Thursday, May 31, 2012

Chicken Herbal Soup 药材鸡汤

Let’s have a bowl of nourishing tonic soup

Chinese herbal soup is good for replenishing certain nutrients needed by our bodies; stimulating appetite and especially good for women either during pregnancy or post delivery. For post delivery, one of the key herbs to be added in is Dang Gui (当归), a common ingredient used during confinement period to speed up after birth recovery.
However, this nourishing tonic soup is not restricted to women only but it is also good as a supplement source of nutrients and energy in addition to boosting the immune system.  The following simple chicken herbal soup Auntie Lan used to prepare for us does not include Dang Gui. The herbs she used were general purposed Chinese chicken herbal soup combination for daily consumption. Apologies again for not giving the exact measurement of the ingredients used, however the portion I estimated she used for following was about: 1:0.5:0.5:0.25:0.25:0.125:0.125

Nowadays you can easily find this pre-packaged dry herbal soup ingredients at any Asian Grocery shop. All you need to do is just to add in water to cook and salt to taste. For working moms, even this may still be too much a hassle. Here’s a way to further make life easier. Read on.
The secret is to have a 24 hour 24 hour timer timer switch device  and a slow cooker (Crock-Pot).  Instead of cooking over stove and watching over the heat, all you need to do is to plug the slow cooker to the timer, add in boiling water to slow cooker, dump in the packaged herbals and chicken (you can wash chicken a night before) and set the timer on to cook it at high heat for 1.5 hours before you leave your house in the morning. With the timer, you can also set to warm the soup again by setting the timer to automatically switch on half an hour before you come back from work.
I bet when you come back from work, as soon as you open the door you will be overwhelmed by the nice strong tonic aroma coming from your kitchen! What you need to do next is to have another 30 minutes for you to cook the rice and you and your family will get to enjoy a healthy chicken herbal soup dinner. Now who said working moms do not have time to prepare healthy and nutritious meals for her family?  J
Chicken Herbal Soup 药材鸡汤
I extracted explanation of the herbs and medical effects from this site Complementary and Alternative Healing University:
Herbs Name/药材
Medical Functions/功效
red dates (Chinese dates or red jujube) 红枣

Treats weakness, shortness of breath, lassitude, lack of appetite, loose stools due to spleen deficient.
qi zi (Wolfberries or goji berries) 枸杞子
Nourishes and tonifies the liver and kidney, helps eyesight, improves blurred vision, alleviates sore back, strengthens the leg and stomach, improves circulation, boosts immune function, promotes longevity.
dang shen (Codonopsis Root) 党参

Corrects blood deficiency, invigorates Qi (lack of appetite, fatigue, thirst, diarrhea, vomiting, polapse of uterus, stomach, rectum due to spleen deficient), improves digestive system.

yu zhu (Rhizoma Polygonati Odorati) 玉竹

Nourishes Yin, promotes the production of body fluids and relieves dryness syndrome.
huai shan (Dioscoreae Oppositae) 淮山

Invigorates Qi, nourishes Yin, controls spermatorrhea and reduces urination.

bǎi hé (Lily Bulb)百合
sweet and cooling in properties. The herb is also associated to the lung and heart meridians and help to relieve coughs, dry throats, clear heat, and moisten the lung. Dried lily bulb is also used as an herb to calm the spirit, promote restful sleep, and lessen irritability.
xing ren(Semen pruni armeniacae)
for arresting coughing and asthma, expelling phlegm, help bowel movements.



Drumsticks (one per person)
Dried red dates (pitted)
qi zi/Gojiberry/ wolfberry
xing ren Semen pruni armeniacae
yu zhu Rhizoma
dang shen Codonopsis Root
huai shan Dioscoreae Oppositae
bǎi hé Lily Bulb
Water (2 bowls per person)
salt to taste

1.      Wash all herbs and drumsticks, remove the skin.
2.      Bring a small pot of water to boil, place in drumsticks and simmer for 5 minutes to get rid of the blood and set aside.
3.      Prepare another large pot of water and bring to boil at high heat.
4.      While boiling, add in all the herbal, cover with lid and continue to heat.
5.      When water is boiling again, add in drumsticks reduce heat to low medium and simmer for one and half hours or until the liquid is reduced to half pot.
6.      Add in salt to your taste.
7.      Serve warm with rice.

1.      To have sweeter soup, add in drumsticks and simmer along with the herbals, else if you prefer to eat juicy drumsticks, you are advised only to add in the drumsticks an hour later so the meat won’t be overcooked.
2.      It is also much easier instead of cooking over stove to use slow cooker (Crock-Pot). Just add in boiling water (less water if use slow cooker) to slow cooker and add in herbals and meat and let it cook at high heat for 1.5 hours and you get to have a nice nourishing tonic soup.



。所有药材洗净, 去皮洗净
。沸腾时,把全部药材一起放入锅内 盖盖子继续熬。


假如你有一个慢炖锅,那非常方便,只需添加开水在慢炖锅,加入药材和肉类,1.5就有滋补汤喝了, 不用看火


  1. ivy sew http://simplybeautifulhealthyliving.blogspot.comAugust 24, 2013 at 1:34 AM

    This is a very nutritious and healthy soup. I love herbal soup, any soup. Am a soup lover, hahaha... cheers and have a nice weekend :)

  2. Thanks...very authentic. Unlike another blog that had garlic in the soup?! Not in my mother's recipe!

  3. Nice post. I have bookmarked you to check your new stuff. Thanks for sharing this useful information. Its really useful for us.

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