Healing Chinese Chicken Herbal Soup with Fish Maw

Healing Chinese Chicken Herbal Soup with Fish Maw

Healing Chinese Chicken Herbal Soup with Fish Maw

Soup Name:

Healing Chinese Chicken Herbal Soup with Fish Maw

Traditional Chinese Name:

花膠雞湯 (huā jiāo jī tāng)

Nature:  Warming

Taste: Sweet and savory

For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

 

The star of this soup is FISH MAW.  This takes collagen to the next level! 

This soup is packed with natural collagens that help retain moisture, firmness, and bounce in the skin.

To make this soup, you’ll need to plan it a few days in advance because of the fish maw preparation.  I would suggest allowing 2-4 days to fully hydrate your dried fish maw.  This depends on the size and quality of the fish maw.

A few tips for preparing your fish maw:

  • I like soaking them in a glass bowl.  That way, I can see it in the fridge when I open and close the fridge door as it soaks.  You can check for murky water, spots on the fish maw, and generally that it’s soaking cleanly as it should.
  • I use tap water (in Canada), although some people recommend using cold boiled water as it’s cleaner
  • After they’ve soaked, I will also flash blanch them in boiling hot water (after the water boils with my blanching chicken since I’m blanching anyways)
  • Cut the fish maw after soaking them.  They’ll be sufficiently soft.

 

What makes this soup amazing?

  • For starters, it’s collagen packed!  Interesting fact though is that fish skin has more collagen than fish maw (according to this one study [source 1])!!!  I guess I’m going back to fish skin as an ingredient as it’s also way cheaper!
  • You don’t need salt or any other flavoring for this soup.  Don’t even think about adding chicken broth (I usually don’t for Chinese soups)!
  • This is a great soup base for other vegetables or additives should you choose to embark on this mission.
  • It’s a hearty soup which can double as a meal (just add rice!)
  • It’s PERFECT for postpartum, as it’s a warm soup with healing ingredients.

For videos, visit us on YouTube. 

What’s involved?

Pre-work: 2-4 days to soak & hydrate the fish maw

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 120 minutes 

Total time: 150 mins

Serves: 8 bowls

Ingredients

Cooking Instructions

  1. With the pre-soaked and re-hydrated fish maw, I will remove them from the fridge, strain out the water, and slice into 1-inch thick pieces (or however you’d like to eat them basically)
  2. At this time, you can prepare your chicken however you’d like.  I usually save the 2 breasts for a meal, keeping only the bones and thighs and feet.  
  3. In a separate blanching pot with cold water, add in as much water to fully cover the chicken and 2 slices of fresh ginger and add in your fresh chicken (there is much debate about whether to blanch in cold or hot water, but I have found it!  Incoming post!).  Use high heat to bring to a full boil.  You’ll begin to see the foam, debris, blood, and bones surface.  Just be careful it doesn’t overboil!
  4. As your blanching water comes to a boil, flash boil your sliced fish maw by dropping them in and fishing them out right away(just to be sure all the impurities are boiled out)
  5. At this point you can set your blanching pot aside and strain
  6. In your soup pot, add a teaspoon of oil and panfry a few slices of ginger with your fresh (or defrosted) abalone on med heat until they are golden brown.
  7. I will also throw in largely cut potatoes at this time and brown them a bit as well.
  8. Add your soup water and turn this on high heat
  9. Then add in the rest of the ingredients:  dried red dates, dried longans, dried sugar dates, dried Chinese Yam (or fresh), and dried scallops.  Cover and continue to boil on high heat for 30 minutes.  Once this is bubbling along nicely, I’ll reduce to a med high boil, still covered. 
  10. Boil for another 1.5 hours.
  11. At this point, you can drop in your prepared fish maw and let that boil for another 30 minutes on med high heat.
  12. Serve and enjoy!
  1. Cruz-López, Honorio et al. “Comparison of collagen characteristic from the skin and swim bladder of Gulf corvina (Cynoscion othonopterus).” Tissue & cell vol. 72 (2021): 101593. doi:10.1016/j.tice.2021.101593

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ABC Soup in a Collagen Rich Salmon Head and Chicken Feet Broth

ABC Soup in a Collagen Rich Salmon Head and Chicken Feet Broth

ABC Soup in a Collagen Rich Salmon Head and Chicken Feet Broth

Soup Name:

ABC Chinese Soup in a collagen rich Salmon Broth (with Chicken Feet)

Traditional Chinese Name:

雜菜蕃茄三文魚湯 (zá cài fānjiā sānwènyú tāng)

Nature:  Slightly cooling

Taste: Sweet and savory

For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

 

Taking collagen to the next level!  This soup is packed with natural collagens that help retain moisture, firmness, and bounce in the skin.

