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Chinese Ginseng Herbal Chicken Soup

American ginseng, Korean ginseng, along with jujube (Chinese red dates) and goji berries are used in this healthy medicinal Chinese ginseng herbal chicken soup that tastes great and very easy to prepare.

Slowly cooking ginseng, along with some Chinese herbs and a whole chicken results in one of the most luxurious Chinese herbal soup. I tend to be a bit purist when it comes to cooking ginseng soup, adding just jujube (Chinese red dates) and goji berries to give enough sweetness to counter the natural bitterness that oozes from ginseng.

I have seen many recipes calling for a lot more herbs than just the two, but seriously, when I cook a ginseng soup, I want to taste the ginseng, and not a whole bunch of other things.

Korean Ginseng
Korean Ginseng

American ginseng and Korean ginseng

There are two kinds of ginseng, American ginseng which has yellow tan color and Korean (panax) ginseng which has deep red brownish color.

In general, ginseng comes either whole, or cut up into thin slices. Whole ginsengs are usually more expensive, so feel free to use ginseng slices.

My Mom told me that Korean ones are better, but I like both, and tend to use whichever I have at hand. You can use half and half, 100% American ginseng, or 100% Korean ginseng, the soup will still be just as delicious.

Notice how a tiny dried wrinkly ginseng got all puffed up once cooked? They tend to do that a lot :)

Chinese Ginseng Herbal Chicken Soup
Chinese Ginseng Herbal Chicken Soup

Choice of chicken for the chicken soup

As for the chicken, you want to at least use free range chicken, or ayam kampung as we call it in Indonesia.

For a truly luxurious soup, one can always get a silkie chicken. Silkie chicken is very distinct, they have black skin and the meat is also darker when cooked. They are a bit expensive, running at about twice the price of a free range ones, ouch! So I usually just stick to using free range chicken for my Chinese herbal soups.

Chinese Ginseng Herbal Chicken Soup

4.9 from 7 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours 30 mins

Serves: 4

Print Recipe



  1. Rinse and drain all the dried herbs to remove dust and dirt.
  2. Place all ingredients in a soup pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours.
  3. Remove from heat and serve warm.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen


  • lucia lucia says:

    resep2nya keren ce! btw, kalo cari ginseng dimana ya biasanya??? harganya berapaan? soalnya di Surabaya ada nya cuma di pameran, dan harganya biasanya ratusan ribu... huhuhu...

    • Anita Anita says:

      Halo Lucia, kalo di Jakarta bisa beli di toko yang jualan herbal herbal Chinese. Dan memang mahal yah kalo ginseng, ratusan ribu memang sudah normal, jadi pakenya suka irit2 juga :)

  • diane diane says:

    that soup name is 'Samgyetang' not chinese ginseng herbal chicken soup I am afraid many people subscribing your blog might misunderstand. I beg you modify it

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Diane, almost all East Asian countries have a variety of ginseng soup. As far as I know, Korean Samgyetang is usually cooked with rice, and the spices included may also be different than the Chinese variety :)

      • ChefPris ChefPris says:

        I agree with you, Anita. Every countries has their own version, Samgyetang are different!

      • Andreas Andreas says:

        Samgyetang is korean version.. kalo nggak tau jangan nyolot please 😁

    • Denny Denny says:

      Dear Dianne, As a Chinese man, I Know for sure that this is Chinese Gingseng soup not Korean one. I like both Korean dan Chinese Gungseng soup.

  • Henry yap Henry yap says:

    Hi Anita, Thanks for this soup recipe. I enjoy it very much and hope that in the future you will come with some original recipes again for people who want enjoy healthy and good tasting food. Maybe food with arak ...

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Henry, you are welcome. I'll keep your request in mind :)

  • Aimee Hodgin Aimee Hodgin says:

    Anita, Thank you so much for sharing your recipe! My Family spent 8 glorious yrs over in Korea, & we just returned to the states! This soup is the best soup on hot days & just a feel good soup! Have a very good day!

  • Jeremiah Say Jeremiah Say says:

    I love gingseng but I am not a big fan of chicken. Can I replace the chicken with other meats (or veg)?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Jeremiah, I would use pork spare ribs in place of chicken since it is also a popular choice of meat to use in Chinese soup. Cheers!

  • Asian Lady Asian Lady says:

    hi, Red ginseng and American ginseng has different character and use for different purpose. You shouldn't mix them together that will be waste.

    • Anita Anita says:

      Ah, it is good to learn something new from my reader. This recipe is handed down from my Mom, I'll be sure to pass along to her :)

  • Liam Liam says:

    This sounds delicious, me and my girlfriend are going to attempt making it later on in the week.

  • Samuel Samuel says:

    Hey... In India there is another Indian ginseng herbal item.. but there are lot of side effects... To use it. Like about the blood pressure levels.. and nervous break down... Is that still safe to use it??

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Samuel, I have never heard of Indian ginseng so I cannot say whether it is safe or not to use in this recipe.

  • Albert Tan Albert Tan says:

    Hi Anita, hypertension or high blood person are advisable not consume ginseng chicken soup? How true it is?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hmm I am not a herbalist so I don't know the correct answer. What I know though is that my Mom suffers from hypertension, and still she makes this soup frequently, like every one or two week without fail, so maybe it is okay?

  • Cavin Cavin says:

    Where can I buy these Korean Ginseng?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Cavin, usually my Mom bought them for me from Chinese herbalist stores. I have also noticed that it is sold in grocery stores like Marine (in Bay Area) at the front glass counter where they sell the more expensive Chinese herbs. The one my Mom recommends looks kind of like this, but I have no experience buying from any online stores.

  • hermsoven hermsoven says:

    Hello Anita, Not having all the recommended herbs, I made the soup using ginseng, angelica, dried lychees, dried goji berries, scallions, ginger, dried Chinese mushrooms, Chinese red dates, small Italian pasta (ditali), 2 Cornish hens instead of 1 chicken, salt and black pepper. Result was a tasty and aromatic soup with delicious Cornish hen pieces and shreds. Love it!

    • Anita Anita says:

      Great job using whatever ingredients you have at hand. I wouldn't have thought of adding pasta in any Chinese soup :)

  • Denice Denice says:

    amazing, easy recipe for ginseng with chicken soup. health benefits overload.

    • Anita Anita says:

      Totally agreed this is one of the easier recipe for Chinese herbal soup :) So glad you like it too Denice.

  • Ann Ann says:

    Can this soup be made in a crock pot?I love making soups in crock pot to preserve the nutrients.I do bone broths quite often,so this will be a good opportunity to get everything out of the chicken, plus the ginseng.

    • Anita Anita says:

      Certainly, Ann. You can use a crock pot to cook this soup.

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