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

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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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    ABC Chinese Soup (with a Fancy Lobster Soup Base)

    ABC Chinese Soup (with a Fancy Lobster Soup Base)

    ABC Chinese Soup (with a Fancy Lobster Soup Base)

    Soup Name:

    ABC Chinese Soup (using a Lobster Base Soup)

    Traditional Chinese Name:

    ABC湯 (ABC tāng).  The easiest name in the Cantonese repertoire for ABC vegetable soup is 雜菜湯 (zá cài tāng), which literally translates to mixed vegetable soup.

    This soup is warming in nature and sweet to taste.

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    What makes this soup so special is I used the leftover water when I boiled 2 whole lobsters for another meal.  Lobsters were on sale at the supermarket, thought it would be amazing to eat fresh lobster in the evening, so also decided to not waste the delicious seafood goodness and made a soup for dinner as well.

    ABC soup is a traditional favourite in Chinese households and most recipes are hand down from generation to generation with their own variations! 

     

    What’s involved?

    Prep time: 30 mins

    Cook time: 2 hours

    Total time: 2 hours 30 mins

    Serves: 6 bowls of soup

    Ingredients

    Cooking Instructions

    1. In your soup pot, add in 4L of water and bring to a boil.  Once that is boiling nicely, gently drop in the lobsters ensuring to cover and cook them quickly.   Boil until the lobster is fully cooked, which is around 7-10 minutes for the first pound, and 2-3 minutes for each additional pound.  I was using ~2 pound lobsters, so that’s around 12 minutes.
    2. Remove lobster from water and set the lobster aside.  Preserve this water for the soup base.  Turn this heat to a medium boil as we’ll begin to prepare the soup.
    3. In a shallow pan on medium heat, add in the chicken thighs and brown all the edges until crispy and brown.  The chicken doesn’t need to be fully cooked (as the soup will do it), but you want enough browning for flavour.  You don’t need to add oil to the pan as the chicken thighs will render out its own oil.  
    4. Once chicken is browned and crispy on all sides, remove from pan and add to your lobster water soup.  Keep this on a medium boil for now.
    5. Prepare all your vegetables into similarly sized pieces.  
    6. Add all the ingredients into your soup.  This includes the vegetables and dried Chinese herbs.
    7. Boil on medium high for 30 minutes.
    8. Reduce to a low boil for another 2.5 hours.
    9. Serve and enjoy!  No salt needed!

    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.

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