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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Chuanxiong

Ingredient Name: Chuanxiong, Szechuan lovage, lovage

Traditional Chinese Name: 川芎 (Chuānxiōng)

What is this?
  • A fundamental herb in Chinese medicine
  • This herb belongs to the carrot family, is native to East Asia and is a perennial herb with massive fist-like rhizomes
  • The rhizome itself is irregular shaped and brown in color
  • You can find this root available as dried, powdered, sliced, tablets, capsules and even root oil

How do I prepare it?

  • Soak in warm water for 10 minutes and rinse before usage

Where can I buy this?

  • Some wet marts will have this in the herbal shops
  • Chinese medicine shops will definitely have this as well (and it does come in various sizes, shapes and forms)

What is the cost?

  • This is not an expensive herb
  • It is commonly sold together with other ingredients (for the tea, drink or Chinese medicine you want to make)

Any benefits?

  • Chuanxiong helps with the circulation of the qi
  • It aids in expelling wind from the body
  • It is antibacterial, antiviral and can act as an anti-inflammatory agent
  • One of the valuable properties of this plant is it pain killing ability
  • It is commonly used to improve blood circulation (such as irregular menstruation or amenorrhea)
  • Chuanxiong is also good for reducing abdominal pain, head pains, head aches, pain due to injuries

Any precautions?

  • Take caution when serving to children (use in moderation as with all Chinese medicine)
  • It is recommended that pregnant women also avoid this herb (but conversely is used in postpartum treatment to eliminate excess blood)
  • If you’ve got a naturally warm body, use with caution as sometimes “warm”  ingredients or soups will make you heated
  • Be sure to purchase from a reputable source

Additional Information

  • Store in a dry and cool place (up to 6 months)

Fried Licorice Root

Ingredient Name: Mizhi Licorice root, Fried Licorice (Liquorice), Sweet root, Chinese Licorice, Glycyrrhiza uralensis

Traditional Chinese Name: 灸甘草 (jiǔ gān cǎo)

What is this?

  • This is a variation of the Licorice root, but is prepared with honey and fried
  • The root of the licorice plant which is extracted and dried
  • Common Chinese herbal ingredient and often found in Chinese medicines
  • Mainly grown in China (Eastern & Northern parts)
  • Slightly sweet in flavor
  • The fried version is said to be more effective on the stomach and relieving diarrhea

How do I prepare it?

  • Rinse in warm water prior to use

Where can I buy this?

  • This is available in most Asian supermarkets
  • Also available in Chinese herbals stores

What is the cost

  • 10 g cost around $2-3 HKD
  • Extremely affordable

Any benefits?

  • Used to aid cough, sore throat, asthma and remove phlegm
  • Helps in detoxifying the body
  • Helps relieve diarrhea
  • When it is fried, it is considered warm

Any precautions?

  • People with heart disease or high blood pressure should be cautious about using licorice

References

Atractylodes or Bai Zhu

Ingredient Name: Atractylodes, atractylodes lancea, bai zhu, dong zhu, xia zhu

Traditional Chinese Name: 白朮 (bai zhu)

What is this?
  • This is the rhizome of a plant in the genus that is similar to that of the daisy
  • The rhizome is dried and the stems and roots are cut from it
  • The atractylode is a common Chinese herb and is bitter and warm in characteristics
  • It is used to treat dampness (ideal for the Spring), reduce sweating, promotes digestion and acts on the spleen and stomach
  • It is primarily used in Chinese medicines more than soups (used in teas)
  • Good condition bai zhu is slightly sticky to texture and moist

How do I prepare it?

  • Soak in warm water for 10 minutes and rinse before usage

Where can I buy this?

  • Some wet marts will have this in the herbal shops
  • Chinese medicine shops will definitely have this as well (and it does come in various sizes)

What is the cost?

  • This is not an expensive herb
  • It is commonly sold together with other ingredients (for the tea you want to make)

Any benefits?

  • It is used to treat dampness (ideal for the Spring), reduce sweating, promotes digestion and acts on the spleen and stomach
  • It is slightly warm, but does also remove heatiness (by carrying some heat out of the body through elimination of dampness)
  • It improves the overall immune system
  • Atractylodes is also anti bacterial and helps lower blood sugar levels

Any precautions?

  • Take caution when serving to children (use in moderation as with all Chinese medicine)
  • If you’ve got a naturally warm body, use with caution as sometimes “warm”  ingredients or soups will make you heated
  • Be sure to purchase from a reputable source

Additional Information

  • Store in a dry and cool place (up to 6 months)

 

Cistanche

Ingredient Name: Cistanche, Herba cistanche

Traditional Chinese Name: 肉苁蓉 (ròucōngróng)

What is this?
  • This ingredient is considered as part of the Chinese medicine repertoire (although more specifically, it is the Cistanche deserticola)
  • It is a desert plant (shrub like which grows from 2-6 feet tall) with an usual behavior in that it extracts nutrients and water from plants around it (in order to grow)
  • The plant is harvested in the Spring (before it is able to sprout) by slicing its stem and it is dried and processed for Chinese medicine
  • The plant that produces this ingredient is labeled as “endangered” and harvesting is being monitored
  • Cistanche is actually commonly found in many western sold health supplements (ie: search online and you’ll see bottled, ground or pilled Cistanche for sale)

How do I prepare it?

  • Soak in warm water and rinse before using in soups
  • You can cut it up into small pieces (slices) for soups as well

Where can I buy this?

  • You can purchase this in most wet marts in Hong Kong who sell herbs
  • Chinese medicine shops will definitely have this in various forms a well (such as powdered, whole & dried, sliced, or little pieces)

What is the cost?

  • It will vary depending on size and condition of the Cistanche
  • In general, not overly cheap, but not extremely expensive

Any benefits?

  • It has clinically proven to slow aging, improves the memory, and enhance antibody production within the body
  • Cistanche helps dissipate wind and cold from the body
  • It helps with boosting appetite and the kidneys and large intestines and moistens the body
  • It is also said that this ingredient helps elderly who are always cold
  • Some say that this ingredient is a mild aphrodisiac

Any precautions?

  • Take caution when serving to children (use in moderation as with all Chinese medicine)
  • If you’ve got a naturally warm body, use with caution as sometimes “warm”  ingredients or soups will make you heated
  • Good quality Cistanch is dark, large and slightly moist (see enclosed picture)
  • Be sure to purchase from a reputable source

Additional Information

  • Store in a dry and cool place (up to 6 months)