Traditional Chicken Tang

삼계탕, SamGyeTang

Today, I will show you how to make Korean Chicken Rice Soup, 삼계탕. In Korea, people love to eat this chicken soup when summer starts. Why do Koreans like to eat hot soup in the hot days of summer? The belief is that you can get very tired and weak because of the hot weather, so you need to recover or prepare your body with healthy food. In that point this chicken soup has many good ingredients that is thought to give energy and health such as chicken, ginseng, garlic, dates, and so on. Even though it is most popular during the summer in Korea, Koreans will enjoy this soup any time. Therefore, I highly recommend that you try this healthy and tasty chicken soup someday.

Yield: 1 Serving

Short Korean Lesson

  • DaeChu (대추) = Date
  • InSam (인삼) = Ginseng

Video Instructions

Main Ingredients

  • 1 Cornish Hen
  • ⅓ Cup Sweet Rice
  • 5 Cups Water
  • 10 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Piece of Ginseng
  • 6 Dates
  • 3 Chestnuts (Optional)
  • 1½ tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • Some Finely Chopped Green Onions (to Garnish)



Soak ⅓ cup of sweet rice in water for 2 hours.


Prepare 1 Cornish hen. Clean it, removing all of the organs. If it is frozen, completely thaw it first.


Prepare 6 dates, 10 garlic cloves, 1 piece of ginseng, and 3 optional chestnuts. If the ginseng or chestnuts are dried, soak them over night, before using them. If some of the ingredients are difficult to find, try to stock up on them so you always have them on hand.


Two hours later, rinse the rice twice and drain out the water.


Inside the Cornish hen, add 2 Tbsp of rice, 4 garlic cloves, 3 chestnuts, 3 dates, and 1 more Tbsp of rice.


Close the hole.


To seal the hole, use toothpicks. It will look like this. Check the video for more details about this step.


Place the chicken in a medium sized pan. Pour 5 cups of water in the pan.


Add the ginseng, 6 garlic cloves, and 3 dates.


Add the left over sweet rice.


Cook it for 30 minutes on high. While it’s cooking, turn the side of the hen once or twice, so both side of the chicken will be cooked evenly.


Occasionally, remove the foam that forms on the surface of the soup.


Add 1½ tsp of fine sea salt. This chicken is served with salt and black pepper later, so you don’t have to worry about the saltiness at this point. After 30 minutes, reduce the temperature to medium, and then cook for 1 more hour.


Before serving, sprinkle some finely chopped green onions on top. Before eating, break the chicken apart and take out everything inside of the chicken, mixing it with the broth. You can dip your chicken in the salt and black pepper powder. Enjoy!


  1. Katie says

    Hi Aeri,

    Thank you for all your work and time that you have shared with us. I really enjoy this website.
    Have you ever made any hotpots? When you have time, can you show me how to make one?

    Thanks a lot!

  2. says

    Hi Aeri,

    I made this a year ago and it was very good, but now I have forgotten what i did. I want to ask you for the sweet rice, did you use 1/3 of a rice cup? It is not the same cup as the cup used for 5 cups of water, right? And how much water is one cup?


    • says

      hi miss B,
      Yes, usually I use measuring cup for liquid and measuring cup for powder type ingredients seperately..
      I don’t think that makes huge difference though.. I think 1 cup water is 250 ml.. THANKS

  3. Carrie says

    Hi Aeri,

    I love your website and I’ve been cooking many Korean food using your recipes. So simple to follow and so delicious. As I recall, there’s a winter version of the Samgyetang soup. Am I right? If so, what is it called. I read it somewhere before but I could be wrong about this.

    Thank you!

    • says

      hi Carrie,
      The name “Samgyetang” doesn’t include any seasonal meaning.. like summer or winter.. so you can also use “samgyetang” for it when you make it in the winter. :) thanks

  4. Debby K says

    Hi Aeri,
    I wonder if you could post recipe of Sam Gae Tang. It’s soup made from cow’s bone marrow, if I’m not mistaken. I’m planning to cook some for myself because I want to regain strength and health. Eversince I gave birth to my son, my health is quite up and down. I heard that the soup was once consumed by Korean royal family and supposed to be very healthy.

