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Pictorial: Ginseng Chicken Soup

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23 replies to this topic

#1 hzrt8w

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 12:00 AM

Ginseng Chicken Soup (人参雞湯)

Dejah: This pictorial is dedicated to you!

Ginseng Chicken Soup is actually very easy to make with a slow cooker. You may set up everything in the morning, get it started, go to work and come home to some delicious chicken soup.

Finished soup:
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Serving suggestion: 4 to 5

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Major ingredients: Chicken - about 2 lb, about 10 dry black mushrooms, 1 piece of white fungus, 4 to 5 pieces of ginseng, about 3 tblsp of wolfberries. The white fungus does not add any taste to the soup but offers a nice crunchy texture.

I normally would use a cornish hen, about 2 pound, to make this pot of soup. This time I could only find some very small game hens. So I used two of them. Together they weighed about 2.5 pound.

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A close-up on the dry ingredients: (From top) about 10 dry black mushrooms, 1 piece of white fungus, 4 to 5 pieces of ginseng, about 3 tblsp of wolfberries.

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Soak the black mushrooms, white fungus in water for about 2 hours before cooking. Wolfberries just need to be soaked for a few minutes (or you may skip soaking entirely). The ginsengs don't need to be soaked.

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Trim the fat off the hens before cooking.

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First boil a pot of water. Cook the hens for about 3 minutes. Remove and place on a strainer.

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Rinse under cold water to wash away the blood and impurity.

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Note: I gave the second boiling a kick-start by boiling the hens in a second pot of water over the stove. This would save about 1 to 2 hours. You may start the second boiling in a slower cooker. Adjust for additional cooking time.

Put the hens in a second pot of water, bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, trim the stems on soaked black mushrooms. The stems can be added to make the soup but are not for consumption.

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Transfer the hens and boiling water to a small-size slow cooker (crockpot). Mine is about 3 quart. Add the soaked black mushrooms, wolfberries and ginsengs. Fill the cooker to about 90% full with water. Add a pinch of salt to taste (suggest 1/4 tsp).

If the slow cooker is set for "high", prepare to cook for 6 hours.
If the slow cooker is set for "auto shift", prepare to cook for 8 hours.
If the slow cooker is set for "low", prepare to cook for 10 hours.

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Cut the soaked white fungus into bite-size pieces. Discard the portion near the bottom core.

White fungus does not need to be cooked as long. Add to the slow cooker about half way through. If you won't be home to put it in half way through, just add it at the beginning.

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A picture of the soup when it's done.

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Scoop and serve on medium size bowls. The finished soup.
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#2 Dejah

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 03:57 AM

Daw Jeh! Ah Leung. You are certainly taking good care of your elders. :biggrin:

This re-energizer will give me the boost I'll need for my weekend of entertaining and for Halloween!

There's been warnings about ginseng for people with high blood pressure. My brother and s-i-l will no longer touch it, whereas 18 years ago, we credited this herb for saving my brother's life after a year's radical chemo for leukemia.

I don't imagine this amount of ginseng, in a soup, shared by a family, will affect one's blood pressure. Do you know anything about this?

Another warning I have been giving (by Po-Po) is to not eat any root vegetables for 24 hours after eating ginseng.

We've received excellent quality ginseng from family and friends, but I don't often cook it other than as a highly concentrated "soup". This I do in a ceramic container inside a pot of boiling water. The herbalist had used a special saw to cut the root into slices and packaged for for 4 small cup servings. The process takes 4 hours.

Now, I have another way to enjoy genseng. Thanks!
Dejah
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#3 AzianBrewer

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 06:27 AM

This soup is gonna make you "STRONG".....at night.

By the way, I had ginseng "chicken" soup at a Korean joint one time. It is a bit different from the Chinese version. They stuffed the bird (cornish hen/quail/free range chicken) with short grain-high gluten sweet rice and slow cook it for few hours with dried red dates and other dried herbs.
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#4 Dejah

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 09:54 AM

I actually tasted the Korean version at a workshop lasr weekend. Beside the whole chicken stuffed with glutinous rice, ginseng, red date, cognac was also added to the broth. The aroma was incredible, but I really didn't enjoy the rice part.

