Healing Chinese Chicken Herbal Soup with Fish Maw
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.
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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
- 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)
- 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.
- 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!
- 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)
- At this point you can set your blanching pot aside and strain
- 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.
- I will also throw in largely cut potatoes at this time and brown them a bit as well.
- Add your soup water and turn this on high heat
- 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.
- Boil for another 1.5 hours.
- At this point, you can drop in your prepared fish maw and let that boil for another 30 minutes on med high heat.
- Serve and enjoy!
- 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
Recipes that use Dried Fish Maw (or Fish Bladder)