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Ginseng Chicken Soup – A soup for nourish with immune and healing properties

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Adjust Servings:
1 Silkie chicken Can substitute with normal chicken
2 Medium Ginseng roots Can use American or Kerean Ginseng
2 inch Ginger root sliced
20 Dry jujubes
2 tbsp Goji berries
1 tsp Sea salt or, to taste
1/2 cup Rice cooking wine replaceable with 40% liqueur
2.3 litre Water

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Ginseng Chicken Soup – A soup for nourish with immune and healing properties

  • Balanced
  • 130 minutes
  • Serves 8
  • Medium




Ginseng and chicken are a beautiful marriage of healing benefits and flavor. Chinese ginseng chicken soup incorporates some unique ingredients, setting the soup apart from versions of other oriental culture. This Chinese ginseng chicken soup is really easy to make and deeply delicious. Let’s take a look at the ingredients of this nourishing soup.

As food and medicine were evolved from the same origin in ancient China, food therapy is an important part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. In a food remedy, not only each ingredient should be of the highest quality, ingredients should also work synthetically together.  All the ingredients in this recipe have similar properties that are nourishing, strengthening, and warming.


I used a very special variety of chicken in this recipe, the silkie chicken. Silkie chicken, also called black chicken, contain high level of black pigments in its skin, flesh and bones. The silkie variety has more minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants, than the regular chicken. Next time you see silkie chicken in the grocery store, be sure to pick one up!

What if I can’t find a silkie chicken? Just use a regular white chicken instead. The soup will still be authentic with a regular chicken. But using a silkie, aside from adding the extra yumminess and healing power, will also make you the coolest chef in the house.

Is it important to use a free-run chicken or village chicken? Yes, in my opinion free-run chicken not only is healthier, tastes better too, whether you use a silkie or not.


Many people in the western culture think that ginseng is one specific plant. In reality, the name “ginseng” is a very general term, as if saying “mushroom” or “tea”. There are different varieties of ginseng grown in different regions of the world, with varying nutritional value and medicinal properties. In addition, ginseng can be fresh, or processed with different methods and aged, further changing the medicinal properties of the ginseng.

If you have access to ginseng, be mindful that the variety you have may carry different properties than mine, and the effects on you may be unique due to your state of health and even the season you are in. If you use American ginseng, they are more suitable for consumption year round.

After ginseng is cooked in the soup, the whole root can be eaten. Good quality ginseng are quite expensive, therefore not something to be wasteful of and discarded. I have been told and you may find this interesting too that the head of the ginseng root is more nutritious than the tail end.


Jujube fruit (or red date) is another ingredient of the super food status in Chinese cuisine and traditional medicine. Jujubes are rich in iron and minerals, therefore frequently given to women to replenish blood. Jujubes are naturally sweet, super versatile to be used in sweet and savory soups, desserts, porridge and teas.


Ginger has a warming nature, aids digestion, fights infection and being anti-inflammatory. Ginger pairs well with jujubes and goji berry – all 3 are classic ingredients in healing soups.



The value of ginseng and Silkie chicken are evident in Chinese medicine, as ginseng and silkie chicken soup is often served to the very special people at special occasions, such as the elderly with weakened health, a pregnant woman, a postpartum mother serving her confinement, a hard-working student studying for a big exam, or a patient recovering from a surgery.

Ginseng and silkie chicken soup is one of the most popular healing soups in Chinese cuisine and traditional medicine. The Chinese swear by a long list of benefits passed down for generations:

  • Boost energy
  • Improve brain function and memory
  • Strengthen immune system
  • Replenish Qi and blood deficiency
  • Strengthen physical weakness, due to prolonged illness, injury and exhaustion
  • Calm the mind, nerve system, and anxiety
  • Regulate blood sugar
  • Support heart health


In order to achieve the most delicious and beautiful soup, here are a few important steps I take to prepare the chicken.

  1. Pre-cut the whole chicken into small pieces. You can certainly make broth with a whole chicken, and then cut the chicken after cooking. I have made my chicken broth both ways, and I tend to prefer cutting the chicken into manageable size before cooking for a few reasons. One is that it’s not fun to touch boiling hot chicken after it’s cooked in a soup; another is that after cooking, you will likely rip the chicken apart instead of getting clean-cut pieces out of it; and most importantly, you can get rid of more impurity from the pre-cut chicken during the first boil. The trick to cut up a whole chicken is to enter the knife between bones where they naturally separate.
  2. To remove impurity from the chicken, you want to submerge the chicken in cold water first, and then bring the pot of water and chicken together to a boil. If the water is boiled first before adding chicken into the boiling water, the heat will seal up the surface of the chicken meat preventing the blood and impurity from being released. Bringing the chicken and water to a boil together will get more impurity out of the chicken.
  3. You will see a layer of thick foam and scum floating on top of the water. Some people skim the foam, but many people discard this water altogether. I always discard this batch of water, rinse any scum that may be stuck on to the chicken and scrub the scum stuck on the pot if re-using the same pot.
  4. Refill the soup pot with clean water, chicken and other ingredients according to the recipe. This will ensure the most delicious, clear and beautiful broth.


For a details reference of Chinese herbs names you can click here. 

For more recipes, check our main page. 



Cut the whole chicken into small pieces by separating between the bones.


Submerge the chicken in a pot of cold water, then bring the pot to a boil. Heating up the water and chicken together will bring out the most impurity.


Let the water boil for a couple minutes. There should be foam and scum floating on the surface of the water. Turn off heat. Discard this batch of water.


Rinse the chicken pieces to remove any scum that may be stuck on the chicken. If re-using the same pot to make soup, rinse the pot to remove any stuck-on scum as well.


Fill a clean soup pot (I use a traditional clay pot) with 10 cups of clean water. Add the clean chicken pieces, sliced ginger, and 2 medium ginseng roots. Bring the soup pot to a boil and simmer with lid on for 1 hour.


Remove the ginseng roots from the soup, they should be softened now. Cut the ginseng roots into slices, then add them back into the soup pot. Add 20 clean jujubes (red dates), then simmer for another 30 minutes.


Add 1/2 cup of rice cooking wine, 2 tbsp of goji berries into the soup pot. Season with sea salt to taste, about 1 tsp. The soup shouldn't taste salty, and it should be slightly sweet. Simmer for another 15 minutes, remove from heat.

John [Admin/Founder]

Founder of makan-makan.club, makanan.club

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