Dish of the week : Samgyetang
Samgyetang is a health food: sam means ginseng while gye is chicken in Chinese characters. A whole young chicken cavity is stuffed with glutinous rice, ginseng, jujubes, chestnut, gingko nuts and other ingredients cooked in broth.
Joseon era documents describe how a young chicken was cooked and served to elderly people during sambok, the three hottest days in summer, which are called chobok, jungbok, and malbok.
The origin of samgyetang can date back to records about hwanggyetang which was served to the frail queen of King Injo to boost her energy. Chicken with milk vetch root was boiled down and the thick broth was consumed.
Even in modern times, diners queued in long lines in front of samgyetang restaurants is a familiar scene on the three dog days. Therefore, the healthy dish is one of the locals’ favorite summer delicacies.
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