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Superb Korean game hen soup with ginseng - MDTC San Mateo/Foster City

  • K K Apr 15, 2007 09:20 PM
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Earlier during dinner at Myung Dong Tofu Cabin in the Marina Supermarket complex in San Mateo/Foster City, we saw an elderly Korean man receive an order of a very interesting piping hot from the oven pot of soup (looking like a tofu pot container but much bigger) that had what looked like a small whole chicken inside.

Our waitress explained to us later that this this was whole game hen with ginseng. Also present were small chunks of what looked like rice or barley inside, very similar to the Chinese style wor ba rice crispies kind of deal used in soup. $16.99 if I remember correctly and is on the menu but all the way at the back page.

The soup was a very nice clear broth, with a lot of flavor. The game hen meat literally fell off the bones. Salt was provided and was needed to greatly enhance the flavor. This soup alone is worth coming back for. The waitress recommended this which we turned down at first (she even made a popeye gesture with her arm that it would help make men "very strong"....go figure if there was something else behind that), but we caved in and got this along with our delicious but a tad bit sweet kalbi.

I recall having a similar pot of soup somewhere in the South or East Bay at some Korean place almost 7 years ago. It too had ginseng in it, with some other Chinese looking herbs, but it had more ginseng than chicken flavor and wasn't as great. This one here is perfect. Any leftover liquid would surely mix well with rice to make a killer congee at home.

Last time we came here, we only had 4 varieties of kimchi/panchan. Tonight I counted 7 varieties, a definite improvement:

- Cabbage kimchi (a bit sour without the fruit (pear or apple) flavoring)
- Daikon kimchi (crunchy but also without the fruity vinegar flavor)
- sweet potato (the brown stuff or whatever it is)
- jap chae (there's pepper in it but quite mild, not bad)
- dried small fish
- bean sprouts
- baby pea sprouts (cold)

Not busy at all Sunday and we left around 6:30 ish.

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  1. I tried a chicken ginseng soup at a layover in Seoul's airport. They had this chain restaurant which specialized in soups and noodles of all kinds, i only remembered the chicken+gingseng and clear oxtail soup. It was quite packed, locals flying out and people who had connecting flights. Yummy.