What does a jelly soup mean?  (Without using thickeners like corn starch or flour).

It means… it’s got copious amounts of natural collagens!

There are so many ingredients within Chinese soups that allow for natural collagens to seep out into the soup for natural and healthy glowing skin!

This one combines the salmon head and chicken feet!  Just look at how viscous the soup is, it’s probably bordering being a solid!  Full video below on how to make this soup!

 

What’s involved?

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 90 minutes 

Total time: 120 mins

Serves: 8 bowls

Ingredients

  • 2-3 slices of fresh ginger
  • 2 fresh salmon heads

  • 5-7 fresh chicken feet
  • 3 fresh potatoes
  • 2 fresh tomatoes
  • 1 fresh corn
  • 1 tablespoon of dried scallops
  • 5 pieces of dried Chinese yam
  • 2L of water
  • fresh green onions to garnish

Cooking Instructions

  1. Wash and clean the salmon heads, ensuring they are sliced in half (you can get the fish butcher at your market to do this, or if you buy packaged, they are usually precut)
  2. In a shallow pan, add some oil and ginger on medium heat and pan fry the salmon head until the skin and both sides are slightly crispy
  3. Optional step to remove the nails of the chicken feet by either cutting them off with scissors to the first knuckle or chopping with a knife
  4. In your soup pot, begin to boil your soup water on high heat.  Once boiling, add in the cooked salmon head along with the chicken feet.  You can also add the dried scallops and the dried Chinese Yam. (I will add the salmon head into a soup bag first for easier disposal later).
  5. Wash, peel and chop potatoes into large chunks (not too small else they will disintegrate quickly into the soup).  
  6. Wash and chop the corn into 3-4 pieces.
  7. Wash and quarter your tomatoes.
  8. Add in chopped potatoes, corn, and tomatoes into the soup.
  9. Cover and reduce to a medium boil for about 90 minutes.  The longer you boil out the soup, the more the collagen comes out of the salmon head and chicken feet.
  10. Garnish, serve and enjoy!

How to get this jelly like soup?

  • To get that thick consistency and jelly like soup, I allowed it to low boil for another few hours and kept it in the pot until the evening, strained all the ingredients and kept just the broth in a bowl and put it in the fridge.
  • You can reheat in a small pot the day after and it is still as delicious! 
  • But this really was my experiment to show you the beautiful collagen in the soup.  It’s not as obvious as a liquid, but when cooled, it looks amazing!

For videos, visit us on YouTube. 

Tips for making (and eating) this soup:

  • You can actually directly pan fry the fish in the pot (it saves one pot of washing)
  • Use a soup bag!  These things are so useful when you want to clean up or strain the soup for later.  However, open the bag… there is a lot of fish meat on the heads, which all contain healthy fats and more collagen!  And the fish cheeks!  Do you know the story of the fish cheeks?  I’ll have to tell it one day! LOL.
  • Don’t forget to scoop out the extra fat, oil, and bits from the soup before serving.  There isn’t a lot from the type of proteins used, but the chicken feet will have a bit.

For videos, visit us on YouTube. 

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To answer your questions on what equipment I'm using, I've built a section here where you can find and explore what I'm using to make soups.  Ingredients are a little harder, but I will do my best as I source them around.  However, you can always message me on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, or Facebook, and I will reply and try to point you in some direction!  

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Warming Chicken and Coconut Herbal (Healing) Chinese Soup

Warming Chicken and Coconut Herbal (Healing) Chinese Soup

Warming Chicken and Coconut Herbal (Healing) Chinese Soup

Soup Name:

Warming chicken and coconut herbal (and healing) Chinese soup

Traditional Chinese Name:

椰子雞湯 (yē zi jī tāng)

Nature:  Warming

Taste: Slightly sweet and savory

For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

Oh!  This soup!  It delivered – and more!!

Warm with intense flavours of rich coconut and savory chicken, it really hits the spot when it’s cool (or cold) and you just want a warm blanket to hug you.

I made a rather large pot in the morning and grazed on it all day.  As it continued to sit in its own broth and stew away, the soup became more and more intense and became a rich, earthy tone at dinner.  You can tell this by the colour of the broth.  SUCCESS!

