• Korean ginseng chicken soup (Alan Benson)Source: Alan Benson

Korean ginseng chicken (sam-gye-tang) soup uses a whole young chicken stuffed with ginseng, jujubes, chestnuts, garlic and sticky rice. Traditionally, this soup is revered during the hottest month of the year to combat the fierce heat.






Skill level

Average: 3.1 (55 votes)


  • 500 g spatchcock, washed and drained
  • 70 g (⅓ cup) sweet glutinous rice (see Note), soaked in cold water for 1 hour, drained
  • 6–8 cloves garlic
  • 6 cm ginseng root (see Note)
  • 1–2 jujubes (asian date) (see Note)
  • 1–2 chestnuts, optional
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 1–2 tbsp thin yolk omelette, thinly sliced, optional
  • salt and pepper, to serve
  • kim chi (see Note), to serve
  • steamed rice, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.

Stuff the spatchcock with rice and garlic. Tuck the wings under the body and tie the legs together with kitchen twine so that the garlic and rice are enclosed.

Place spatchock in a small, deep saucepan just big enough to hold the spatchcock. Fill with enough water to just cover. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to a simmer and skim the surface of impurities for 1–2 minutes. Add the ginseng root and a large pinch of salt. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, skimming occasionally. Add chestnuts (if using) and continue to simmer for a further 20–25 minutes until the spatchcock is tender but isn’t falling apart. Add jujubes for the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Transfer the spatchcock to a deep serving bowl and half fill with braising stock. Top with green onions and omelette. Serve combined salt and pepper in a small bowl to the side for dipping.

Serve with steamed rice and kimchi.


• Jujube, also know as Chinese red date, and glutinous rice are available from Asian grocers. Dried ginseng root and kim chi, which is spicy fermented cabbage, are available from Korean grocers.


Photography by Alan Benson