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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

[Seoul - Sinchon/Yonhui-dong] Jiho Hanbang Samgyetang 지호한방삼계탕


Met up with my friends the other day to have some samgyetang in Yeonhui-dong, the neighborhood behind Yonsei University.

We stopped off at 지호 한방삼계탕.


If you're not familiar with samgyetang, I'll describe it briefly since I think I haven't written about it here before. I don't eat it often because it's kind of a special occasion food for me!

Basically, it's chicken ginseng soup. It consists of an entire chicken in a broth. The chicken is stuffed with Korean sticky rice and spices like garlic, ginseng, scallions, and Korean jujubes.

In Korean food culture, there are three days that you are supposed to eat samgyetang, these are the "three hottest days" of summer and by eating samgyetang, you are able to increase your strength and health on these taxing days - 초복, 중복, 말복.

If you're in Korea around July/August, you will likely be here for one of those famous days! You'll probably notice HUGE lines for samgyetang restaurants and then also promotions at all the chicken shops!

In most samgyetang restaurants, including this one, you are given some traditional ginseng liquor called insamju (insam means ginseng and ju is alcohol).

You can see it in the picture above in the small white cups!

The samgyetang here was pretty flavorful compared to some of the more famous places, you know which ones I'm talking about - Tosokchon, for example. I barely had to add any extra salt.
The chicken was also incredibly tender and very easy to eat.

The banchan here was so-so, in my opinion. It's not really my style banchan, it was really really salty and I don't tend to eat too much kimchi because it is not good for my stomach and my friends said this one was especially...pickled.

The kimchi here was unique. They put a ton of ginseng in it, like sticks of ginseng root were just hanging out with the cabbage.

One other thing to note is that they have different varieties of samgyetang. For example, you can order one that's made especially for "males" and one for "females." I'm sure the male one has just more ginseng for "stamina."

I forgot the exact price, but I think it was a little expensive for my typical dinner, but within reason for samgyetang. I think it was something like 12-14,000 KRW.


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