I LOVE Korean food! Sometimes I have to pick at it a little to be able to eat it, but it is definitely worth it!! One of my favorite dishes is Samgaetang. It is a chicken that is filled with rice, ginseng and a date and then boiled until the meat falls from the bones (or is about to) and then it is served in a bowl. It can have other things in it like scallions, garlic…but the main concept is a whole chicken (young or old and really any fowl) that is stuffed and boiled into a soup and served just like that. Basically a chicken soup.
When I visited my grandfather in Seoul, he used to take me to a soup shop that served Samgaetang and that is where I fell in love with it. So, not only does it have a “chicken soup” sort of comfort in the meal itself, it has nostalgia that links me to a minor event twenty years ago that will be engraved in my brain until I am buried. The dish has a sentimental place for me of love and comfort that not a lot of moments can offer.
Besides the sentimental value is the fact that my IBS is very particular and this dish is one that I can enjoy without worry. The soup is amazing, thanks to all of the components stewing in it for so long and the chicken is so succulent and tender. A lot of times the soup is served with a small portion of salt and pepper, to dip the chicken. But, I have never needed it. If you aren’t served that addendum and ask for it, be prepared for a surprised and slightly impressed look. I was only give it in Korea and every time I ask for it, it seems impressive to others. But, again, I don’t ask for it because you don’t usually need it with this soup. Also, they usually give you the banchan (Korean side dishes) anyway. There isn’t a lot more that you need.
My mom ordered the Samgaetang for me, knowing how much I love it and I have to admit that it was really good! It definitely hit the spot! The broth was great, especially if you love scallions like I do. The chicken was perfectly falling from the bones and I ate so much that my mom had to remind me that if I eat too much I’ll get sick. You know it’s good when you’re full, but want to keep eating and someone has to remind you to stop.