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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Herbal Chicken Soup

Remember all those strong smelling concoctions that mum painstakingly double-boiled from strange herbs that came in brown paper-wrapped packages?  Some were sweet, others bitter but all were served up with the intention to keep us healthy.  Here is one that I prepare to enjoy in the hope to gain some health benefits, lol.

[serves 2]
2 large chicken thighs - skin removed and cut into 2-3 pieces each
700 ml water
salt and light soy sauce to taste
Herbal Ingredients - rinse
2 pieces wai san slices
3-4 pieces dong quai slices
5-6 pieces dong shen [1" length]
some yok chok
some hoi chok
3-4 pieces chuan xiong  slices
3-4 pieces red dates
3-4 pieces dried longan
1 tbsp wolf berries [kei chee]

  1. Blanch chicken thigh in hot water for a few seconds.  Drain and rinse.  Set aside.
  2. Bring water to a boil and add in  all herbal ingredients [except chinese wolfberry].  Boil for a minute and then simmer for 10 minutes until fragrant and aromatic.
  3. Add in chicken thighs to cook for another 5-10 minutes or until chicken is tender.  Add in the wolfberries.
  4. Add salt and light soy sauce to taste. 
  5. Serve soup hot.

Health benefits of the following herbs:
  1. Dong Quai [Angelica Root] -  This 'heaty' herb nourishes the blood [excellent blood tonic], heart, liver and spleen.  An excellent herb for those who are anemic [treats iron deficiency and anemia] and those with menstrual problems.  Balances estrogen levels, reducing anxiety, combat stress and promotes relaxation.  Generally used in savoury brews. [read here for more information]
  2. Kei Chee [Chinese Wolfberry] - Nourishes the lungs, kidneys and liver.  Also good for the eyes, lower back and blood circulation.  Mostly used in savoury soups.  Goes well with chicken.
  3. Chuan Xiong [Szechuan Lovage Rhizome] - Activates and warms the blood and Qi.  Good for the liver, gall bladder and heart.  Used to treat headaches, skin problems and menstrual problems.  Add to savoury brews.
  4. Yok Chok [Solomon's Seal] - A cooling herb for the stomach and lungs. Expels wind and has an overall calming effect.  Relaxes stiff and cramped muscles.  Can be used in both sweet and savoury brews.
  5. Hung Choe [Red dates] - A tonic for the stomach and spleen.  Balances the properties of other herbs.       Recommended for those who feel tired and weak.  Can be added to most soups and drinks.
  6. Leng Geng [Dried Longan] -  It is added for sweetness and useful in preventing hair loss and hair greying.

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Cooking with Herbs


Phong Hong said...

I like chciken herbal soup. I find it very appetizing.

Victoria said...

This is delicious! I’ve made it about 4 times, and usually double the recipe to have leftovers. Everyone in my family loves it. Thanks so much for this great recipe.

Kimmy said...

Hi Victoria, thanks for the comments. When I have leftovers, I add flour vermicelli [mee suah] to it after discarding all the herbs. Serves as a light meal.

Kimmy said...

Hi Phong Hong, Me too and I loved to dip the meat in chilli/garlic/dark soy sauce dipping sauce.

Ricky William said...

It seems this dish will be very tasty. I will try at my home. herbal relaxation

Kimmy said...

Hi Ricky, thanks for dropping by this blog. It's a simple yet tasty soup that goes well with rice or noodles.
Once awhile a bitter sweet soup is good for a change.

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