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IMG_6787 IMG_6793I’ve previously mentioned in an earlier post on how to make clear chicken soup. This recipe is similar except that there’s a lot more garlic and scallions in it. It’s a healthy dish and an easy one to make too. All you need is a little time to draw out the chicken essence into the soup.


  • 1 whole chicken (3 – 4 pounds) – some say that cornish hen works best but as I couldn’t find one, I used an antibiotic free adult chicken
  • 10 – 12 garlic cloves
  • 1 small piece ginger, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, cut into halves
  • 3 scallion stalks – white parts
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns (optional)
  • Codonopsis roots (very much optional!!! I only added this because I had it in hand but the traditional Korean chicken soup does not include any herbs – this excludes the famous Korean Ginseng Chicken soup which has young ginseng and red dates in it)
  • 3 Red dates, pitted (again, very much optional)
  • Extra chicken bones (optional)
  • 10 cups of water
  • 3 scallions – green parts, finely chopped to garnish
    salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Instruction:

  1. The chicken has to be at room temperature before working with it. If you’ve kept it in the fridge, allow it to sit, covered of course, for half an hour at room temperature.
  2. Cut off the wing tips and the tail end. If the chicken came with its head and feet intact, cut those off too. I’m unfortunately squeamish in this area.
  3. Remove any excess skin, otherwise the soup will end up overly loaded with oil
  4. Remove giblets from the chicken cavity.
  5. Wash the chicken under running water and pat dry.
  6. On high fire, prepare a pot of boiling water (pot has to be large enough to fit all the ingredients with room to spare so that the water doesn’t come splashing out as it boils)
  7. Lower the chicken (and extra bones if you have any) into the boiling water and boil for 3-5 minutes before draining the water from the pot. This step helps to ensure further removal of impurities (blood, gunk, etc)
  8. Add the garlic, onion, white parts of the scallions, ginger and peppercorns (and only if you have it, the roots and the dates) to the pot. Lastly add the water. The water level should be at least 2-3 inches above the chicken as it will reduce during the cooking process.
  9. Bring everything to a boil over high heat and then reduce the heat to medium-low to simmer, covered for about 40 -50 minutes. During the cooking, skim off any foam that starts floating about on top. Otherwise you’ll have yourself some really murky looking soup!
  10. Remove the chicken from the broth and place into serving bowl. If you’ve used extra bones, continue simmering for another 30 minutes. If I were just making regular chicken soup, I’d be simmering the lot for 1.5-2 hours. Doing that would compromise the chicken meat but it makes for extremely flavourful soup. As this recipe goes, the chicken should not be overcooked, yet we need the soup to be flavourful. This is where the extra bones come in handy – you can boil those without caring if they become tasteless in the end!
  11. Add salt to the soup to taste.

To serve, you can serve the chicken and the soup in a large decorative soup bowl, garnished with the green scallions.

OR you can ladle some rice into a bowl, top with bite sized chicken bits and pour the soup in, topping everything off with the scallions.

I chose to eat mine with plain rice porridge and some kimchi. Seaweed would have been amazing too!