3 key things for this soup:

  • Don’t drink the coconut water!  Save it for the soup!
  • Use the smaller round coconuts  (brown fruit) instead of the traditional larger coconuts.  Their flesh is sweeter and so is the coconut water.
  • Pan fry the chicken thighs (rather than blanch) to give it a savory, toasted flavour to the soup. 
What’s involved?

Prep time: 45 mins

Cook time: min 2 hours

Total time: 2 hours 45 mins

Serves: 6 large bowls

Ingredients
    Cooking Instructions
    1. Prepare your coconut.  This means, poking holes at the top, drain the coconut water in a separate bowl.  Using a hammer, just smash smash smash the coconut to shreds.  Remove the outer shell from the coconut meat and cut into 2×2 inch pieces.
    2. Cut your chicken thighs into 3 pieces and in your soup pot (or a shallow pan), pan fry on medium heat until the skin and edges are crispy.
    3. Add in your water to your soup pot and set it on high until it completely boils
    4. Cut your cut into quarters and drop into the soup
    5. Drop in all the Chinese herbs
    6. Pour in the reserved coconut water
    7. Cover and boil for 20 minutes and then reduce boil to a medium simmer for another 1 hour and 40 minutes
    8. Taste, salt as needed, serve and enjoy!

    What I love about soup is that it doesn’t go from clear water to broth in the snap of a finger.  At what point does it make this transition?  Fascinating.

    Do you see how deep, dark, and rich that broth looks?

    The best thing about this soup post making is that you can eat it all!  The chicken thigh is falling off the bone, tender, and tastes like coconut.  I don’t even need to dip it in soy sauce like I do with pork shank.  The corn is bulbous and some of them are filled with soup.  I don’t even need to butter it!  And the coconut meat is soft, flaky and rich.  You can really taste the coconut flavours.  This soup was super nice.  I’ll need to make another batch.  The only downfall is that preparing a coconut is like going to battle – me vs the coconut.

    Here are some tips on using fresh coconut in Chinese soups! 

    • Reserve the coconut water (where possible!).  It’s delicious, sweet, and adds an amazing fragrance to the soup!  I ended up drinking one because I had 2.  LOL.
    • Use a hammer to smash it open.  I’ve seen people do it with a butcher’s knife (back side), but hammer works!  
    • Put a towel to absorb the impact of the smash underneath the coconut.
    • You can use a butter knife to cut out the flesh if it sticks to the shell.
    • Rinse the freed coconut flesh under water to remove debris, shell, dirt before adding to your soup.
    • Boil for at least 1 hour to soften slight, but coconut meat doesn’t really become that soft.  It’ll stay slightly crunchy and textured.
    • Don’t overcomplicate the soup with a lot of ingredients to allow the highlight of the soup (the coconut) to shine!

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    Fragrant Vegetables in Salmon Soup

    Fragrant Vegetables in Salmon Soup

    Fragrant Vegetables in Salmon Soup

    Soup Name:

    Fragrant vegetables in salmon soup (Cantonese-styled)

    Traditional Chinese Name:

    雜菜蕃茄三文魚湯 (zá cài fānjiā sānwènyú tāng)

    Nature:  Slightly cooling

    Taste: Sweet and savory

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    Tomatoes in a fragrant fish broth is a very common soup in the Cantonese soup repertoire.  It is commonly found in household soups and restaurants in Hong Kong.  The vegetables are optional, but do add to the abundance of the soup.  And there are many variations of this soup available as each chef customizes to their creative juices!

    You can essentially use any fish for this type of soup.  Generally though, the Chinese will use more commonly found and affordable fish and usually the heads and tails and bones, reserving the flesh for steaming or dishes.

     

    TIP!

     

    I would recommend using a soup bag for any fish soups, however for this one, salmon bones are quite large and I was lazy and wanted to fry everything in one shot, so opted for not using one.  A soup bag helps keep soup bone safe and allows you to remove the fish easily and keep all the disintegration together.  I’ve bought these ones from Amazon, which are amazing!

    What’s involved?

