Basic Chicken Soup (Base)

Basic Chicken Soup (Base)

Basic Chicken Soup (Base)

Soup Name

Basic Chinese Chicken Soup Stock (Soup Base)

Traditional Chinese Name:  

清雞湯 (qīng jī tāng)


Here is another version of the basic chicken soup.  I’ll make this so that it can serve as a base for noodles, macaroni, with rice, or for double-boiling soups.  You can mix and match the types of vegetables to bring out the types of flavours you like, but I will usually always use some chicken bones, legs, or carcass along with dried scallops (these are almost a must for the stock soup!).   

The benefits:

  • Perfect for any soup base. You can simply add your favourite vegetables or even Chinese herbs.
  • This soup is perfect for cooler days as it’s slightly warming
  • Perfect for confinement, postpartum, and post period
  • Ideal for the whole family, including children
  • These ingredients are readily available in most Chinese supermarkets around the world, all you need is just a chicken!
  • Be sure to to consult your (Chinese) doctor first if you’re unsure of consumption or suitability
  • You can store this soup base in a plastic container (or jar with a wide mouth so it’s easier to use back later) for up to 6 months in the freezer
  • I’ve used this as a soup base for both noodles soups and even hotpot!  It’s very versatile in what you can do with it!

What’s involved?

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 3 hours

Total time: 3 hours 30 mins

Serves: 8 bowls 


Cooking Instructions

  1. Begin to boil a separate pot for blanching the meat
  2. Soak the dried conpoys and dried shiitake mushrooms in warm water for 10 minutes, the mushrooms may need longer, until they are soft, but since it’s for the soup base, it’s ok if they are still a bit hard.
  3. You can also begin to boil your soup water
  4. When your blanching water boils, add in the chicken bones and boil on high heat for 5 minutes. Make sure the water is boiling and you should see residue, fat, grim, and even foam come to the surface.
  5. In the meantime, you can prepare all your vegetable ingredients for the base.  I will cut the onion in half, keeping on the stem so it stays intact and cut the carrots and corn into large pieces so I can easily remove them from the pot.
  6. Once your soup water boils, remove the meat from the blanching pot and shake off any excess and slowly lower into your soup water
  7. Add in dried conpoys, dried mushrooms, and all the vegetables into the pot
  8. Boil on medium heat for 30 minutes
  9. Reduce heat to the lowest and cover and let it simmer like that for another 2-3 hours (or use a thermal pot). The soup should now be a rich, golden color after boiling for so long. Be sure to scoop out any oil, fat bits, or skin from the top with an oil scooper.
  10. And you can also remove all the ingredients with a strainer so that you’re left with a beautiful soup base which you can use for other soups or dishes!

For video on “7 Basic Chinese Soup Pantry Ingredients”, visit us on YouTube.

Here are some examples of other soups using a chicken soup base:

The chicken soup base is a great soup to start with for so many dishes and soups!  Here are a few to get you started!

This is a great and very simple chicken soup that I use as a base.  My kids love drinking this as plain chicken soup.  

    Using this chicken soup base for shabu shabu is the perfect solution to start your hot pot adventures! 

      This soup is using the base chicken soup recipe that is perfect for double-boiling.  For example, the only additional ingredient added here is the ginseng on top of the soup base.


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        Hope you enjoy this soup and bundle up!

        Soup Name: Chinese Radish and Chicken Soup

        Traditional Chinese Soup Name: 青紅蘿蔔雞湯 (qing hóng luóbo ji tāng)

        Chinese Radish and Chicken Soup
        Recipe Type: Soup
        Cuisine: Chinese
        Author: LadyTong
        Prep time:
        Cook time:
        Total time:
        Serves: 6 bowls
        • 1 whole [url href=””]chicken[/url]
        • 2 [url href=””]chinese radish[/url]
        • 3 [url href=””]carrots[/url]
        • A tablespoon of [url href=””]wolfberries[/url]
        • A tablespoon of [url href=””]apricot kernels[/url]
        • 2 litres of water
        • Salt to taste
        1. Prepare the chicken
        2. Soak the wolfberries and apricot kernels in room temperature water
        3. Start boiling the water.
        4. Cut the carrots and Chinese radish into pieces (if serving children, chop into bite-sized cubes)
        5. When the water boils, combine all ingredients
        6. Bring to a full boil
        7. Boil on medium heat for at least 1.5 hours
        8. Serve and enjoy!


        Chicken Soup with Red Dates

        Chicken Soup with Red Dates


        Soup Name: Chicken Soup with Red Dates

        Traditional Chinese Name:  红枣雞湯 (hóng zǎo jī tāng)

        This soup is an easy and sweet soup that is perfect to warm you up on a chilly autumn or winter’s day. Chicken is considered to be very nourishing (補) and can give your body a good kick of healthy heartiness (this is similarly recognized by Westerners who drink chicken noodle soup when sick).  To sweeten the soup, red dates are added. We also suggest adding a palmful of wolfberries to boost the qi or “chi” which is ideal for cool weather. Carrots round out this simple yet delicious soup. You can see from the photo that this recipe results in a rich, deeply-colored broth and I can assure you, it’s tasty, too!  (Yes, I’m drinking as I type this post.) Depending on whether you use a fresh, whole chicken or alternatives, the difficulty of creating this soup can vary from 1-star (from pre-washed and cut chicken with minimal preparation) to 4-star (whole chicken from scratch).


        Amount serves: 6 to 8 soup bowls

        What Ingredients are required?

        1 fresh whole chicken, quartered
        5 large, dried red dates (to taste depending on how sweet you like your soup to be)
        10 g of dried wolfberries (small palm-ful)
        2 large fresh carrots, sliced
        2L of water

        How do I prepare it?

