Friday, March 20, 2009

Chicken Soup with Chinese Yam & Almond 淮山南杏顿鸡汤

Late last month, we went to Lao Beijing to have lunch. Err... We don't really like the food there. The kids hated it. :P For the price we are paying ... I don't think we will be back there again. It's just not to our liking. But the soup my hubby ordered for me was not too bad. That was the only consolation.

I came back home and try to replicate it with what I saw and tasted. Hey, I didn't do too bad. Mine version doesn't taste exactly like the original but it's close enough. ;) At least, everyone is please with it and it had since took over this soup as the family's favourite.

Before I share the recipe, I just want to put a note that the original soup came with a few pieces of *gulp* shark's fin. I know there are a lot of people who are against eating it. And yes, I know what they did to the sharks after removing their fins. :(

To tell the truth, I had added some shark's fin here in this soup. :P We happened to have a box of dried shark's fin which was part of a gift basket given to us during Chinese New Year. It's a one time thing. I didn't go buy shark's fin to add into my soup subsequently. So please to flame me, okay? ;P

Seriously, adding shark's fins doesn't help make the soup taste any extra nicer. It's used so it would be priced higher. If you want to make the soup looks expensive and classier, vegetarian shark's fin can do the job just as good. ;)

  • 1 Whole Chicken
  • 300 lean Pork
  • 25g Huai Shan 淮山 (Radix Dioscoreae Oppositae) aka Chinese Yam
  • 20g Chinese Almond 南杏
  • 6 Hong Zao 红枣 (Red Dates)
  • 1.8 litre Water
  • Salt to taste

How to do it:
  • Blanch chicken and meat.
  • Add all ingredients, except salt, into a pot.
  • Bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer.
  • Continue cooking for at least 2 hours.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Serve.

  • If you must add shark's fin, real or vegetarian, just steam it for 10 - 15 minutes (shorter for vegetarian) with enough stock to cover it. Add it to the soup before serving.
  • The stock can be returned to the soup to use.
  • You can also add 1/3 tablespoon of Chinese Cooking Wine to the soup if you like.


  1. Interesting soup. Cant a preggie like myself take this?? It look "heaty" to me. with the hot weather lately, i cannot stand taking any heaty stuff.

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  3. I'll take Chinese soup anyway it comes. this one looks really nice and tasty. ;D

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  5. Hi Rose,
    This is actually a cooling soup but not as cooling as say chrysanthemum tea. So yes, pregnant women can drink this.

    Rachel, Thanks. If I do have any money saver tips, I'll share with you. But I don't do it here in this blog cos it's all about food. :)

    Ricardo, Do try it some day. :)

    Camelia, Thank you. I'll take a look.

  6. I've froze some chicken broth, so like to know how the timing would differ if I'm using ready-made chicken broth instead of cooking from scratch?

    Little lamb

  7. I just love your blog! My mom who's no longer with us used to make this soup and the chicken feet with peanut one which is what I'm making tonight :) thanks for sharing!

  8. Little Lamb, You can cut the cooking time by around 40 minutes. The herbs need time to get their flavours out too. If you dont find it troublesome, use double boil method instead so your broth wont go to waste (thru evaporating).

    Karen, Sorry for your lost. I'm sure she would be happy to know that you are making soup for yourself.

  9. I see your recipe has 南杏 but no 北杏, is there a reason why 北杏 is left out? Can I use both 南北杏? MH

  10. MH, 南杏 is the sweet and 北杏 is the bitter one. You can use both together if you like. I prefer to use only 南杏 here.