an hour. Drain it, rinse under running water, then mix the rice with the ginseng root, jujubes and garlic cloves. Use this mixture to stuff the chicken by filling the cavity completely with rice and aromatics. Close the cavity with the skin flap (you can sew it closed with a trussing needle if you like).
Put any leftover rice in a large, heavy pot. Place the chicken in the pot and cover it with cold water. Cook over medium high heat for 30 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium and cook for another 40 minutes until the chicken is cooked and the rice soft. Open up the pot from time to time and ladle some broth from the bottom over top of the chicken. If the broth evaporates too quickly, add more water.
Remove from the heat when it’s ready.
While the chicken is cooking, make the dipping sauces so they can infuse while you wait. For the sesame one, just combine everything in a small bowl and set it aside.
Finely chop the onion and the jalapeno for the sweet and sour sauce, then add them to a container with all the soy, vinegar and honey and set aside
Place the chicken in a serving bowl and ladle broth over it. Sprinkle with chopped spring onion and ground black pepper. Serve with kimchi, the dipping sauces with a little flaked salt on the side for seasoning.