veggie CSA, no. 2, 2012

I haven’t been getting very interesting items with the veggie CSA, which explains why I haven’t posted much about it. I did get a lot of napa cabbage, more than I had room for. So, most of it went toward making kimchi.

There’s no recipe – I made it without measuring anything.  I should have used more ginger, but I was out.  I made nearly 2.5 quarts.  Now, it’s just sitting in my fridge.  I might make pasta with kimchi tonight for dinner.

I also made some samgyetang (Korean soup of ginseng and chicken) recently.  The samgyetang was unrelated to my CSA.  My BFF from my school days and I went to a Korean restaurant near my house a couple of times in the span of a week.  She was looking to order bek se ju, which is a Korean drink made with ginseng.  The restaurant was out, and we were served san sam wine.  Same idea but completely different flavors.  The san sam wine tastes like the ginseng soups I grew up on.  There is an alcoholic after flavor, but the dominant flavor is ginseng.  As for bek se ju, I can’t taste any ginseng in it.  It just tastes like booze to me.  (Most drinks just taste like booze to me.  It’s why I don’t drink.  haha.)

Anyway, since the BFF didn’t care for the san sam wine and we had the whole bottle, I snuck it home.  But since I don’t drink, I decided to use it to enhance a pot of samgyetang.

In the Korean tradition, samgyetang is consumed in the warmer months.  It’s believed that the heat robs your body of energy.  I don’t know if Chinese tradition is the same.  I only know that Chinese medicine forbids ginseng if you have cold.

As for making samgyetang itself, I often cheat and use a container of mixed herbs by Omniherb.

The Omniherb mix also comes with a little pouch you can put the herbs in during cooking.  It makes for easier clean up.

Omniherb doesn’t use real ginseng though, I believe.  It uses Eleutherococcus Senticosus aka Siberian Ginseng.  Eleuthero is still a healthy herb though and tastes a lot like ginseng, so I don’t mind using Omniherb.  I didn’t use a whole chicken or cornish hen like you should.  Umm, nor did I use rice.  So, this is not proper samgyetang at all.

I just boiled the pouch of herbs with some chicken breast.  Since I can’t read Korean, I don’t know what the actually instructions are, but my mom says she usually simmers Chinese herbal soups for at least an hour, so I follow her example.  Toward the end, I poured in a splash of the san sam wine to intensify the flavor.

Only the liquid was consumed.  The herbs and chicken were tossed after cooking.  I didn’t take photos.  It’s just a dark brown broth.

Enjoyable?  Yes!  To me anyway.  I like the bitterness of Asian herbal soups.  My siblings do not.  I guess this makes me the most traditional child of the bunch?  Hmmm… take that comment with a grain of salt.  (^_~)

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