An Old Restaurant Specialized in Chicken Goodness
Samgyetang, or chicken soup with ginseng, is a popular comfort food in Korea. Although the dish is usually served sizzling hot, many Koreans seek samgyetang during summer in attempt to beat the heat. The spices and herbal ingredients such as ginseng, garlic, and dates are suppose to regain strength and restore stamina. For these reasons, I personally crave samgyetang when I am feeling down and getting sick from a cold.
As winter rolls in, the temperature in Seoul fluctuates between night and day. As the sun heads down, wind becomes stronger and air gets colder. A perfect condition for yearly flu.
I visited Jangan Samgyetang in one afternoon when it felt like that I was coming down with a cold. The restaurant is close to Seoul City Hall, and it has been serving nearby government workers for decades. Nowadays, it is more popular among Japanese tourists. As I walked in, I noticed signs and menu written in Japanese.
The Chicken Soup for the Soul
A whole young chicken is served in a large earthenware pot. The size of the dish seemed overwhelming at first, but I managed to finish the whole thing. By the time you are done with the chicken, you would be sweating so much from the warmth of the soup.
The side dishes include two different kinds of kimchi and stir-fried chicken gizzards. The gizzards are cooked with garlic and sesame oil and have nutty aroma. A shot of ginseng liquor is served as aperitif. A sip of ginseng goodness warms up your body almost instantly.
They also give you sliced raw garlic and some gochujang sauce. I was not sure what to do with those, and I ended up adding the garlic to my soup. I used the chili sauce as dipping sauce for my chicken gizzards.
The restaurant offers other chicken dishes such as fried chicken, braised chicken in soy sauce, and chicken feet.
Jangan Samgyetang 장안삼계탕
53 Taepyeongno 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul