05 February 2011

sam gye tang

A kit for Sam Gye Tang, Korean chicken soup with ginseng, comes in a little package like this. It contains rice, three dates, two ginseng roots and four or five chestnuts. You start by soaking the rice for at least three hours.

Then take a poussin (or game hen). I blanched it to reduce scum in the final soup. Stuff with rice and other ingredients. Space was limited, so a couple of dates and chestnuts and one of the ginseng roots stayed out, loose in the pot. Put the poussin in a pot, cover with water. Add some cloves of garlic (whole). Cook until done. This was just under two hours. I've seen a range of suggested times from forty-five minutes to three-and-a-half hours

Finish the soup by adding salt to taste at the very end. Serve with green onions and pepper. (And other side dishes such as kimchi, if you have them).

The poussin held together but comes apart easily with chopsticks. Very delicious. The ginseng is a little bitter, but the rice and dates balance it out perfectly. I know this dish is designed for the summer, but it feels perfect for frigid February days and an urge to fight the flu.

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