Soup Name: Coconut, Chinese Yam and Fresh Conch in Chicken Broth
Traditional Chinese Name: 椰子螺雞湯 (yē zi luó jī tāng)
This soup (because of the fresh conch) cost me a whopping $500 HKD. For starters, it’s a really delicious soup and it’s naturally sweet, but you can pretty much achieve similar results with probably cheaper ingredients. The vendor has suggested NOT to use the coconut water because that is pretty fattening, but other than that, it’s truly a perfect winter soup.
What ingredients are required?
1 fresh chicken, quartered 2 large fresh conch 1 fresh whole coconut, sliced into thin pieces 2 feet of fresh Chinese Yam, largely sliced 2 L of water
How do I prepare it?
Prepare chicken & conch (read each ingredient on instructions on preparation)
In a pot of boiling water, blanch chicken and conch
Prepare Chinese Yam by washing, peeling and cutting into large edible cubes (wear gloves while doing this)
Prepare fresh coconut by cutting it with the inner brown skin into long thin pieces
When your water boils, add all the ingredients in and boil on high for 30 minutes. Reduce to a medium boil for another hour.
Serve and enjoy!
This is a great winter soup as it is warming to the body (but not overly heaty)
Naturally sweet, so no salt is needed
This Chinese soup is rich in proteins and fiber
The coconut isn’t the easiest thing to cut into thin strips, so if it’s too difficult, use larger chunks
Be sure to thoroughly clean the conch (ie: with either salt, cornstarch or a toothbrush)
The coconut meat is high in saturated fat and is high in cholesterol, so consume with caution
Use an oil scooper to remove the fattiness of the chicken meat in the soup
Coconuts are actually the seeds of the coconut palm
The coconuts found in supermarkets have a thick brown skin because they have matured and ripened
These are not to be confused with the young, immature coconuts found in south asia that can be drank and eaten fresh and raw (those are pretty good-tasting)
The sizes on average are around one hand-span or less in width and can fit in the palm of your hand
How do I prepare it?
In most cases of coconut and soup preparation, you will need to break it open
There are usually 3 soft spots at the top of the coconut (where the coconut is attached to the tree) – use a screwdriver to poke holes into the coconut and drain the coconut water out. Keep the water if you want to add it to your soup (although mature coconut water is slightly bitter)
Then use a hammer and screwdriver to break it open
Once the coconut has been opened, you can use a butter knife to separate the thick brown skin from the coconut meat
Where can I buy this?
In most supermarkets in North America, you can buy whole coconuts that are individually wrapped
In Hong Kong, you can buy a variety of coconuts from wet marts. The stall vendors can peel and open the coconuts for you upon request.
What is the cost?
Coconuts are quite affordable coming in at around $1.50 CAD / coconut in most supermarkets
The coconut meat itself is very rich in protein and fibrous enough to help constipation
Coconut water is good for the kidneys and help reduce urinary bladder problems
Coconuts are high in potassium, zinc, iron and phosporus
Coconuts are high in saturated fats and can potentially increase cholesterol levels if eaten too often
Our family is a big fan of the coconut. Although we don’t make the soup too often, when traveling to south east asia, you can expect me to down a fresh young coconut at every meal. Even in Hong Kong, you can purchase little coconuts from supermarkets and using a knife, poke a hole to insert a straw and drink it. It makes a great refresher in the summer and sure beats drinking lemon tea or a coke any day.