    I really appreciate you putting so much care and energy to share recipes with everyone through this website. Once again, it’s a daebak website and you’ve brighten up many people with it 😀

    • says

      hi Debby K,
      Samgaetang is this traditional chicken soup you left comment. ^^:; What you want is.. called “Gomtang” or “SeolReongtang”… I can add it to my list.. but can’t tell you that I will make it soon.. since my deliver will be really close.. but someday I will make it for you. thanks Hope that you take care of your body well.. it is a big change to have a baby in many ways.

      • Debby K says

        Hi Aeri, thanks for the quick reply :smile:

        Oh, please don’t feel like in a rush… :smile: you’re expecting and you and the baby should be the priority now.

        I hope everything will go well for you and your baby when you give birth next month, Aeri and I hope we can be friends :smile:

  5. Judy Tetu says

    I just found your web site and I love it. You have explained so many dishes that I’ve tried to duplicate, but couldn’t because I was unsure of all the ingredients. You explanations are very clear. Thank you for a great site! 😀

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  6. ymasea25 says

    HI Aeri

    I love chicken soup always. I would love to add the ginseng for a change but I only have ginseng extract – not the dry root.

    Can I swap the two ingredients and if so how much should I add.


  7. Elisabeth says

    Aeris, what is sweet rice? What I’d the difference between sweet rice and usual rice? Thanks before :)

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

    • says

      hi Elisabeth,
      When I said normal rice in my recipe.. it means.. Korean rice.. it is similar with sushi rice.. short grain rice. sweet rice is an another kind of Korean rice..but it is more chewy and sticky than normal short grain rice. Koreans eat normal rice for daily meal..and use the sweet rice for special dishes such as sticky rice cakes or some porridge something like that. 😀

  8. tita says

    hi Aeri, your blog is very helpfull! thank you for posting all the recipes..
    I wanna ask you about dates, is it arabian dates or chinese dates? Because in my country Indonesia, there are so many kind of dates,
    Thank you for your help!

  9. ayumi says

    hi… aeri~

    your blog is really helpful!! thank!!
    i have a question..
    if i didnt have ginseng, could i subsitute it with something?or skip it?

    thank ^^

  10. says

    I made this last night for dinner. My husband and son loved it. We had some leftovers and it tasted even better the day after. Thanks for the recipe, hon!

  11. Mika says

    Hi Aeri!
    I was wondering if it was possible to do this dish using different chiken parts instead of a whole hen. Because in my family i cook for almost 10 people, so i think gettin a bunch of hens will be a hassle. If i can do it without, can you tell me how?
    ~~Thank you ^^

    • says

      Hi Mika,
      aha… You can use normal big chicken instead of hen.. usually with big chicken..maybe about 1~2 whole chickens will be enough for 10 people depending on how much you eat.. if you just use different chicken parts.. I will say.. any parts you like.. just add everything in a pot and boil together.. ^^ thanks !!!

      • Mika says

        O ok thank you so much. I luv your site, its actually on my favorites list. When ever I think of cooking somethin korean food pops up into my head lol. Especially after watchin the krn show Family Outing, i learn so much. Thanks again ^^

        PS: i just made Jjol Myeon just now 2 teehee. Spicy but good ^^

        • says

          Hi Mika,
          Thank you very much for your sweet comment. I wish I had almost all Korean recipes on my blog, so people can visit anytime and get what they want… hehe that’s my dream. maybe someday that will be done?? ^^ anyway..hope to see you more often.

  12. says

    Hi Aeri,

    I made the dish! It was good but could be better.. I think I put too much water and rice. But I had to make it for 7 people… so 7 chickens!!!

    It still tasted delicious though ~

  13. says

    Hi, acnecare8
    Oh…sweet mom… yes, my mom used to make porridge or other food for me when I was sick too… so you have good memory with this food. Try it someday. :) thanks !!

