Sunday, August 16, 2009
Chicken Soup for the soul
When I feel weak, I will reward myself with a bowl of herbal chicken soup to boost my immune system. Soup is a must on many Chinese dining tables, for many reasons, ranging from building immune system, to fighting aging, to looking good and etc. Among Chinese, the Cantonese is well recognized as the best chef in preparing soup. Their soup, prepared by double boiled method, is in a class of its own.
Huh, what is double-boiled? Double-boiled is a simply steaming the soup. First you put all the ingredients in a covered ceramic receptacle, and then steam it in a larger pot. This will ensure all the original flavour and goodness of the ingredients will be kept inside.
Serve 2 persons
1 chicken drumstick (I used ‘kampong’ chicken, which means free-range chicken. If you prefer more chicken fragrant, can add more chicken.)
1/2 tbp of wolfberries
6 red dates
8 dried longan pulps
2 - 4 dang sheng党参
1 ginseng人参 (is an option, can cook without it)
500ml water (depends on your preference, can add on more water)
Salt, to taste
1) Put the chicken in boiling water for a few minutes, to remove the blood.
2) Rinse all the ingredients
3) Put all the ingredients in the ceramic receptacle
4) Steam the receptacle for 2 to 3 hours
5) Season soup when ready to serve.
Dang Shen (党参) also called Codonopsis pilosula is believed as herb for Qi tonic.
It contains alkaloids, saponins, proteins, starches, vitamins B1 & B2.
From Chinese medicine point of view, it is believed able to increase resistance to disease, promote digestion, absorbtion and metabolism.
It has been used as a gentle substitute for Panax ginseng, and is relatively safe for long term use.
More information on Chinese tonic from http://www.herbalists.on.ca/resources/freeman/CODONOPS.html, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codonopsis_pilosula
The flu season is coming, it is time to have more soup...