        1. Prepare the chicken
        2. Wash and soak the dried wolfberries
        3. Add red dates to your soup water and bring to a boil
        4. When the water boils, combine all the ingredients together
        5. Boil on medium-high for at least 1 hour

        Any benefits?

        • A warm soup that is perfect for autumn or winter
        • Chicken is very nourishing (補) and creates a healthful soup
        • Red dates are an excellent source of Vitamin C
        • Red dates are also used in throat-soothing drinks
        • Wolfberries are high in antioxidants and contain 6 essential vitamins, Beta-Carotene, Calcium, Potassium, Iron and Zinc
        • Wolfberries are also known to enhance the qi or “chi” in your body

        Any tips or precautions?

        • Whenever using real, whole chicken, it’s useful to have an oil scooper on hand to help scoop out the fat and any large or small particles that float to the top of your soup. I usually need to use the scoop two or three times — once after the soup is fully boiled and still hot and there is an abundance of oil floating on the top, then once again after the soup has cooled slightly and you have additional oil and particles that have had time to float to the surface, and usually once again upon re-heating (possibly the next day).
        • Feel free to drink the same soup the next day after re-boiling. I like to make an extra big pot and any that isn’t finished can be drank and finished off the next day.


        Soy Sauce Chicken Wings and Feet (for Chinese Confinement)

        Dish Name: Soy Sauce Chicken Wings and Feet (for Chinese Confinement)

        Traditional Chinese Name: 醬油雞腳 (jiàng yóu jī jiǎo)

        This is a very common Canton (Chinese-styled) dish. The soy sauce base can be used with pork, chicken (various parts), duck (wings are best), pigeon and any other meats with bones as best. The trick to this dish is that it must be simmered for some time (or use a pressure cooker) to let both the sauce seep deep into the meat and enable the meet to be almost falling off the bone. Why this particular dish is called out for Chinese confinement is that the chicken feet provides a healthy amount of collagen – and adding warming ingredients such as ginger, star anise and cinnamon help keep the body warm and heated throughout this period. My mom actually used to keep the sauce after she made it in a glass jar in the fridge, to be used again the next time around. The more it’s used, the tastier it gets. You can simply skim off the accumulated fat once it’s cooled and add more soy sauce if it’s been reduced too far. A delicious, easy-to-make, easy-to-keep Chinese confinement dish for any postpartum mother.


        What are the ingredients?

        Good for 4-5 servings:

        • 20 fresh (or frozen) chicken feet, nails cut off
        • 10 fresh chicken wings
        • 3/4 cup of soy sauce
        • 4 cups of boiling (or hot) water
        • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
        • 1 cinnamon stick
        • 2 pieces of star anise
        • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
        • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced and peeled
        • 1 scallion, diced (optional)
        • White pepper (optional and recommended for Chinese Confinement)


        How do I prepare it?

        1. Cut off the nails of the chicken feet
        2. In a pot of boiling water, blanch the chicken feet and chicken wings for 3 minutes (to flush out the oil in the chicken feet)
        3. In a fresh pot, add all the ingredients together and let simmer for 45 minutes (or longer if you want it softer)
        4. Top with fresh scallions as needed
        5. Serve and enjoy!

        Any benefits?

        • This is an easy-to-make Chinese dish recipe with minimal ingredients
        • It’s a heaty dish suited for Chinese confinement (or the whole family) – adjust the amount of ginger depending on the consumer
        • Chicken feet is packed with collagen and perfect for women and Chinese confinement
        • You can easily keep frozen chicken wings and chicken feet in the freezer (for rainy days when you’re trapped at home)

        Any precautions?

        • Be sure to wash your hands after handling raw chicken (or meat)
        • Take caution not to add too much soy sauce (as the meat absorbs the saltiness quite easily)

        Quick Boil Hairy Gourd, Bamboo and Chicken Soup

        Soup Name: Quick Boil Hairy Gourd, Bamboo and Chicken Soup

        Traditional Chinese Name: 节瓜竹筍雞肉湯 ( jié guā zhú sǔn ji ròu tāng)


        To follow other quick boil soups we’ve made recently, here’s another quick soup idea.   Although this soup can be made the traditional way (with a whole chicken and fresh bamboo), if you’re in a hurry, we can suggest some short-cuts, too.  Use chicken pieces to replace the whole chicken and canned bamboo to replace fresh bamboo and you can have a delicious and nutritious soup ready in about 30 minutes — perfect after a long day at work or if the kids are hungry.   Bump up the nutrition levels and the color by adding carrots or corn to your soup.

        What ingredients are required?

        1  pound of chicken pieces
        1 large hairy gourd (a.k.a fuzzy melon)
        2 large fresh bamboo shoots, cut into slices (or canned)
        2 large carrots (peeled and cut into pieces)
        1 L of chicken broth/stock
        2 L of water

        How do I prepare it?

        1. Pour water and chicken broth together into a large pot and turn on high heat to boil
        2. Wash, peel and slice the hairy gourd into edible pieces
        3. Wash, peel and cut carrots into pieces
        4. Prepare bamboo and cut into slices
        5. When the water boils, add all the ingredients together
        6. Boil on high for 30 minutes
        7. Serve and enjoy!

        Any benefits?

        • Removes heat from the body and is mildly cooling
        • Bamboo shoots are an excellent source of fiber, potassium and are high in antioxidants
        • Easy soup to make that is tasty and the winter melon absorbs the flavor of the meat and broth making it very tasty to eat
        • You can substitute the chicken stock with water, but add some salt for flavoring
        • A child-friendly soup

        Any precautions?

        • Too much bamboo may be hard to digest (due to the high fiber content)