Would that make it doubly strong ... at night?

Edited by Dejah, 28 October 2005 - 05:03 PM.

Dejah
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#5 AzianBrewer

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 12:52 PM

Cognac...aristocrat huh???
Leave the gun, take the canoli

#6 torakris

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 02:28 PM

I really enjoy the Korean version, here is a (not very good) picture of it I had during my recent blog.

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Ah Leung I have to try your version, I really love white fungus!

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"
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#7 hzrt8w

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 03:11 PM

I really enjoy the Korean version, here is a (not very good) picture of it I had during my recent blog.

View Post

Kris: Your picture looks very interesting. Looks like the ingredients, ginseng included, are stuffed into the cavity of the chicken first before boiling. Is that right?
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#8 torakris

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 03:53 PM

I really enjoy the Korean version, here is a (not very good) picture of it I had during my recent blog.

View Post

Kris: Your picture looks very interesting. Looks like the ingredients, ginseng included, are stuffed into the cavity of the chicken first before boiling. Is that right?

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Yes, everything is stuffed into the raw chicken and then it is boiled. The addition of the rice makes it more of a meal than a soup.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"
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#9 JayBassin

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 04:15 PM

Can't tell from the pictures: is the ginseng added to the soup in the large pieces you show in your first picture, or is it chopped or grated?
He who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not cannot be otherwise. --- Henry David Thoreau

#10 Dejah

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 05:03 PM

I think I would have enjoyed Kris's version better...with the ginseng etc. mixed with the rice.

The one I had was just the rice inside the chicken and everything else was in the broth.
The rice was mushy without much flavour.
Dejah
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#11 hzrt8w

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 05:43 PM

The one I had was just the rice inside the chicken and everything else was in the broth.
The rice was mushy without much flavour.

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I am thinking: why cook this with rice? Wouldn't the rice turn "jook" (congee) after many hours of cooking? Does rice add a special flavor to the soup? It may be easier to add the soup to rice after it's done.
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#12 AzianBrewer

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 06:51 PM

It is not meant to be congee but rather their style of cooking.
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#13 udscbt

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 07:01 AM

Hello!

I realize that this thread is from way back but I just came across it.

I intend to make this soup which looks delicious but I am having difficulty finding ginseng root in Paris which is not outrageously expensive. Should I try to find white or red ginseng, the latter apparently more expensive? The most reasonable white ginseng I have found costs about 30 euros for 250g, or about 45$ for 1/2 pound, though more typically it is twice that. What does it cost in the US, or elsewhere? Is there some substitute for the root? As JayBassin asked, is it used whole or chopped/grated?

Thanks for your help

#14 hzrt8w

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 12:25 PM

I intend to make this soup which looks delicious but I am having difficulty finding ginseng root in Paris which is not outrageously expensive. Should I try to find white or red ginseng, the latter apparently more expensive? The most reasonable white ginseng I have found costs about 30 euros for 250g, or about 45$ for 1/2 pound, though more typically it is twice that. What does it cost in the US, or elsewhere? Is there some substitute for the root? As JayBassin asked, is it used whole or chopped/grated?

The American ginseng is not all that expensive. The size of the ones shown in the picture... about US$60 a box (about 30 to 40 of them) when caught on sale I think.

You may certainly use other kinds of ginsengs. Or even other herbal ingredients. But the taste would be different, of course.

Chopped is okay. Grated may be too small (texture feel).
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#15 sunflower

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 04:53 PM

There are two very different types of ginseng:

One is called Panax quinquefolius or common name is American ginseng. In Chinese this is called 花旗参 (far kay sum) or 西洋參 (sai yong sum) both literally mean American or Western ginseng. This type of ginseng is 'yin' which means it cools you down than boils you up. Great if you have a sore throat or just want to have a detox cleanse.

