Sunday 7 May 2006

Chicken, Huai Shan & Cordyceps Soup

Sometime ago I went to this Chinese Restaurant in Marina called "店小二" and they had this "鳄鱼冬虫草药膳" which cost around S$10 for a small pot that serves 2. I remember one of the main ingredients which was claimed to be Dong Chong Xia Cao(冬虫夏草) is this Dried Cordyceps that I fond in one of the Chinese Medical Hall near my area. Although it looks different from the actual Dong Chong Xia Cao(冬虫夏草) that we used to know. But according to the shop assistant, this is the Stem part of the herbs which can be used with other ingredients to boil soup. It is so much cheaper then the original herbs which I bought for my dear son, the actual Dong Chong Xia Cao(冬虫夏草) cost about $20 for 3 pieces while a packet of this Dried Cordyceps cost only $2 and can be used for about 2 - 3 times. I also saw this herbs used widely in most of the vegetarian cookbooks. So next time when you go to the Chinese Medical Hall, maybe you can look around for this herbs which taste good for boiling chicken soup.

Although this cheap type of Dried Cordyceps can't compare much to those actual Dong Chong Xia Cao(冬虫夏草), but they do sever some of the purpose like the actual type. Cordyceps has many medicinal uses: it replenishes energy, alleviates cough, expels phlegm, relieves lower back pain and aching joints. It is truly a healthy supplement for all ages. No wonder it has always been highly valued by herbalists.

Huai Shan, Shanyao or Chinese Burdock, a totally different root known as Dioscoreae. When dried, it takes on a white chalky appearance, and is most often used in Chinese Herbal tonic soups.

1 Chinese Burdock Root(Huai Shan, 淮山)
1 Tablespoon Wolfberries(枸杞子)
6 Red Dates (红枣)
2 Chicken Drumsticks/2 Chicken Breast
1 Small Carrot
1 Small Handful Of Dried Cordyceps Stems,干冬虫草(about 10-15 pieces)

1. Peel the Chinese Burdock root and cut into thick section.
2. Peel and slice carrots into small section.
3. Blanch the chicken quickly in hot water to remove surface fat, rinse and set a side.
4. Rinse the Woldberries, Red Date and Cordyceps with water and set aside.
5. Place all the ingredients in a pot with about 1.5 litres of water and bring to boil.
6. Simmer on medium heat for about 15 minutes then transfer to a slow-cooker and simmer on High Heat 1 hour and switch to Low Heat for another 2-3 hours.
7. Ladle soup into a big bowl and serve hot with some salt if u prefer.

Notes: You will find that peeling the Huai Shan is a slippery business but once the skin is off, the root secretes a healing enzyme and it is this which makes this root so good for health. Posted by Picasa


  1. Your soup look deliciousssss!
    I must give it a try.
    One observation is that, I heard
    that tonic soup should not include
    carrots or radish. Maybe you would
    like to check that out.

  2. Hi Melissa,

    Thanks for dropping by my blog. Yup.. i knew u can't eat carrot or bean while drinking tonic soup like ginseng...but for this soup, i actually used the dried cordyceps stems so it's actually not a tonic soup.. just a healthy daily soup... :)

  3. angelinepay@yahoo.com31/12/10 7:16 pm

    Will the soup taste bitter as cordyceps are use?

  4. I'm making this soap for tonight dinner and now is it has been in the slow cooker for slightly more than an hour, as I'm writing this. I tried and it was good! Added some salt and I'm sure my family will like it. Tks Ellena. I got to know your website thru a colleague.

    Rina Tan


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