This is the base Chinese Chicken Soup stock that I make for any of my Chinese soups. It’s simple, straight-forward, and delicious on its own. It does take some preparation in that you need to blanch all the meats, soak the conpoys for at least 10 minutes, quarter the chicken, and then add everything together. And then patience, for a few hours to let it all simmer together. This is perfect for freezing for usage with soups later on, so I do suggest to make more! Perfect for the whole family and any condition.
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
Optional step the night before is to salt the pork shanks and chicken overnight and wrap and store in the fridge to let it sit. This will allow the flavors to marinate and soften the meat.
Begin to boil a separate pot for blanching the meat
Soak the dried conpoys in warm water for 10 minutes
Prepare your chicken and cutting it into quarters (or any size you prefer)
When your blanching water boils, add in the pork and chicken 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.
Begin to boil your soup water
Once your soup water boils, remove the meat from the blanching pot and shake off any excess and slowly lower into your soup water
Add in dried conpoys
Boil on medium heat for 30 minutes
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
My second project using the new double-boiler! I found a very simple, but delicious apple and pear Chinese soup with pork and chicken and Chinese herbs. This is a pretty traditional Chinese soup and can be made both with or without double-boiling. The purpose of double-boiling is really to maintain density of the flavours and lock in (better than regular boiling) all that goodness. I’d almost argue that using a thermal pot is similar to double-boiling. Double-boiled soups are normally made in the winter because they can be more potent and provide extra punch and warmth. This soup is awesomely yummy! It is designed to help soothe and moisten the throat and lungs. Most Chinese double-boiled soups use both chicken and pork. Even if you use a silkie chicken, the Chinese will throw in a small piece of pork shank. This makes the soup very sweet and rich in flavours.
Soup Name: Double-boiled Apple and Pear Chinese Herbal Soup
Traditional Chinese Soup Name: 蘋果雪梨燉雞湯 (píng guǒ xuě lí dùn jī tāng)
To see the full recipe, scroll down to skip my commentary.
For this recipe, you’ll need: A bunch of Chinese herbs (in mine, I have dried dates, dried longans, dried conpoys or scallops, dried Chinese yam, and wolfberries), some pork, a whole chicken, fuji apples, and snow pears.
To start, soak you herbs in warm water to soften. You can also scrub the Chinese Yam in running water before soaking to rinse off the sulphur that is sometimes used to process it. I just eyeball the amount of each herbs depending on the size of the pot, so it’s literally a handful of this and handful of that.
Soaking herbs ready for soup
Prepare your meats by removing as much fat as possible. This means, going with lean pork shank and removing all the skin and fat from the chicken. I tried to get as small as a chicken as possible because my pot isn’t that big – in a previous post, I used chicken drumsticks – which work perfectly because of their size, portions and you get both bone and meat. In a separate pot, blanch the meats in boiling hot water for 5 minutes to remove scum, oil, dirt, blood and any extras that like to make their way out of the bones and meat and into your soup. Once blanched, remove the meat from the soup and set aside to cool and to add to your soup later.
My overly ambitious portions of meat – a mix of pork and chicken
Keep the skin on the apples and snow pears. Firstly, this will help keep them intact and not disintegrate too much into the soup and secondly, it will help you scoop it out when you need to. Plus, the skin has its own unique flavour too – just be sure to rinse really well!
Start boiling your double-boiler (inner pot) outside on the stove with half the volume of water that the container will hold. It’s easier to add more water later if you need to top up. When the water more or less boils, throw all the ingredients into the pot. In my case, I can say OOPS! I was still missing one snow pear and 1 apple and ended up removing the ends of the drumsticks to make it all squeeze in. See, it’s all sticking out!
Adding all the ingredients into the double-boiler
Double-boil for 30 minutes first
Cover (if you can) and set to let it boil on medium heat for about 30 minutes. Do note that snow pears actually RELEASE more water as it boils, so the risk that it spills over is almost certain!
My double-boiled soup now overspilling!
After 30 minutes of medium boil, turn off the heat and let the pot cool. Once it cools sufficiently for you to put into its outer double-boiler, add the inner pot into the larger outer pot. You can add water later – but when you add water to the outer pot – add hot water! This will reduce the temperature flux of your inner pot. Fill it with enough water so that you can cover the inner double-boiler and this outer pot water won’t spill into the double-boiler. Cover and set on a low boil (you can still see small bubbles) for about 3 hours.
The double-boiler inside an outer pot
You’ll know your soup is progressing well when you see the pears and apples and colour of the soup turn into a rich golden liquid. Most double-boiled soups some in this golden colour and you’ll know that the flavours are intense and rich.
Rich soup colour of the double-boiled soup when it’s almost ready
Once your soup is ready, scoop out whatever you’d like and serve HOT! NO SALT NEEDED! That’s how sweet it is! Some people will like to eat the meats, dipped on soy sauce – by all means, do it! The meat is delicious as well. In my situation, I had leftover fruit, so I simply drank 2 bowls the size of rice bowls, threw in the rest of the fruit and added some more water and continued to double-boil it for another hour until dinner. Enjoy! I certainly did!