    Prep time: 30 mins

    Cook time: 2 hours

    Total time: 2 hours and 30 mins

    Serves: 10 bowls

    Ingredients
    Cooking Instructions
    1. Let’s start by frying the fish first in some ginger to seal the flavours and get it fragrant (and not fishy).  You can use a shallow pan or your soup pot (that’s what I’m doing in my cast iron pot because I was feeling lazy!).
    2. I’ll wash the fish in warm water first and then pat dry with paper towels.
    3. In your pot or pan on medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil (enough to cover the pan) and then gently lay your fish flat so as much surface area of the fish can cook
    4. At this time, I will also make space for the pork shank to fry (instead of blanch in boiling water).  This is also because I was feeling lazy and wanted that fried fragrant flavour!
    5. Fry for 5 minutes or until it begins to golden brown.  It doesn’t need to be fully cooked, but at least the skin is browned. 
    6. Turn the fish on the other side and fry for another 5 minutes.  
    7. You can also rotate the pork shank around as it browns.
    8. At this time, you can prepare your vegetables, cut into smaller pieces.
    9. If you want, you can now put your fish pieces into a soup bag to begin the soup boiling to prevent the bones to disintegrate and for easier removal from the pot.
    10. I will also use the pan or pot to brown some of the potatoes, but this step is optional
    11. Add in the water to the soup, be sure to leave a bit of space to allow for the all ingredients
    12. Then add in all your ingredients to the soup
    13. Cover and bring to a full boil (about 20 minutes on full boil)
    14. And reduce to a low boil for another 2 hours
    15. Serve and enjoy!

    This soup is also packed full of collagen!  The fish heads are the key ingredients that really to release all this sticky goodness into the soup.  One of the amazing things of using fish heads is both to not waste any part of the fish and also the amount of amazing collagen that’s available in the soup!

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    I use these types of stove top safe tea pots to make most of my herbal teas!

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    Cooling Snow Pears and Apples in a Chrysanthemum Tea

    Cooling Snow Pears and Apples in a Chrysanthemum Tea

    Cooling Snow Pears and Apples in a Chrysanthemum Tea

    Tea Name:

    Cooling Snow Pears and Apples in a Chrysanthemum Tea

    Traditional Chinese Name:

    雪梨蘋果菊花清熱茶 (xuě lí píng guǒ jú huā qīng rè chá) 

    Nature:  Cooling

    Taste: Sweet and sour

    (You can read this article on the impact on your body of different food tastes!)

    For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

    When it’s hot, stuffy and the temperatures are blowing the thermometers through the roof, this deliciously sweet and tart tea is perfect for this type of weather!

    The mercury hit 32 C yesterday and what better way to cool the body than with a cooling, sweet tea that can help reduce internal heat, clears and disperses dryness, and moistens the lungs and stomach.   

    The amazing thing about this tea is that you can also enjoy the snow pear and apples as part of the tea.  With the right cook time of 10 minutes, parts of the fruit are still semi-crunchy!  So delicious!  And you don’t need to add any sugar or honey because of the natural sugars of the fruit.

     

    What’s involved?

    Prep time: 10 mins

    Cook time: 20 mins

    Total time: 30 mins

    Serves: 2 cups

    Ingredients
    Cooking Instructions
    1. Cut up your snow pears and apples into cubes, keeping the skin on.  This helps hold it together and not disintegrate, but actually, from a Traditional Chinese Medicine benefit perspective, it’s the skins that hold the most value!  I talk about this below a little more!
    2. In a stove top safe ceramic or glass pot, add all your ingredients together
    3. Boil on medium high for 10 minutes, or until it’s bubbling for at least a good 5 minutes to really get the flavours out
    4. Serve and enjoy!
    5. You don’t need to add any honey or sugars at all!  

    Snow pear are amazing for cooling and moisturizing the body, targeting the lungs and stomach.  It’s perfect for yin deficiencies (which includes cough) and reducing fire in the body and lungs.

    It’s actually the skin of the snow pear that has the most power!  That’s why I keep them on when I’m making a tea with them or a soup.  And they provide a good source of fiber for the body.

    Alternatively, if you don’t eat snow pear skins when you’re having the fruit, I would suggest to keep the peeled skin to dry, or freeze in a ziploc to save for use in soups or teas, but you don’t need to eat them!

     

    EQUIPMENT USED

    To answer your questions on what equipment I'm using, I've built a section here where you can find and explore what I'm using to make soups.  Ingredients are a little harder, but I will do my best as I source them around.  However, you can always message me on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, or Facebook, and I will reply and try to point you in some direction!  

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    Hot and slightly spicy Korean Kimchi and Tofu Jjigae (soup)

    Hot and slightly spicy Korean Kimchi and Tofu Jjigae (soup)

    Hot and slightly spicy Korean Kimchi and Tofu Jjigae (soup)

    Soup Name:

    Korean  Kimchi and Tofu Jjigae (Soup)

    Nature:  Cool (although could be warmer depending on how spicy you make it, but this is driven by the cooling white radish and tofu)

    Taste:  Sweet, Salty

    For more videos, you can follow us on YouTube.

