The ginseng called for in this recipe is not the root itself, but the thin, stringy roots that extend from the main stalk. The Cantonese call these shreds yong sam soe, which literally means the "beard of the ginseng root". The beard, as it were, is a mild form of the potent root and makes a good introduction for those who are consuming it for the first time. It is extremely palatable, with only a slight bitter taste and is good for restoring the body's 'heat'.
  • Chicken                                       1, about 1 kg, or 600g lean pork
  • Ginseng shreds                         30g
  • Water                                           1 litre
  • Salt                                               2tsp
  • Clean chicken thoroughly. Remove head and feet, as well as skin if desired. If using pork, wash and leave in one piece.
  • Except salt, combine all other ingredients in a pot. Cover and bring to the boil. Simmer over low heat for about 1 hour. Add salt in the last few minutes of cooking.
Cooking Know-how
Although tradition often decrees that a whole bird is used, there is no reason why it cannot be substituted with chicken joints as there is no difference in flavour.