Double-boiled Apple and Pear Chinese Soup
Double-boiled Apple and Pear Chinese Herbal Soup
Recipe Type: Soup
Serves: 6 soup bowls
1 whole fresh [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/chicken-whole/”]chicken[/url], cut small (skin removed)
1/2 pound of fresh [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/pork-shank/”]pork shank[/url], cut small
1 tablespoon of [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/scallops-dried-conpoy/”]dried conpoy[/url]
1 tablespoon of [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/wolfberries-dried/”]dried wolfberries[/url]
1 tablespoon of [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/longan-dried/”]dried longans[/url]
1 tablespoon of [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/red-dates/”]dried red dates[/url]
3 pieces of [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/chinese-yam-dried/”]dried Chinese Yam[/url]
I had to try my new double-boiling Chinese soup pot, so specifically sourced some nice Korean Ginseng ($100 HKD for 2 pieces) so I could make double-boiled ginseng soup with chicken (and pork). I love the genuine taste of Ginseng, it’s smooth and golden. And I love it in soups even more! Using the simplest of herbs, the soup takes a solid 3 hours in the double-boiler – but comes out rich, delicious and bursting full of flavours. Truly one of my favourite double-boiled goodies.
The benefits of ginseng and chicken soup are also numerous. Ginseng is usually described as “nourishing life” and the effects of the double-boiler, which maintains the soup at a lower heat without disturbing the ingredients physically, enable the flavours and efficacy of the ginger to permeate throughout the soup. The soup enhance immune functions and make body functions strong like the heart, lungs and spleen.
Soup Name: Double-boiled Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup
Traditional Chinese Name: 人參雞湯 (rén sēn jī tāng)
To see the full recipe, scroll down to skip my commentary.
The ingredients include: Fresh Korean ginseng, pork, chicken, dried red dates, dried Chinese Yam, and dried longans. I used chicken drumsticks instead of a whole chicken (which is usually recommended). The constraints you’re working with include the size of your double-boiler. In most cases, double-boilers need to fit inside another pot, so unless you’re got a restaurant-sized soup pot, you are restricted to the size of your double-boiling pot to fit the ingredients.
Chicken drumsticks for soup
To keep the soup as “skinny” as possible, I removed the skin and as much fat as I could. Then I chopped the drumsticks into 3’s so that I can compact the size of the ingredients to fit into the double-boiler. The same applied for the pork shank. I didn’t blanch the meat as both didn’t have that much fat and I rinsed them under cool water before throwing it into the soup to clean them.
Keep the herbs simple. A mixture of these will suffice. Actually, my herbalist even suggested to just use dried Chinese Yam and that’s it, but I liked a little bit of sweetness and wanted to balance the coolness of the ginseng with the heaty of the dried longans just a little. If you’re scared that it’s too cooling, throw in 1-2 slices of ginger to balance it out.
Herbs for Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup
Start by boiling your soup water. To be honest, I am eye-balling everything, but I started with a half pot of water and decided that I could always add more water after fitting all the ingredients in. Once the water boils, throw in all the ingredients together and boil on high for about 30 minutes. This is still OUTSIDE of the double-boiler.
The point of boiling it outside is to make sure everything is boiling inside and sufficiently cooking and mixing and bringing out nice flavours. I then turn off the stove and let it cool enough to bring the double-boiler into the pot to really begin the double-boiling process. Once inside the double-boiling pot, you can top it off with boiling water to ensure it’s full (more soup) and fill the double-boiling outside pot with warm or slightly hot water. Boil the outside pot until it really boils and then reduce to a very, very, very small boil and keep it tightly covered.
The double-boiler inside the outside pot
Double-boil it for about 3 hours and when it’s done, the soup will be a rich, golden colour and smell delicious. The house permeates with this ginseng fragrance and it’s beautiful.
Beautiful double-boiled soup ready for drinking!
I recommend directly serving from the double-boiler to the bowl. No salt is needed. Enjoy!!!
Variations to the soup can include using the black, silkie chicken instead. They are definitely smaller, so hopefully will fit – but in general, this soup is made with both chicken and pork. You can also change up some of the herbs to include maybe the large dried dates, Astragalus Root, wolfberries, or Codonopsis Pilosula Root.
Double-boiled Korean Ginseng and Chicken Soup
Recipe Type: Soup
Serves: 6 bowls
3 fresh [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/chicken-whole/”]chicken drumsticks[/url], skinned and chopped into 3 parts
2 fresh pieces of [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/korean-ginseng/”]Korean ginseng[/url]
1/2 pound of [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/pork-shank/”]fresh pork shank[/url], cubed
10 [url href=”http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/red-dates/”]dried red dates[/url]
Soup Name: Black Silkie Chicken with Vegetables and Chestnuts
Traditional Chinese Name: 黑雞蘿蔔玉米栗子湯 (hēi jī luó bo yù mǐ lì zǐ tāng)
Black silkie chickens aren’t the most appealing animals to look at, but it can really pack a delicious punch to soups. I usually boil the chicken with the skin on and will eat the chicken as part of the soup. The meat is silky, tender and delicious. You can treat this like normal chicken, adding the same ingredients as other chicken soups. The black silkie chicken isn’t always available and costs slightly more (about 30-50% more) than your average chicken (of the same size). Black silkie chickens tend to be smaller in size as well. The soup I made here is my simple vegetable soup (with any type of meat). Corn and carrots are naturally sweet already and because I love the soft, melted texture of the boiled onion, I throw that in as well (and the kids don’t really taste it).
Traditional Chinese Name: 鮑魚清雞湯 (bào yú qīng jī tāng)
This soup is a powered up version of the Chicken Herbal Soup. Packed with the natural sea-sweetness of the abalones and herbs, it’s a great soup for the cold winter months or confinement. You can eat the abalone as whole pieces (usually the smaller ones are cheaper, but it’s still an expensive soup), or sliced thinly and dipped in soy sauce. Regardless, don’t waste the abalone! In addition, I know it says Chicken soup, but the Chinese commonly also add a small pork shank or pork bone to their otherwise known as Chicken and even Fish soups. You can’t get away from the staple pork.