Koreans love to eat samgyetang (삼계탕: ginseng chicken soup) on Bok Nal, the three hottest days (cho bok, jung bok and mal bok) of the year. Since today is “chobok” which refers to the beginning of the hottest days of summer in Korea, we had samgyetang for dinner.
Samgyetang is an energizing soup-based dish. It consists of a whole young chicken that is stuffed with Korean ginseng, chestnut, dried jujube, garlic, ginger and glutinous rice. It is the most common and famous health food eaten during summer. Being exposed to the scorching heat, many Koreans are dehydrated and fatigued. So on bok nal, they take a break and feat on food to replenish their stamina and strength. Samgyetang helps restore vital strength that is lost in the sweltering weather. It is also an excellent medicine to ward off illness or to help cure colds.
Samgyetang is usually served with salt and pepper (put in a small separate dish to dip the meat). But I prefer to add the seasoning directly into the soup. In restaurants, it is usually served with radish kimchi, cabbage kimchi, chicken gizzard, fresh green peppers and insamju (ginseng wine).
Instead of going to the restaurant, we decided to order samgyetang through a food delivery app. It arrived after 30 minutes.
It came with green peppers, garlic, onions, and cabbage kimchi. I was satisfied with the taste and quality but I wish they included some chicken gizzard for side dish. It’s my favorite. 😉