Monday, February 21, 2011

Korean Soup for your cold

I think everyone has a comfort food they like when they are little under the weather.  For me its my mother's Chicken & Ginger soup.  Whether your going through a cold or have inflamed sinuses, this soup is the fall to. Before we go any further, you need to know I am a very hands on person, so the best way I can explain to you what reading a recipe is like for me... is to say its a form of dyslexia.

My earliest memory of this is at Young Women church activity at a leaders home.  We were all pairing into groups to make cookies.  I jumped in to to help make the Peanut Butter cookies, one of my all time favorite.  I was given the wonderful task of reading and carry out the task of some of the ingredients.... which we were all eager to pat each other on the back for our wonderful teamwork.  The moment came to taste the batter - which is ALWAYS the Best part - and it was not so wonderful ... it turned out the recipe did not call for 2 cups of salt. (The next time I made it I had mistakenly read 2 Tablespoons instead of teaspoon, (I learn something or in some cases relearn every time I cook).  So what does this have to do with sharing a recipe? None of them are mine.  I am also fondly known for "burning water" and generally burning most things has earned me the title as the "Burn Queen." I am Thankful to have a Honey who Loves me and eats my cooking regardless.


 (I like to make a small incision in the shell then boil them until they float to the top)


So the Chicken & Ginger Soup or Samgaetang is really easy.  Its a traditional Korean dish for newly weds who are looking to be empowered with the essentials in baby making, so be careful eating this many days in a row ;)  This a traditional healthy dish for more than just newly weds so don't be to scared to try it. In general it is made to give strength and energy when people are sick, depressed, or give people an extra boost during intense humid/hot weather especially during Monsoon season in Korea. It is especially good for people who have stomach aches or weak stomachs. My Korean Sister gave me this;

1 young chicken
1 ginseng
1 ginger roots (or 2 small ones)
3 or 4 cloves garlic
1 date (dried)
1/4 cup of soaked rice (soaked 1 hour)
Chopped green onion
Salt and Pepper to taste

Wash chicken and insert the ginseng, ginger roots, garlic, soaked rice, date, and rice. In boiling water, place the chicken and cook until chicken is tender and meat is easy to pull off the bone (1 hour or slightly longer). Add chopped green onion and salt/pepper (as needed) in large bowl filled with broth and chicken.

Messing around, I have Americanize it a little.
Basically make your chicken soup the way you like it & throw in some garlic (about 4 cloves), ginger (an inch of the root), and ginseng (2 root?).  I also like to throw in freeze dried carrots, celery, and onions/ green onions.  If you have certain vegetables you come to expect in a soup throw it in. If you don't have time to crockpot your chicken or cook all day on the stove, then pull a "Christine" and cheat ~ throw in cans of chicken (chicken & salt only) and freeze dried veggies. If your not a big ginseng eater you might consider getting a ginseng tea to steep in the soup instead - This is one of those dishes I really do prefer the roots and vegetables to be fresh and chunky.  All of this is to your own liking, more or less.


I also found an actual Samgaetang recipe for you - because I know there is gonna be someone who needs to see exact measurements :)  As I am looking at other recipes, I realize that some of the popular recipes have the Korean Chestnut and Chinese date. I have to point out that I am one of those peoples who do not enjoy the date so I don't normally include it.  You can also add kimchi or red pepper/ chili paste ~ about a teaspoon for broth flavoring.  WE have found that some members of our family find the ginger a little too spicy when they bite into a piece of the root.  All of these ingredients add great flavor to the broth and have a healing affect for us, so we are looking at a cheese cloth or tea strainer to help the roots simmer and then remove them after wards OR make them a bigger chunk - maybe 2 or 3 inches of the root cut into threes?  

        The chestnut is one of those favorite childhood memories. I enjoy the sweetness of this nut roasted or boiled by itself.  In our last soup we used the chestnut in the soup (the same one I forgot what the ginseng was for) and it tasted like a chunk of potato.  For me this robbed the special flavor this nut has.  However, I though it worthy to mention because the nutritional quality is like brown rice, with trace minerals and it is naturally low in fat.  There is a natural surplus in Korean/Asian markets in the winter time. So keep your eyes open through Feb!  Apparently its popular to cook with the rice and makes a wonderful cereal.

  All said and done ~ Spoon the rice in your bowl and pour on the soup!

4 comments:

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  3. That soup sounds great!!

    Following you!

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