Another ginseng is called Panax ginseng, ranging from wild ginseng to the more commonly known Korean red ginseng. This type of ginseng is 'yang' which promotes blood circulation and revitalisation after illness. This is the type men will want if they want to be 'strong'. If you are not used to it or can't take too much of it, you will get headaches and nose bleed taking this.

Prices for both ginsengs really depend on the age and size of the roots. You can get some ginseng for few dollars a root/pack to hundreds of dollars an ounce.

#16 udscbt

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 08:33 AM

Dear hzrt8w and sunflower,

Thanks a lot for your answers.

I have a follow-up question concerning another recipe using ginseng found at

http://uktv.co.uk/fo...displayVideo/Hi

This recipe uses slices of dangshen (which I think is dǎngshēn or 党 参 ). It is claimed that it can be found in Chinese supermarkets. Do you know anything about this?

#17 sunflower

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 09:59 AM

Dangshen 党 参 is Radix Codonopsis, much cheaper than some of the expensive ginsengs. Thin soft young roots are very cheap, older roots can cost a lot more and have more flavour. Older roots can be about 1cm thick and woody. The flavour of dangshen is totally different to either of the ginsengs mentioned above.

You can easily find dangshen in most Chinese herbal stores, some bigger Chinese grocery stores will sell them for few dollars a packet (normally the cheaper roots). For quality stuff you have to go to Chinese herbalist.

With that Gary Rhodes' recipe, if the dangshen is just steamed for not very long you won't get the best benefit unless you chew and eat the roots. Danghsen is normally used to make soups to extract all its nutrients, to boil or steam cook for at least 1 hour or more.

#18 udscbt

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 05:22 AM

Hello Sunflower,

Thanks for your rapid response. I am going to the Paris "Chinatown" tomorrow and will try to locate some dangshen for the Rhodes recipe.

BTW, your blog is great!

Cheers

#19 udscbt

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 08:21 AM

Hello,

Here is what I found in a Chinese herbalist in the Paris "chinatown":

panax quinquefolium (american ginseng): 9.9€/100g
panax meyer (white ginseng): 9.9€/100g
dangshen: 4€/100g

I bought some dangshen (and wolfberries: 3€/100g) and will use in the Rhodes' recipe.

Cheers

#20 udscbt

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 06:59 AM

Hello,

I finally got around to making this recipe, and it is quite delicious. The ginseng and wolfberries give a nice taste and the white fungus a very special texture. I used about 40-50 g of red ginseng chips which gave us some energy as Sunflower said it would.

I could not bring myself to throw out the game hens at the end, but rather served them deboned and cold the next day with a salad and vinaigrette. They were tasty enough, retaining some of the ginseng flavor, and their slippery texture was appealing.

Next time, I may do 1 or 2 things somewhat differently. This time, I soaked the white fungus and the mushrooms in room temperature tap water, but maybe I should have used warm or boiling water. I think that I should have cut the shiitake mushrooms to about the size of the white fungus, that is about quarters. Does anyone have an opinion on this?

Have a good day.

#21 hzrt8w

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 12:48 AM

Next time, I may do 1 or 2 things somewhat differently. This time, I soaked the white fungus and the mushrooms in room temperature tap water, but maybe I should have used warm or boiling water. I think that I should have cut the shiitake mushrooms to about the size of the white fungus, that is about quarters. Does anyone have an opinion on this?


Warm water would be okay. Boiling water should be avoided I think.
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#22 metea

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 06:50 PM

How long should you simmer the soup if you're not using a slow cooker?

#23 threestars

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 12:30 AM

That's a good looking soup. Hope to try it once time. I will find some of the ingredients first. :)

#24 Keith_W

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 02:01 AM

Thank you Ah Leung for the recipe, and thank you metea for bumping it. This looks simple to make and delicious ... I will give it a go.

I love Chinese herbal soups, but my problem is that I do not understand the herbs. Have you made some other soups?
There is no love more sincere than the love of food - George Bernard Shaw





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