Samgyetang Noodle Soup

By • February 5, 2013 • 0 Comments

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Author Notes: This recipe is based off the classic Korean soup called Samgyetang (pictured). It is one of my mother's specialties - and with her being on the west coast and me on the east, I've learned to make it in times of feeling a little bit homesick.

Samgyetang is a soup that is prepared with several cornish hens stuffed with garlic, jujubes, dried Korean ginseng, and sweet rice. After simmering in a pot of water for several hours, you serve a small cornish hen in a bath of a dark, sweet, fragrant broth, with salt and pepper on the side to season to your own liking, as well as chopped spring onion.

This recipe is based off of the classic Korean soup called Samgyetang. It is one of my mother's specialties - and with her being on the west coast and me on the east, I've learned to make it in times of feeling a little bit homesick.

Samgyetang is a soup that is prepared with several cornish hens stuffed with garlic, jujubes, dried Korean ginseng, and sweet rice. After simmering in a pot of water for several hours, you serve a small cornish hen in a bath of a dark, sweet, fragrant broth, with salt and pepper on the side to season to your own liking, as well as chopped spring onion.

After almost a decade of living away from home and here in my Brooklyn apartment, I had another wistful moment and really needed that soup. I was equipped with only half of the ingredients, but decided to just work with what I had: chicken thighs, garlic, jujubes, and spring onions, along with some rice noodles (that I had previously used for pho). So here is my Korean Chicken Noodle Soup, a soup that echoes after a Korean classic that I grew up on, just a bit simplified and altered from my kitchen in Brooklyn.
Wunderfood

Serves 4

  • 2 whole chicken legs
  • 8 whole dried jujubes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ziziphus_jujuba_MS_2461.JPG)
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 piece cheesecloth (optional)
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 handfuls rice noodles (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_--jKMHg1_QI/S7z3CDu1hSI/AAAAAAAAHI0/Mia05mEHKqA/s1600/Pad+Thai+Noodles.jpg)
  • 1 bunch spring onion
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • toasted sesame seeds (optional)
  1. Put the chicken broth and water in a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, peel the garlic, rinse the cloves, and tie up in the cheesecloth. Rinse the jujubes in cold water. Put to the the side. Wash the whole chicken legs and also put to the side.
  2. Once the broth has come to a boil, drop in all of the cleaned ingredients. Bring the heat down to medium and let this simmer for two to four hours.
  3. Take the pot off the stove and allow to fully cool. Remove the chicken from the broth and put aside. Remove the garlic and discard. Leave the jujubes, cover the pot, and put in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
  4. Take off the meat from the chicken and shred. Reserve for garnishing.
  5. Pull out the pot of broth from the refrigerator. You will see that the fat from the chicken has all surfaced and solidified on top of the broth. With a spoon, skim the top to remove all the fat from the broth.
  6. When ready to eat, put the pot of stock back over the stove and bring to a simmer. Also bring a separate pot of water to a boil for the rice noodles. Make sure to follow the cooking directions of the rice noodles and most importantly: taste! The noodles will be ready when they're chewy, not al dente nor soft.
  7. Prepare the rest of the garnish - In a bowl large enough for the chicken, bring together a hot ladle or two of the broth and the shredded chicken. Set aside. Chop up the spring onion and set aside in its own bowl with a spoon. And for each person, prepare a small dish of salt, pepper, and toasted sesame seeds (I love using smoked salt with cracked black pepper and crushed sesame seeds).
  8. Now plate - Once the noodles are ready, drain and place a serving in the center of a bowl. Lay down the desired amount of shredded chicken on top of the noodles. Ladle in some of the soup broth, just enough to cover the top of the noodles. And feel free to drop in a few jujubes because as you have the soup, the now soft jujubes will break apart and darken the soup. Serve your hot bowl of chicken noodle soup with the dish of seasoning and chopped scallions. Season to your own liking and enjoy!
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