My Ginseng Chicken Soup

There are many different recipes for ginseng chicken soup. This one is how I have interpreted it; given ingredients that are quickly available from my local supermarket.

It works for western taste buds too (tried and tested).

Ingredients (For about 4 People)

2 x Small Chickens

6 x Dried Red Dates (jujubes)

Dried ginseng root (to taste. I use about 10 thin slices)

Korean ginseng wine (this might not be so easy to find; but not 100% necessary)

8 x Cloves of garlic. Peeled. Leave whole.

6 x Dried wolfberries

1 x knob of ginger. Thinly sliced.

1 x handful of rice

1 Spring onion. Sliced

White Pepper

1-2 teaspoons of salt, depending on taste.


1. Wash and de-skin the chicken. This is important if you don’t want the chicken soup to be loaded with oil on the top layer. (unless you like the oil, but we’re trying to be healthy with this soup).

2. Chop the chicken in half. Then separate the various parts. Pat to dry between some good quality kitchen towel.

3. Place the chicken, ginseng, rice, garlic, ginger, wolfberries and dates in a large pot. Fill the pot with water.

4. Bring the soup to the boil.

5. Cover the pot with a lid and leave on the lowest heat. Stirring occasionally.

The key is to cook this as slowly as possible. So that once it is done, the chicken is so tender that it more or less slides off the bone.

6. After 30 minutes, add in the ginseng wine and the salt.

7. Leave for another 30 minutes. Taste for flavour. If it is too bland, add more salt. Now is also a good time to add the white pepper to taste.

That’s at least 60 minutes cooking time, but it works best the longer you leave it and the slower you cook it. 90 minutes is optimal.

8. Bring back up to heat and serve with some chopped spring onion on the top for garnish.


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