FoodBites: RECIPE; Ginseng Chicken Stew (SAMGYEPTANG)

PREP TIME: 15 MINS      COOKING TIME:  2 hours -ideally!

DISH TYPE: Main / Soup


  • Cornish Hen
  • Garlic (whole, peeled if you can)
  • Jujube
  • 1/4 Cup Short grain rice per hen (washed & pre-soak for 2 hours)
  • Salt
  • Ginseng (fresh)
  • Water


This recipe was inspired by the Korean tradition, that during the hottest three days of the summer, Koreans eat this piping hot stew believing that hot combats hot! So why not try out this recipe the Korean way! – Cooling the body down during the sweltering heat of the summertime!



  1.  Rinse and soak the rice in water and leave for 1.5 hrs to 2 hrs
  2. Generously sprinkle salt over the Hen and rub thoroughly (to wash the hen)
  3. Make sure you remove any feathers & dead skin!
  4. Rinse the Hen with water
  5. Stuff the Hen with the Jujubee, Ginseng, Garlic and rice
  6. (If you can’t fit everything into the Hen cavity you can place them in the pot but make sure you don’t have too much excess rice in the pot)
  7. Once the hen(s) are in the pot, add water, making sure the water level covers the top of the hen
  8. Keep Water at a rolling boil for 30 minutes – no lid
  9. Then turn down the heat and leave water at medium simmer for another 1.5 hrs, put the lid on with a slight gap
  10. When water level starts dropping and stops covering the Hen, ladle over some water periodically to ensure a more even cook
  11. If water level gets too low, top it up with some more boiling water (from a kettle) until the hens have finished cooking
  12. (Optional) Once cooked, you may add a small pinch of salt – season to taste
  13. Serve with fresh spring onions to garnish
  14. Bite IN!

Caution; We used a dolsot (stone pot – for those of us that don’t know Korean), to cook this stew. Now apart from looking cute and fun to use, it heats up evenly and keeps the food piping hot! But if you aren’t lucky enough to get one of these, you can replicate this stew with your usual heavy bottom pot. Kitchen appliance performance varies, as does the cook time depending on the size of your pot and chicken you choose. So before you tuck in, please check your chicken is ready to eat. You can check this by making sure the juices of the chicken run clear, but if you follow our instructions, the meat from the chicken should fall right-off-the-bone!


This recipe has been simplified and constructed with the most basic of ingredients, to make the procedure easy to follow. But, don’t be fooled.. this recipe will create the most heart-warming stew you’ll ever taste!

We realise that if you aren’t in Korea or anywhere near Asian markets, some ingredients maybe be a little hard to find. So we’ll list some substitutions for you here, however be warned, it won’t taste the same, thankfully it will be just as nutritious and warming!

Firstly, the Cornish hen is essentially a very small chicken, so if you can’t find this at your local mart, just use a small chicken! The next key ingredient is not so easy to replicate. In fact, there isn’t anything like ginseng, except ginseng. However, you can try a different root such as ginger, which is more widely available. This will absolutely create a different taste, nonetheless, it should still produce a soul-satisfying broth! Next up, the short grain rice, while being a key ingredient in samgyeptang, this element can not be substituted with other types of rice, just because of the way different rices soften. Short grain rice disintegrates in soup giving a texture that thickens the soup. Short and sweet of it, if you can’t get short grain rice, skip it out and just enjoy a lighter version of moreish chicken soup! Which leads us to the final item, the jujube. Now all we can say is, if you can’t get your hands on this, skip it out!

And with that, good luck!

We hope you enjoyed this recipe and do let us in on your foodie adventures, we’d love to hear from you! Comment below your thoughts or questions on this recipe.



Enjoy your FoodBites!


Share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s