Sunday, March 7, 2010

A conclusion on Korean Ginseng Chicken Broth

I think this post might not appeal to everyone, especially those ardent Korean food fans and the lovers of Korean Ginseng Chicken Broth. Now that the picture above has made the subject of this entry clear, I shall go on.

Generally, I am a fan of Korean food, especially the unbeatably yummy doses of Kimchi-bacillus available in all the fermented vegetable side dishes. I do really believe that this is one of the reasons Koreans keep themselves healthy (just look at the lungs of the football players) despite the huge amounts of alcohol and nicotine they take in.

When we talk about Korean food, one of the most common dishes that come to mind will be the Ginseng Chicken Broth. I still remember the first time I had it in Singapore at Crystal Jade Ginseng Chicken and BBQ restaurant. Since the dish can become part of the restaurant's name, it had to be good, but suaku me was surprised to find a huge lump of glutinous rice inside the cavity of the chicken, and the dish ended up becoming a not-so-inspiring congee. So much for a first experience.

So, expecting sticky rice to appear inside the chicken, I gave it another shot after passing by a Ginseng Chicken restaurant in KOREA. Yes, in Korea itself, and in a shop filled full with locals, and only selling 1 dish (I think they do have roast chicken as well, but that's all). It just HAD to be good right? Unfortunately, it ended up being a bland chicken congee with a hint of ginseng too.

Not willing to start boycotting this famous dish, I tried again in my new adopted country, Thailand. This is the nicest looking restaurant in the Little Korea in Sukhumvit and it's always full of Korean expats. So I tried again. Equally uninspiring. In fact, the 3 that I ate in different countries tasted spookily identical.

Sigh.... I really really think that the Cantonese double-boiled soups are lightyears more delicious than what a chicken with ginseng and sticky rice stuffed in its insides can offer. Sorry Korean food fans, after experiences in Singapore, Thailand and Korea itself, you can't say that I did not try hard enough right?

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