During a trip to Korea many years ago, I was told that when buying Ginseng, always choose the red type & buy it in its root form. I was introduced to the Korean Red Ginseng (高麗太極參) then, apparently the higher grade of Ginseng & have been purchasing this grade since.
Korean Ginseng promotes blood circulation, revitalizes & aids recovery from weakness after illness. Many athletes may also use Korean Ginseng as herbal support during rigorous training. At home, I always keep a box of this valuable herb & use it to make a soup especially after an illness or returning from a trip. Korean Ginseng is normally double-boiled with chicken meat as a soup, unlike the American Ginseng, which is usually sliced & soaked in hot water to make a tea.
To make this delicious Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup, I like to use red dates & garlic. Putting glutinous rice will thicken the soup & lastly, adding spring onion & Cognac give the tonic a fragrant scent.
Tip: When taking Ginseng, avoid taking Vitamin C (including fresh fruits) & never drink tea at the same time. These will reduce the efficiency of the herb. Also, avoid taking it when having a cold, flu or other lung infections.
1 Korean ginseng root
10 Red dates (seedless)
7 cloves of Garlic
¼ cup of Glutinous rice
2 sprigs of Spring onion (chopped)
1 litre Water
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cognac
- Cut off neck, backside & claws. Ensure it's thoroughly cleaned inside out. Put all fillings into the chicken except spring onion.
- Tuck the feet in neatly.
- Fill slow cooker with water & put it on high heat. Add chicken when it’s boiling. Cover lid & cook for 2hrs. Continue to simmer on low for another 3 hrs.
- Break chicken into half & put it into a serving bowl. Pour in soup, add brandy & sprinkle spring onion. Serve hot.
Can you see all the flavourful ingredients inside the chicken? The Ginseng has also expanded & doubled in size.
You can cut up the Ginseng into slices & serve. A Korean Ginseng specialist once taught me to use the Ginseng root for 3 rounds, which I’ve been practising since. 1st round, I’d usually used it for this recipe but remove the root at the end of process & keep it for next day. 2nd & 3rd rounds, I’d use the root again & throw it into any other soups I’m making. Brilliant!
Do you use Korean Ginseng in your cooking too? Check out another potent soup of mine - Power of American Ginseng & Abalone!