Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Nourishing Soups: Ginko Nut and Conpoy with Chicken

Chinese love soups and will try to incorporate a soup into every dinner. When i say soup, i mean the clear slow-boiled types, not the ang mo cream of everything (asparagus, mushroom, chicken...) kind >.<

when i boil soups, i use either pork ribs or chicken pieces (usually 1/2 a chicken, skinned and fat removed) and i always run the meat through boiling water before putting it into the pot to boil. i have a "nourishing soup" recipe book with quite a number of easy-to-cook soups that boast of goodness for every organ in the body as well as preserving youth and beauty. only thing is it's in chinese so i have to try to read... if unsure, ask chris. if chris doesn't know, ask mother-in-law LOL but thankfully it's in full colour. each soup comes with a description of benefits too.

here's an easy dinner soup for two:

chicken - half (skinned, fat removed)
ginko nuts - 50g (about 10-12 depending on whether u r tired LOL)
conpoy - 50g (about 6-8 depending on size)
salt to taste
water - 3 to 4 cups depending on whether you want a light soup or more flavourful broth (chris n i prefer a more flavourful broth so i use slightly more than 3)

for ginko nuts, you can get the ready-peeled ones from supermarkets but i prefer the fresh ones still in the shells. so i will "kok" open the shells then slowly peel the layer off the flesh. peeling ginko nuts is quite a pain i must admit. but i don't like the peeled ones because they add preservatives and there's some funny smell... and for conpoy, japanese conpoy is nicer.

so, you rinse conpoy and pour boiling water over them til submerged and let sit for about 20 mins to soften. in the meantime, "kok" open and peel the ginko nuts. run the chicken pieces through boiling water for a while then place the chicken pieces together with ginko nuts and conpoy (drain away the water the conpoy were sitting in) into 3-4 cups of water. bring to boil then simmer for an hour.

you don't need to put a lot of salt because of the conpoy. taste it first. if you find that it tastes ok, then there's no need to add salt so it's healthier.

benefits: nourish the respiratory tract and increase immunity against flu-like diseases. also good for those suffering from insomnia or who are depressed.