Downtown eatery a ginseng chicken soup mecca

Downtown eatery a ginseng chicken soup mecca

Via

Downtown eatery a ginseng chicken soup mecca

Samgyetang, the signature dish at Korea Ginseng Chicken Soup, is good for what ails you. By Lee Jee-eun

It was the day the Korea Meteorological Administration issued its first-ever heat-wave warning in Seoul.

What better way to overcome the heat than eating some chicken soup with ginseng? Tradition holds that the dish replaces nutrients lost through excessive sweating and physical exertion.

So I headed to Korea Ginseng Chicken Soup in Seosomun-dong, central Seoul. The restaurant opened in Myeong-dong, also in central Seoul, in 1960, becoming the first restaurant to focus solely on a hot chicken soup menu.

Samgyetang, or hot chicken soup with ginseng, is a traditional Korean dish that consists of a whole young chicken stuffed with glutinous rice and boiled with ginseng, dried dates, garlic and ginger.

Chicken soup is beloved in the West as a meal that can ease flu and cold symptoms; in Korea, it is widely believed that samgyetang can both cure and prevent a multitude of ailments.

Before our main menus arrived, we were served the usual side dishes of cabbage and radish kimchi, but some other treats also appeared on the table. There was a petite cup of ginseng liquor as an aperitif and a small portion of cooked glutinous rice.

When the waitress came with our soups, I could tell that I was going to do some more sweating as they each arrived in a boiling hot pot. The broth, which is usually bland and modestly made in many tourist restaurants, was thick and its aroma clean and satisfying, absent the fishy smell of some chicken soups.

The meat, including the chicken breast, was tender and juicy. When I finished devouring the meat, it was time to slice the remaining chicken in half and to have a proper "rice meal" with the stuffing.

What was unexpected was the abundant amount of whole ginseng found in the soup. Many restaurants are not enthusiastic about using so much ginseng, especially whole pieces, as they are quite expensive. But not at Korea Ginseng Chicken Soup, which is probably one of the main reasons why it has remained popular with tourists and locals alike and continues to be one of the best known samgyetang restaurants in Seoul.

The price for the basic samgyetang is 14,000 won ($12).

The best time to go if you want to enjoy a quiet and leisurely meal is for an early dinner. Located in an area dense with offices, the restaurant is typically packed at lunchtime.

It also is a favorite stop for tourists, so menus are available in English, Chinese and Japanese.


The Korea Ginseng Chicken Soup is located near the City Hall Subway Station, line No. 2, exit 10. (02) 752-9376. Open 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

By Lee Jee-eun Contributing writer

[Video] Added Korean drama "The Girl Who Sees Smells" episode 1

Via Twitter
[Video] Added Korean drama "The Girl Who Sees Smells" episode 1
Added episode 1 for the Korean drama “The Girl Who Sees Smells” Watch on DramaFever “The Girl Who Sees Smells” (2015) Directed by Baek Soo-chan Written by Lee Hee-myeong Network : SBS With Park Yoo-chun, Sin Se-kyeong, Nam Goong-min, Yoon Jin-seo, Kim So-hyeon-I, Choi Tae-joon,… 20 episodes – Wed, Thu 22:00 Also known as “The Girl Who Can See Smell” and “Sensory Couple” Synopsis Based on a web-toon of the same title, depicting a story about a man who cannot feel any senses after losing his younger sister through the “Barcode murder case” three years ago, and a girl who has a supersense and survived the same incident, but lost all of her memories before the event. Broadcast starting date in Korea : 2015/04/01 . ... Read more

EXO to perform not only "Call Me Baby" but also "My Answer" and "Exodus" this week!

Via Twitter
EXO to perform not only "Call Me Baby" but also "My Answer" and "Exodus" this week!

Does it seem like you can”t get any more excited for EXO”s comeback performances? Well guess what, it just got more exciting: EXO have announced they will be performing a total of three of their songs from their new album on music shows this week!. ... Read more

Lee Joon-ki to star in MBC "Night Strolling Scholar"

Via Twitter
Lee Joon-ki to star in MBC "Night Strolling Scholar"

Actor Lee Joon-ki is starring in the new MBC drama “Night Strolling Scholar” as Kim Seong-yeol, a vampire scholar from the Joseon times.

Kim Seong-yeol is handsome and a master of literacy and martial arts. He dreams of a happy country with his political comrade and friend the Prince but loses his lover and friend in the whirlpool of fate and becomes a vampire. He hides the sorrow of losing his loved ones and stands against evil and lives a long time as the “night scholar”. . ... Read more

Sulli continues to resume her activities through a couple pictorial with model Lee Chul Woo for "High Cut"

Via Twitter
Sulli continues to resume her activities through a couple pictorial with model Lee Chul Woo for "High Cut"

Sulli had given fans a happy surprise when she first appeared in “High Cut” a few weeks ago, after a long hiatus, and now she”s already back with another photospread for the magazine! At this rate, maybe we”ll soon hear about new projects from her with f(x) as well? Cross your fingers! . ... Read more

SISTAR"s Hyorin and Soyu stir hearts softly crooning a piano cover version of K.Will"s "Growing"

Via Twitter
SISTAR"s Hyorin and Soyu stir hearts softly crooning a piano cover version of K.Will"s "Growing"

It”s always great to see idols support other artists in their company, just like SISTAR”s Hyorin and Soyu, who have released their piano cover version of K.Will”s new song “Growing”!

. ... Read more