  14. Marc T. says

    Hi – first: I love your webpage. The recepies are just great. Second, I have the following question: my wife is Korean, I am European – so we both don’t eat the normal American huge portions. However, I would like to surprise my wife today with SamGyeTang. Do you think one corniche hen is enough or should I cook two? If I cook only one, do I double all the ingredients or just add more water for the soup? Many thanks for your help. Marc T.

    • says

      hi, Marc T
      Nice to meet you. Wow you are an international couple like us. :) That’s a very sweet idea that you will cook this soup for your Korean wife. I’m sure she will be very happy. About your questions…. first.. the amount can be different depending on how much you eat usually. If you and your wife eat a lot.. you might want to make 2 … but if you eat not that much, I will say.. you can make just one…and share it with your wife. Personally I think.. one Cornish hen samgyetang can be enough for 2 people. just follow my recipe… and that will be enough.. you can add more water while you are cooking if you feel like the broth becomes too thick. Good luck. I hope you and your wife will like this recipe. thanks !!! :)

  15. Mrs Darth says

    Hi Aeri!

    I really like this dish. Especially the thick broth with the rice…with kimchi on top. Yum!!

    You’re going to name your son, Bryson? Wow…that’s a great name!!

      • Mrs Darth says

        Hi Aeri!!

        We have not made a decision yet. We’re thinking of Yenna. What do you think of the name? Btw, I don’t know if I mentioned to you that I’m Korean. I can’t speak or read Korean very well. =)

        • says

          Hi, Mimi
          Yenna… That’s a pretty name. For correct pronunciation, I asked how the name is called to my father in law..hehe I like the name, Yenna. Oh.. I didn’t know that you are a Korean. So you were born in America ?? I’m happy to hear that you are also a Korean. hehe Always take care of yourself ~~~

  16. layping says

    cornish hen or spring chicken must be used in this recipe! not those huge chickens. hmm, we r all summer here. therefore we can eat this to our hearts’ contend :)

    • says

      Hi, layping
      I’m telling same thing again but… I do feel like you are a KOREAN !!! You know ma~~~ny things about Korean food..hehe cool~~~ :) thanks..

    • says

      Hi, James
      wow… She makes this for your father ?? that’s sweet ~~ so your father also eats spicy Korean food like you ?? or just non spicy korean food like this chicken soup ?? hehe… thanks have a great week ~~

  17. says

    Just wanted to say thanks for all the Korean recipes! I’m a half Korean, half Swedish girl living in Sweden and I’ve been missing Korean food so much. Thanks to you I can cook some of my favorite Korean dishes! Kamsahamnida! 😀

    • says

      hi, Helena
      Nice to meet you !! aha.. you are half Korean and half swedish ?? My son will be half Korean and half American too.. :) I hope he likes Korean food like you..hehe yep.. you can cook your own Korean food now.. thanks :) Hope to see you again~~~

      • says

        hi Aeri!
        Yes, I’m half/half.. and your son will be too, that’s very cool! I think mixed kids are very privileged; they get to experience two cultures. I’m sure your son will enjoy Korean food! Just make sure to cook it very often (like my mother did when I was young)! 😀 Good luck with everything :)

        • says

          Hi, Helena
          Thanks for your reply. hehe… that’s a good advice that I make Korean food for him very often when he is young. :) I hope that I can post man~~~y man~~~y recipes in the future thanks to him… hehe

  18. farleen says

    Hi Aeri!!!!!!!!! :)

    this dish is one of my favorites! thanks for posting it 😉 my kitchen is 90% done – i’ll email you the pictures soon! how’s bryson? he must be kicking alot now :)

    miss you!

    • says

      Hi, farleen
      wow.. 90 % done.. what an exciting farleen….hehe Yes..he is playing all day..and kicking me all day long… hehe still lovely though ~~~ :)
      I went to see a doctor today for regular checking.. he is growing great… but I lost weight for myself.. oops.. anyway.. thanks

      I miss you too :)

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