For my American friends, I give you chicken soup with a Korean twist.

For my Korean friends, I give you American-style samgyetang.

First, I made my own chicken stock since I haven’t had any luck finding some at the store. (This doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It just means I’m not sure what it looks like.) To make the chicken stock, I followed Edna Lewis’ recipe from “In Pursuit of Flavor.” Pretty much, you just saute some chicken throw it in a pot of boiling water with onion, garlic and spices and let it simmer itself to deliciousness.

The trickiest part of this recipe is preparing the stock beforehand so you are ready to rock your soup socks.

First chop up the veggies–onion, garlic, ginger, carrots, acorn squash (?), green bell peppers, spicy red peppers and mushrooms. The squash gets a question mark because I bought this vegetable thinking it was a pumpkin then realized it wasn’t so now I’m not sure what it was. It’s got a green rind, orange meat and is full of look-a-like pumpkin seeds. It tastes great and I love to eat it, I just don’t know what to call it.

Heat oil in a pan for about one minute on medium heat. Saute the garlic and ginger for about two minutes until a nice toasty brown. Add the onions and let cook for about three minutes until they start to soften and turn clear.

Now add the carrots and squash. (Also potato would totally rock in this soup so if you have that now would be the time to cook it.) Add a bit of salt and pepper. Let everything cook for about five minutes.

Add the peppers and mushrooms and cook for an additional two or three minutes. You want all the veggies to be at a state of crisp tender. Basically mostly cooked, but not quite.

While all the veggies are cooking, you are going to be distracted by chicken! and rice! (You could do both of these before if you’d like.) Using the chicken you used to make the stock, shred it up. Really just get in there with a fork (or you clean hands) and rip it up into tasty bite-sized pieces.

In a separate pot, cook your rice. I’m pretty much stuck with Korean sticky rice. So for every one part rice add two parts water and let boil on low heat with the lid half on/half off until the water is gone and the rice is soft. It will take about 20 minutes.

Once the rice is going and the chicken is ready, transfer the mostly cooked veggies to a pot and add the prepared stock. Add the chicken and a drained can of corn. This is also a great time to add additional spices. I threw in another bay leaf and a slice of ginger. Stir all the goodness together. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Lower heat to a nice simmer and let it work it’s flavor magic for 15 to 20 minutes or until the veggies are soft.

Now for the final Korean kick, put a scoop of rice in a bowl, add the soup, stir and enjoy!

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2 thoughts on “Chicken rice soup with a Korean kick

  1. You got the acorn squash right. It’s green on the outside sometimes with a touch of orange. It’s sort of an irregular shape with wide ridges going all the way around. I cook it by slicing a squash in half with a chef’s knife, scooping out the seeds, then laying the two halves cut-side down on a shallow plate with about a cup of water in the hollow of the plate. Then I microwave the whole thing for 10 to 15 minutes. The water boils and steam cooks the squash.

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