    I know there’s a thought that this is a fusion (and not completely authentically Korean) of Chinese and Western elements, and you’re right! 

    The Korean soup dashi base though, I can assure you is completely authentic!  You can find the full post and video available for you to start this amazing soup.

    The great thing about this soup base is that you can make so many soups with this base!  And today, I really wanted a kimchi and tofu soup (usually served with rice!). 

    Once you have the soup base, you can craft or create the soup you want.  I’ve gone with a simple combination that is less spicy and a bit untraditional in that it’s more like a Chinese fusion version with the Korean dashi soup base.

    Some key ingredients in Korean spicy stews is the pepper flakes.  This is what makes it bright red and spicy!  

    What’s involved?

    Prep time: 5 mins (with 40 mins from dashi prep)

    Cook time: 10 mins

    Total time: 15 mins

    Serves: 1 L individual pot of stew (or soup)

    Ingredients

    Optional:

    • 20 g of Korean pepper flakes (gochugaru)
    • 1 tsp of toasted sesame oil
    • 1 raw egg

     

    Cooking Instructions

    To make the Korean dashi (soup base), you can follow these instructions below (and also following this post):

     

    1. Remove the heads from your dried anchovies and put them into your soup pot.  No washing or cleaning is needed, just simply remove from the bag.
    2. Remove the dried seaweed sheet from the packaging and snap into pieces to fit into the pot and put into the pot
    3. Peel your white radish (enough to remove all the skin if you plan to eat it, as the skin can be quite tough and unpleasant to eat) and slice into 1 cm thick slices (or any thickness you’d like)
    4. Put everything into your soup pot
    5. Add in the water
    6. Boil on high for 10 minutes, covered
    7. Reduce boil to another 20 minutes
    8. Strain all the ingredients, separating the liquid from the soup goodies 
    9. This strained soup is your dashi!  You can use directly as is into your soup of choice or put into mason jars and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

    To make the rest of the kimchi tofu soup:

     

    1. In a separate individual pot, scoop the Korean dashi soup to start this dish.  For mine, I’m using ox tail and fresh white radish, so I’ve scooped healthy amounts as part of my meal.  Scoop in ONLY HALF the volume of the pot as you’ll want to save space for the additional ingredients
    2. Turn that on to a medium boil
    3. Add in the fresh kimchi, soft tofu (in the middle), fresh cabbage and any meats
    4. Cover and let that boil for 10 minutes to allow all the ingredients to soften together
    5. Once soft, you can garnish with green onions
    6. Serve while still bubbling and enjoy!

    EQUIPMENT USED

    To answer your questions on what equipment I'm using, I've built a section here where you can find and explore what I'm using to make soups.  Ingredients are a little harder, but I will do my best as I source them around.  However, you can always message me on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, or Facebook, and I will reply and try to point you in some direction!  

    A great help for fish or small bones in soups, including small ingredients such as barley, fox nuts, spices just to keep everything together.

    A MUST HAVE in the kitchen!  Energy saving, cost effective, and perfect for busy chefs!  Check out my article here that explains it.

    Another MUST HAVE in the kitchen for soups!  It's so fine that it will scoop off the top oil and foam layer when using meats in your soup!

    I use these types of stove top safe tea pots to make most of my herbal teas!

    EXPLORE MORE

    How to make a vegetable tomato based soup (with macaroni)

    Soup Name: Vegetable Tomato Soup Traditional Chinese Name: 集菜番茄湯 (jí cài fānqié tāng).  This is a very Cantonese label of this soup.  The basic translation of this is just "vegetable tomato soup" and the vegetable translation is often used for simple soup of...

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    Don't know where to start? Don't know why you should start? Here are some answers to get you started from: WHY you should do hot foot soaks WHAT equipment you'll need HOW to do a foot soak The BENEFITs of hot foot soaks TIPs and TRICKs of hot foot soaks This post...

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    Soup Name: Delicious One Pot Vegetable Vermicelli Soup for Dinner.  Literal translation from Chinese is "Mixed vegetables vermicelli pot soup".  For this one, I went with pork meatballs and a Miso butter soup base. Traditional Chinese Name: 雜菜粉絲鍋湯 (zá cài fěnsī guō...

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    Making Frozen Chinese Soup in Bulk at Home (Saving Time and Effort)!

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    Hong Kong Styled Russian Borscht Soup

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    GIVE YOUR LOVE OF SOUP.

    FOLLOW US AND SHARE.