Double-boiled Korean Ginseng and Chicken Soup

Double-boiled Korean Ginseng and Chicken Soup

Double-boiled Korean Ginseng and Chicken Soup

I had to try my new double-boiling Chinese soup pot, so specifically sourced some nice Korean Ginseng ($100 HKD for 2 pieces) so I could make double-boiled ginseng soup with chicken (and pork). I love the genuine taste of Ginseng, it’s smooth and golden. And I love it in soups even more! Using the simplest of herbs, the soup takes a solid 3 hours in the double-boiler – but comes out rich, delicious and bursting full of flavours. Truly one of my favourite double-boiled goodies.

The benefits of ginseng and chicken soup are also numerous. Ginseng is usually described as “nourishing life” and the effects of the double-boiler, which maintains the soup at a lower heat without disturbing the ingredients physically, enable the flavours and efficacy of the ginger to permeate throughout the soup. The soup enhance immune functions and make body functions strong like the heart, lungs and spleen.

Soup Name

Double-boiled Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup

Traditional Chinese Name:  

人參雞湯 (rén sēn jī tāng)

 

For recipes and videos, visit us on YouTube.

What’s involved?

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 3 hours in double boiler

Total time: 3 hours and 15 mins 

Serves: 4-5 bowls

Ingredients

The ingredients include: Fresh Korean ginseng, pork, chicken, dried red dates, dried Chinese Yam, and dried longans. I used chicken drumsticks instead of a whole chicken (which is usually recommended). The constraints you’re working with include the size of your double-boiler. In most cases, double-boilers need to fit inside another pot, so unless you’re got a restaurant-sized soup pot, you are restricted to the size of your double-boiling pot to fit the ingredients.

 

To keep the soup as “skinny” as possible, I removed the skin and as much fat as I could. Then I chopped the drumsticks into 3’s so that I can compact the size of the ingredients to fit into the double-boiler. The same applied for the pork shank. I didn’t blanch the meat as both didn’t have that much fat and I rinsed them under cool water before throwing it into the soup to clean them.

Keep the herbs simple. A mixture of these will suffice. Actually, my herbalist even suggested to just use dried Chinese Yam and that’s it, but I liked a little bit of sweetness and wanted to balance the coolness of the ginseng with the heaty of the dried longans just a little. If you’re scared that it’s too cooling, throw in 1-2 slices of ginger to balance it out.

Start by boiling your soup water. To be honest, I am eye-balling everything, but I started with a half pot of water and decided that I could always add more water after fitting all the ingredients in. Once the water boils, throw in all the ingredients together and boil on high for about 30 minutes. This is still OUTSIDE of the double-boiler.

 

The point of boiling it outside is to make sure everything is boiling inside and sufficiently cooking and mixing and bringing out nice flavours. I then turn off the stove and let it cool enough to bring the double-boiler into the pot to really begin the double-boiling process. Once inside the double-boiling pot, you can top it off with boiling water to ensure it’s full (more soup) and fill the double-boiling outside pot with warm or slightly hot water. Boil the outside pot until it really boils and then reduce to a very, very, very small boil and keep it tightly covered.

Double-boil it for about 3 hours and when it’s done, the soup will be a rich, golden colour and smell delicious. The house permeates with this ginseng fragrance and it’s beautiful.

 

I recommend directly serving from the double-boiler to the bowl.  No salt is needed. Enjoy!!!

Variations to the soup can include using the black, silkie chicken instead. They are definitely smaller, so hopefully will fit – but in general, this soup is made with both chicken and pork. You can also change up some of the herbs to include maybe the large dried dates, Astragalus Root,  wolfberries, or Codonopsis Pilosula Root.

Cooking Instructions

  1. Boil 1 separate pot of water to blanch your protein
  2. You can also begin to boil your pot of soup water in the thermal pot with the 3L of cold water
  3. Prepare your chicken any way you’d like.  I tend to quarter it and reserve the breast for another meal, using only the legs and bones.
  4. In your blanching pot, drop in the chicken bones and meat into the boiling water and blanch for 5-6 minutes, or until the water re-boils.
  5. Slice the wintermelon into large pieces, keeping the skin on.
  6. Using gloves, peel the Chinese (or Japanese) Yam and cut into large 2-inch thick pieces
  7. Cut the gobo root into 2 inch long pieces, keeping the skin on
  8. When your soup water boils, transfer the meat, add in the dried herbal ingredients, and all the roots and wintermelon
  9. Boil on high for 30 minutes
  10. Transfer for a thermal pot for another 4 hours to let it finish cooking
  11. Serve and enjoy!

For more videos, visit us on YouTube.

 

 

 

Chef tips:

  • Ceramic double boilers are the best, especially what you put the soup in.  You can use a metal outer double boiler, but ceramic or glass as best for boiling the soup

 

  • The Chinese double-boiled soups tend to have more than one protein (chicken + pork) as that really create the intense flavours that double-boiled soups are for

 

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Korean Ginseng

Korean Ginseng

Korean Ginseng

Ingredient Name:

Ginseng, Korean ginseng, panax ginseng, ren shen, 

Traditional Chinese Name:

高麗參 (gāo lì shen)

Nature: warming

Taste:  sweet and bitter

Benefits: For Qi deficiency, targeting the heart, lungs, and spleen

 

The Korean ginseng is quite opposite and different from the American ginseng.  The Korean ginseng is warm compared to it’s cooling American ginseng, and are often harvested between 4-7 years of growth.  This is what makes them as expensive as they are!

One of the more expensive breeds of ginseng available on the market, it is usually recommended for consumption during confinement.

This ginseng leaves a beautiful slightly sweet aftertaste in the throat and mouth that does linger with golden bitter tones.  

You can consume ginseng in soups, stews, or as teas and are often paired nicely with chicken and minimal herbs and vegetables to really preserve the delicious taste of the ginseng.

 

How do I prepare it?

    If you’re using fresh ginseng root, soak in warm water and wash gently under running water, taking care not to break the roots.  This will help remove any leftover debris or dirt.
    If you’re using dried ginseng, this can usually be used directly as is.

Where can I buy it and cost?

      • You can buy Korean ginseng fresh in supermarkets in Asia
      • You can also buy dried Korean ginseng in dry herbalists and wet marts as well as Chinese medicine shops
      • The cost range of Korean ginseng varies depending on age, size, and origin

Any benefits?

  • The Korean ginseng is warming and strongly helps with Qi deficiency
  • It will improve blood flow and circulation, allowing increased healing in the body
  • This herb supports fatigue, restlessness, and a weak pulse, strengthening the heart and calming the spirit
  • It is also ideal if you’ve got a weak or lost appetite
  • Korean ginseng can be used in post partum recipes

Any precautions?

  • Take caution to consume this if you’re got excess heat or yin deficiency (because it’s heaty)
  • As it helps with increase of blood flow and circulation, those with high blood pressure should avoid this herb

Looking to build your basic Chinese Soup Pantry?

Check out this video to begin building your soup pantry.  There are 7 basic dried ingredients to get you started.

 

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