I obliged and went online to find a recipe. I have been using this website as my go-to Korea recipe site http://www.maangchi.com/ since learning about it.
Since ginseng is grown in Korea, this could explain why Ginseng Chicken Soup is commonly associated with Korea. However, I don't think this soup is native only to the Koreans. I was also told that Koreans consume Ginseng Chicken Soup only twice a year in the Fall when the weather turns cold.
Scallion, garlic, wolfberry and ginseng (forgot the jujube)
Ingredients: (serves 4)
1. One Cornish Hen (Cornish hen are young chickens and the meat are more tender than fully grown chicken)
2. 1/4 cup of rice
3. One dozen cloves of garlic (don't skim on this). Use it as whole garlic.
4. Green onions/scallions (roughly cut length wise, you don't want to chop this into pieces)
5. A few jujubes and a pinch of wolfberries (optional)
6. 2 small ginseng roots (fresh ginseng would be best but the dried kind is fine). Roughly cut into small pieces)
7. 1/2 cup of rice
2. Put the chicken in a pot and add just enough water to cover the chicken.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients including rice into the pot. Including the rice
(traditional way of cooking is to stuff the cavity of the chicken with the rest of the ingredients).
4. Cook the soup in medium heat for about 1.5 hours.
5. Season with salt and pepper
This soup taste refreshingly "sweet". Not sugar-sweet, but a 5th taste-sense kind of sweetness. It is hard to explain the taste. None of the flavor in this dish overpowers each other. What you get is a perfect blend of flavors with the unmistakeable smell of ginseng. True to its name, the meat of the Cornish hen is so tender that it falls apart and melts in my mouth.
It cost $15 to buy a bowl of this soup in K-town. How much would you like to pay me for a bowl of homemade soup?