Yeong gye baeksuk – Korean Chicken Soup for the Soul

Yeong Gye Baeksuk – Korean chicken soup for the soul. It’s my husband’s favorite soup and according to my mother-in-law, yeong gye baeksuk is one of the best foods for him.
Course Chicken, Soup
Cuisine Korean
Keyword energizing, healthy, herbal, summer
KoreanCategory Tang(탕)
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 54 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 250 kcal
Author JinJoo Lee


  • 1 cornish game hen (or young chicken 2-3 lbs) – should be thawed in fridge over night if frozen
  • 1 whole head of garlic , peeled (or 8-10 cloves of garlic)
  • 1 whole onion , peeled
  • 3 green onions
  • salt and pepper

Dipping Sauce for Chicken

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp white vinegar


  1. Best way to thaw is to leave in the refrigerator overnight or 10 hrs. If you have less time, you can also put the chicken(still wrapped) in cold water to thaw for 3-4 hrs.
  2. Cut off the wing tips, neck and the tail end and discard.There may be quite a bit of fat near the breast area or near the bottom, trim the fat as much as you can. Wash the chicken well under running water and pat it dry.
  3. Prepare the garlic – if you have a whole bulb, soak it in water and peel them.
  4. Peel the onion and leave it whole.
  5. Add chicken, garlic, onion and 7 C of cold water to pot and bring to a boil.
  6. Simmer at medium low or low heat for 35 min for smaller chicken (less than 2 lb) and 40 min for chicken larger than 2 lbs. Check if chicken is fully cooked by piercing the area between the thigh and the belly to see if any blood comes out. Cook a few minutes longer if you see any redness.
  7. Take the chicken out onto a plate and let it cool a couple minutes. Chop up the green onions into small pieces (1/3 in). Serve the soup, rice, pieces of the chicken and green onions in a bowl. Serve with salt and pepper so it can be seasoned at the table. Also make some vinegar-soy sauce for dipping the chicken meat if people want to eat the meat alone without the soup.

Recipe Notes

Do NOT overcook the chicken. Smaller the chicken, the shorter the cooking time should be. Keep testing by poking the chicken once 35 min. has past. Overcooking the chicken will make it taste mushy and pasty.

Nutrition Facts
Yeong gye baeksuk – Korean Chicken Soup for the Soul
Amount Per Serving
Calories 250 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 23%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 113mg 38%
Sodium 356mg 15%
Potassium 459mg 13%
Total Carbohydrates 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 2g
Protein 21g 42%
Vitamin A 4.2%
Vitamin C 5.5%
Calcium 2.5%
Iron 6.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.