Soup Name: Chicken Feet and Wintermelon Soup
Traditional Chinese Name: 冬瓜雞腳湯 (dōng guā jī jiǎo tāng)
The feet of the chicken are one of the Chinese’s most interesting “unwanted” parts of the chicken (after the bottom parts). It’s so versatile that the Chinese use chicken feet in soups, stews, dim sum and other dishes. I remember back in the days when I was a young lad that my parents would go to the Western super markets and get chicken feet by the bags for a whole dollar. It’s definitely not as cheap anymore because of the influx of demanding chicken feet eaters, but still an affordable, tasty and collagen packed ingredient. This wintermelon soup is simple to make and if you’re a single gal (or guy) you can make it in a one person pot. My husband really liked this soup and gobbled all the feet. Thanks for the clean up job, sweetie!
Amount serves: 5-6 large soup bowls (around 300 mL each)
What Ingredients are required?
10 fresh (or frozen) chicken feet
3 fresh corn, quartered
1 large slice of wintermelon, sliced with skin on
70g fresh gingo biloba
70g dried lotus seeds
1 slice of ginger
2 L of water
How do I prepare it?
- Soak the gingo biloba and lotus seed in warm water for 10 minutes
- Rinse and cut off the nails on your chicken feet
- In a small pot of boiling water, blanch your chicken feet for 5 minutes
- Remove chicken feet from boiling water, strain and set aside
- Boil your soup water
- When the soup boils, throw all the ingredients together
- Boil on high (covered) for 30 minutes, reduce to a medium boil for another 30 minutes (you can continue to boil or use a thermal cooker to keep it hot, as some people love their chicken feet super soft)
- Serve and enjoy!
- This soup is excellent for cooling down the body and heat from hot summer days
- Chicken feet is an excellent source of collagen and is low in fat
- Women in their first trimester of pregnancy should avoid as it is an extremely cooling soup and may cause contractions (you can add more ginger slices to “heat” up the soup)
- Melon soups are best consumed within same day as keeping melon soups overnight or over an extended period will make the melons sour (and so will your soup!)
Is there any soup you recommend for a caucasian who’s new to chinese soup (therefore, something not too bold such as chicken feet or conch or snail)? I’m looking for something that has herbs in it, yet it is balanced and not too hot or not too cool. Something that can be made for regular consumption just for a balanced diet?
Can you recommend a recipe that I can make at home?
Thanks so much!
Hi Dave, the easiest ones for beginners are ones with pork shank (because it comes in one piece, it’s easy to blanch and has low fat, so you don’t have to skim the fat) and veggies. Chicken is more complex (unless you have someone cutting/washing it for you). The veggie soups, you’ll actually think, taste like your western veggie soups, with the exception of adding dried conpoys which add a unique/salty/sea taste. Try this first:
All the best! Lisa
Hi, absolutely love your articles especially on the detailed explanations of benefits of each ingredients has in each soups. Would love if you could maybe expand your recipes to food dishes, especially on babies/toddlers meals… I have no clue how to cook traditional chinese home dishes, but would love to learn. I have been searching online for inspiration s but have yet to find a good website. I love the way you explain everything in detail and take us thru step by step on how to. Prepare to how to cook the soup, I absolutely love reading the parts about the potential benefits of each recipes. I would. Be ever so grateful if you could kindly teach us on how to prepare healthy nutritious meals for babies and toddlers. Many thanks, Kim.
Thanks for the suggestion and will consider it (time permitting), however, right now our focus is Chinese Soups and confinement meals. Thanks and glad we can help. One thing you can do is use the boiled veggies (or fruits) from the soups and put them as sides for meals. I usually use corn, carrots and potatoes as meal sides (even now). When they were babies, I would use the corn and blend (same with carrots and potatoes and sweet potatoes). Hope this helps! Lisa
Does the outer skin of the chicken feet not need to be removed aswell as the nails?
What if its dirty?
Thanks and happy new year!
I love your delicious recipes! Can you tell me which will promote hair growth or which herbs is good for hair growth? Many thanks!