Samgyetang – From the farm to the bowl

This weekend was also too much rainy for our original plan. So once again we postponed our trip and found an emergency plan. We drove to the west, near the sea, where we went shopping in another traditional market. I saw another bunch of very strange things to eat. Dead or not. And the biggest amount of ginseng I have seen at once so far.

We then proceeded to our main goal, which I was unaware of, as usual. Driving in countryside, we soon stopped by a house surrounded by chicken. Luna’s mother went to talk with a woman, apparently the place owner. After a while, the woman went back to the house and came out with a knife. She then walked to the chicken, grabbed one, walk to the other side of the garden and without further notice sliced open the chicken in front of me. Had I understood Korean, I would probably have not been too surprised, but in my situation it came a bit out of the blue. The women repeated the process, killing another chicken.

The two chicken were then throw in a kind of wash machine to pluck the feathers off. And finally the woman gut them. All this happened with her grand kids wandering around. It reminded me the freshly dead pig I saw being cleanup with a spoon in my very early childhood. Strange how some unimportant events can be remembered for such a long time. I guess the bottom line is: don’t show the following video to your kids if you don’t want them to get gore flashbacks twenty years from now.

To sum up the week-end, my Korean mother cooked Samgyetang for my birthday. This kind of chicken soup got one of my favorite Korean meal over the last few months. But don’t be fooled, the main dish here is not the chicken, but the ginseng. The good part is it’s actually easy to cook. Whereas Korean kitchen is all about peeling, cutting and slicing for hours, this particular meal is the throw-all-in-the-pot-and-cook type, which honestly suits better my style of cooking. So I regulary cook a very basic version of it for the inconvenience of Luna who probably would prefer more variety in my cooking.

Pro-tip: when visiting your future step family, be sure to finish the (expensive) roots and most of the soup. Then you may eat chicken and rice if you’re not full yet, but these one really don’t matter that much.

8 thoughts on “Samgyetang – From the farm to the bowl

  1. Sidonie

    Trop fort, j’ai justement parlé du cochon à mon mari hier soir !! Tout ça m’est revenu parce que mon nain s’est accidentellement pressé de la peau de mandarine dans les yeux. Je me suis souvenu que les gens qu’on visitait faisaient ça pour rire aux enfants. Et puis ensuite j’ai entendu les cris du cochon, comme chaque fois que j’y pense, ce qui est relativement souvent par rapport à l’importance de l’événement ;-) Par contre, je ne pensais pas que tu étais assez grand pour t’en souvenir, comme quoi, il y a des choses qui marquent plus que d’autres.
    Sinon c’est bien t’es sur la bonne voie, on est le 18 novembre, tu as écrit le billet du 29 août, ne perds pas espoir :D

    1. KiKi Post author

      Les images du cochon sont quand même très floues et je me souviens d’absolument rien d’autre. Mais c’est quand même très récurent comme souvenir. Traumatisme, traumatisme…

  2. Luna

    “dead pig I saw being cleanup with a spoon”
    SPOONNNNN? (-_-;) How does it work?

    Oh and it wasn’t a sudden plan. It has been planned for long time. Because we say, if the son-in-law comes, we serve him a ‘Ciamtark’. (It means female chick which we keep for having eggs in traditional house. Normaly, we never kill them and keep it preciously.)
    By the way, one of those chickens was a real ciamtark for them so of course she didn’t want to sell it to us at the beginning. But we had to insist as we don’t glow chicken at home!

    I add one more pro-tip :
    When you eat chicken(inc. Smagyetang) in Korea, if you are served a chicken leg without asking you, that means you are a very important member of our group. It’s a sign of respecting and liking you a lot. So you better finish this leg. Otherwise the others are very sad because we all want to eat the leg part!!
    But if you are served the breast part, you can share it with your dog ;) Nobody would be sad.

    Oh, but darling, we know that you prefer the chiken breast so don’t be afraid. We gave to you what you like :P

  3. tellos

    Wow, les ajuma elles ont la peau dure. Ou alors je suis une midinette :D

    Les truc jaunes dans les boilleau c’est les oeuf??

    1. KiKi Post author

      Tout juste, les oeufs sont en forme de “grappes” et encore sans le “blanc”. C’est ultra gore ! mais pas mauvais à manger en fait, cela fait juste un jaune d’oeuf tout nu ;-)

  4. 혜영

    고무통속에 닭은 참 불쌍하다…
    식탁위에 올라온 음식은 먹음직스럽긴 하네… ㅎㅎ

    1. luna

      그게…털뽑히는게 신기해서 불쌍해 하는것도 잊어버려지더라고. ㅋ

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