Tuesday, September 20, 2016

If the Stranger can cook: The Legendary Foochow Chicken Soup

If you had a choice to choose your last meal, what would it be?

For me, the choice is clear. I would yearn for something that brings me back to the scents and sizzles at my grandparents' backyard, and the slurps during the birthdays of every single member of my family - our legendary foochow chicken soup.

Recently, I have had multiple requests to share my recipe for this soup, so here you go!


Ingredients (serves 3-4):

  • 1 kampung chicken (1.2-1.5KG) chopped to KFC-size pieces, lightly blanched in boiling water
  • approx. 50ml of red rice wine or shaoxing wine
  • a thumb of ginger, sliced 
  • splash of sesame oil
  • 2-3 medium sized dried scallop, soaked overnight (optional)
  • 6-8 dried mushrooms, soaked overnight
  • 4-6 large red dates, soaked overnight (optional)
  • small handful of gojiberries
  • approx. 1.2-1.5litres of water
  • a whole lotta love

Cooking Procedure:

Fry the ginger in sesame oil till fragrant

Stirfry chicken in the aromatic ginger-sesame oil concoction till slightly brown, and when the pot is searing hot, pour in the wine and let the alcohol evaporate

At this stage, add the rest of your ingredients. the scallop, innards, dates, gojiberries and mushrooms

Add just enough water to cover the ingredients (add more if you have more mouths at home), bring to rolling boil, remove scum from surface, then turn down to a slow simmer for at least an hour or until the soup becomes a gleaming golden colour before finally adding salt to taste

So that's it, as easy as ABC.

Then again, I have to say, please use a good chicken, if you only have a soggy battery-farmed chicken in your freezer then you might want to forget about this dish until you can get your hands on a better bird.

Also, if you are into herbs, feel free to add in herbs like cordyceps, ginseng, tang gui, huaishan etc., but it's really not necessary.

I will leave you with a short video of me making this dish for myself during my own birthday earlier this month. Have a go at it and let me know what you think!

And here's one glowing review from a fellow hands-on cooking Daddy who has tried this recipe. Glad you enjoyed it Liren!

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