Wednesday, July 17, 2019

[Food] Chogyetang (초계탕, Chilled Chicken Soup)


[Food] Chogyetang (초계탕, Chilled Chicken Soup)

Once upon a time in Korea, there was a cook in the king's court who always cared about the king's health. One day in summer, the king wanted to eat a chicken dish, but he didn't want Samgyetang because it was too spicy. So the cook invented a cold chicken recipe - Chogyetang - and it became one of the staple cuisines in the king's court in Korea. It was spicy and sour, full of a chicken flavor. Later, its recipe flowed into Pyeongyang (North Korea), making it a typical dish in North Korea. Obviously, this isn't a true story, but the fact is...

Chogyetang (초계탕, Chilled Chicken Soup)

1. Korean Court Cuisine
2. A typical dish in North Korea

I don't think that Korea is the only country where cold chicken soup is eaten in the summer, but it is true that Chogyetang is a unique Korean food. It is known to be a staple North Korean food that people in Pyeongyang enjoy, but it was one of the Korean court's cuisines. Chogyetang has been a great alternative recipe since its invention for people who don't want to eat hot Samgyetang.

However, the recipe is not that simple. You need to:

1. bone a half chicken to get the meat out, boil it for 20 minutes with green onion, onion and garlic stock.
2. season chicken and put mustard into the stock.
3. slice a cucumber, marinate it with salt, chop a pear and put it into sugary water.
4. make meatballs with seasoned meat, chop sea cucumber coarsely then stir fry it with salt.
5. chop and blanch mung bean jelly and shiitake mushroom and season them each.
6. put every prepared ingredients into a bowl then pour the stock.

You can make a variation of Chogyetang with more ingredients

I remember that Chogyetang became very popular in South Korea 20 years ago. Like many others, I also tasted Chogyetang at chicken restaurants. It was a new way of making chicken. The cool, refreshing sourness and spicy taste with thick savory chicken stock. It is even better with noodles.

Chogyetang with cold noodle

Chogyetang with buckwheat noodle

It is not a common dish that you can find easily in any restaurant, and you are very likely to taste a very stale dish with yucky chicken smell if you order it in a restaurant which does not specialize in Korean chicken dishes. So I recommend you find a restaurant with the 'Chogyetang' name board, if you want to taste good Chogyetang (or you can just cook it at home)

A famous instant spicy cold noodle once released limited 'Chogyetang' edition. I don't know if it was good or not (because I didn't want to taste it), but it surely attracted much instant noodle mania.

Chogyetang is the best menu for people who want a cold, spicy and healthy chicken dish, I think. If you want some exotic and spicy flavor that wakes you up, Chogyetang is here for you :)

Bon Appétit!