When it comes to food in Seoul, one of the things that comes to mind when it comes to food is Samgyetang – which is ginseng chicken soup which is a whole chicken stuffed with rice, spices and ginseng cooked in its own little pot. Oddly, the dish itself is traditionally eaten during hot days – but I personally think it’s more fitting to have in the freezing cold. One of the better places that I’ve been to multiple times is Tosokchon Samgyetang.
The place itself is quite easy to find in that it’s got the typical traditional Korean house look (kind of cheesy but who cares when the food is excellent).
Once you’re seated, you get a very basic menu which is either a whole chicken, a whole chicken with special ginseng shreds, or black chicken – Ms. Buddha and I went for the chicken with special ginseng shreds (because last time it was so delicious) – they have pots of kimchi for you to get yourself as well – they are really good!
They must cook these constantly, because the pots came in a very short time our orders came – the special ginseng shreds come in its own miniature pods.
The ginseng chicken and the pot is filled with the ginseng soup and the etiquette is to open up the chicken to let the soup soak in a little more – the chicken itself has absorbed the ginseng flavours well and the rice is a great accompaniment to the soup. My recommendation is to have the chicken with a bit of the fresh garlic that comes with the pots. And for those wondering where to put the bones, look for the mini buckets on the table.
And this is for those people who loves to leave the best till last – when you reach the full size ginseng – enjoy the true sweetness of what Korean ginseng taste like!