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RDN-made Chicken Meals from Around World: Samgyetang (Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup)

This National Nutrition Month, we’ll be featuring chicken meals designed by our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists from around our world to celebrate diversity, inclusion, and the importance of delicious healthy eating. All the meals are low fat (and with heart healthy fats), high in fiber, balanced, nutritious and (most importantly) delicious!

RDN: Austin Park, MS, RDN, CDN
Country: Korea
Tips from Austin :The extra scallions and kimchi (spicy fermented cabbage) on the side are optional. Kimchi can be homemade or also bought at H-mart. It is a good cold sauerkraut-like side dish to contrast the hot chicken soup. Kimchi may be spicy for some people’s tastes, so start with a little at a time! Enjoy!

Why This Meal: Samgyetang is a popular Korean chicken soup. “Sam” refers to ginseng, “Gye” refers to chicken, and “Tang” refers to soup. It is usually eaten when a person is sick (due to the immune system supporting properties of ginseng) or during the hottest days of the summer. Believe it or not, many Koreans eat this hot soup to “fight the summer heat with heat”, and believe that hot soup counters the effects of the high temperature on the body during the hottest summer days. Samgyetang is traditionally eaten on Sambok, which refers to the hottest days of the summer based on the lunar calendar (in July and August). It is also a great soup to have during the cold winter days.

Serving Size: 2


1 young full cornish hen chicken (organic if possible, about 10-14 pounds)
½ cup of glutinous white rice soaked in cold water for 1 hour
1-2 roots of ginseng
5-7 dried jujube dates
1-2 bunches of green scallion
7-10 washed and peeled garlic cloves
½ medium size onion
Sesame seeds
Sesame seed oil
Soy sauce
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp honey
1-2 chopped green and red chili peppers or jalapeno peppers
Salt and pepper to taste
Recommended for extra taste: Bag of wood and root mix specifically made for Samgyetang. You can buy this at H-Mart (popular Korean grocery store). Below are pictures of the of wood herb bag, dates, ginseng root and garlic cloves. I used some extra dates and garlic cloves for a stronger and sweeter taste.


Directions for Chicken

  1. Wash the chicken thoroughly under cold running water and cut off the tips of the wings with scissors.
  2. Remove the giblets (little parts inside the cavity of the chicken). Wash cavity thoroughly with cold water.
  3. Stuff the chicken with the ½ cup of soaked glutinous white rice, garlic cloves, ginseng root and dates.
  4. Gently place the stuffed chicken in a large stainless steel pot. Fill the pot with cold water enough to cover the chicken. Place any left over extra rice into the water next to the chicken.
  5. If you are using the bag of wood and herbs to cook in the soup for extra flavor, place it into the water now.
  6. Cook on high heat for 25 to 30 minutes with a closed top or a mostly closed top to let out a little steam while cooking.
  7. Cook chicken for another 40-45 minutes on medium heat, with a closed top, until chicken is soft.

Directions for Chicken Dipping Sauces

  1. ake out 2 small bowls. Fill one with soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, honey, chopped raw onions, and chopped red chili peppers and/or chopped jalapeno peppers. Stir well with a spoon.
  2. In the other bowl, sprinkle a little sea salt, black pepper, sesame seed oil, and sesame seeds.
  3. These are your 2 chicken dipping sauces.

Serving Directions

  1. The chicken should be soft and easier to cut at this point. Pull off or gently cut off the piece of the chicken from the pot and place in a large serving bowl for the chicken soup.
  2. Pour some of the chicken broth into the bowl. Use a large spoon to take out some of the dates and porridge-like white rice out of the chicken cavity and place it into the serving bowl.
  3. Cut up some green scallions into small pieces and sprinkle them into the soup in the serving bowl.
  4. Serve the chicken soup with a side bowl of white or brown rice and the 2 small plates of chicken dipping sauce as shown below:

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