Friday, January 05, 2007

Ginseng Chicken Soup

My blog recently has almost been a cook book website. I am surprised as well but I am pleased to say that I am a culinary master too (just kidding, the most I can cook is Korean). Anyhow, I don't introduce recipe without any purposes. The purpose I am posting this recipe is because of its healing properties. It combines the goodness of 인삼 (ginseng), chicken, and Sweet Glutinous Rice. This dish generally tones up the 'yang' energy of a person, that is, a tonic. It restores to the body the ability to recuperate with stress and to impart a sense of wellbeing.

Prolong usage of Ginseng, the Chinese said, will help one to slow the process of aging. Though miraculous, one must be careful of imitation. In the next post, I will post the way of selecting Ginseng root and how are they classified. This is definitely one of the way for consuming Ginseng and it is a very delicious way too.


  • 2 Cornish Hens (or small size hen)*

  • ½ cup of sweet glutinous rice

  • 4 whole garlic cloves

  • 4 Chinese date (red jujube) [Hong Zhao]

  • 4 chestnuts [Ma ti]

  • 2 fresh ginseng roots**

  • 2 green onions

  • small piece of ginger

  • 8 cups of water

  • salt, to taste (the less the better)

  • ground black pepper, to taste

*If you are a Malaysian, opt for “Kampung Chicken” or “Malay Chicken”, supermarket or “Pasar Chicken” just won't do.

**If Ginseng roots are dried, soak in water for more than an hour until soft.


  1. Clean the Sweet Glutinous Rice and soak in water for an hour.

  2. Peel the chestnuts.

  3. Take out guts from hens and wash well. Skim the fat as well.

  4. Remove the seeds from the jujubes.

  5. Stuff the chicken with the soaked rice, garlic cloves, jujubes, chestnuts and ginsengs.

  6. Make a vertical cut on inner part of one drumstick, and take out the other leg through the cut. By doing this, drumsticks can hold inner contents of a hen. [an alternative is to secure the opening with ropes of natural fibre]

  7. Dice ginger thinly, and chop green onions.

  8. In a pot, pour water, place hens and add green onion and ginger. First boil the soup over high heat. When it is starting to boil, lower the heat to medium and boil for about an hour with lid on. [as with gas stove, I do not recommend the use of clay pot as it tend to absorb the gases, my mom told]

  9. With a big spoon, take out fats that are floating. [there is an apparatus I get from pasar pagi Taman Muda that's scoop up fats like wonder, it looks like a very fine sieve and work on the principle that oil is more vicious that water]

  10. Season the soup with a salt, boil for another 20 minutes and finally serve the soup with some salt and pepper as dip. In Korean Restaurant, the chicken is cut up for pleasant eating. Try cutting the chickens with poultry cutter.

However, a word of advice here. If you or those you are serving this dish cannot tolerate Ginseng, it is best not to serve this dish as this will affect them in a negative way. Ginseng is quite warming to some people and coupled with the ingredients in this soup, it is too tonic for good.

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