Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Chicken Abalone Soup with Fish Maw

I think the Chinese invented the art of drinking soup :) that's just because I am Chinese and loves drinking soup. The best thing about Chinese soup is that it is so simple, all you need to do is to throw the ingredients into the pot filled with water and slow boil for a few hours. Voila! You have a soup ready.

Truthfully, I am not a fan of expensive Chinese soup, eg Buddha Jump Over The Wall etc. When I was younger, I used to hate Sharkfins soup served at wedding dinners. My mom would be glaring at me for refusing to drink the most expensive item on the menu! I am also not a fan of abalone. I will only eat, if it is shoved to my face, on my plate. But, I have learned to stop refusing these expensive items to escape from being called "stupid" by my Chinese relatives and friends!

So, what prompted me to boil the expensive soup above? Simple..all the ingredients were available at my mom's house and I thought I will boil this expensive soup for my mom, dad and grandma.

Simple ingredients :

1. Abalone - In Chinese, abalone are commonly known as "bao yu". Similar to shark fin soup or birds nest soup, it is considered a symbol of wealth and prestige, and is traditionally reserved for special occasions such as weddings and other celebrations. However, the availability of commercially farmed abalone has allowed more common consumption of this once rare delicacy. Thus, it is easily available in cans but mind you if can cost USD20-30 per can.

2. Fish Maw - Fish maw is actually the air bladder of large fish, the function of which is to regulate water and oxygen flow so that the fish can ascend or descend in the water. The price of fish maw is far from cheap and it's one of the luxury ingredients in Chinese cuisine. Like a lot of ingredients in Chinese culinary traditions, the fish maw is also regarded as a nourishing tonic that helps blood circulation and beneficial to the general health.

3. 1/2 of a Village Chicken ("Kampung Chicken") - These are considered chickens that roam about freely in kampongs (villages) – that is, the Malaysia equivalent of free-range, more or less organic, chicken –as opposed to those kept in cages in factory farms. This is of course considered a healthier but more expensive option to normal chicken.

5. Dried Scallop or Conpoy - 5-6 pcs (soaked in water)

6. Button Mushroom - 1 can

Simple Steps :

1. 20 bowls of water in a pot, put the scallops and chicken into boiling water. Once the water start boiling again for 10 minutes, turn down the fire to simmer for 1 hour.

2. Best tip to prepare the abalone. Now, to ensure a great texture of the abalone, put the whole can of abalone in hot simmering water to 2 hours before removing and cutting to slices.
3. Soak the fish maw in water to remove any odor.

4. Put in the button mushrooms into the soup.

5. Add the fish maw and slices of abalone into soup in the last 15 minutes of boiling before serving.

What do you think? Anyone for Chinese soup?


Elinluv said...

A rich and yummilicious soup. I noticed your soup doesn't have much oil on it. Good cooking! Coz it makes me salivating already ;p
I know where to get good soup recipe from now on ^ *
Thanks for sharing the recipe.

mysimplefood said...

Hi Elinluv - Thanks. Yeah the oil usually comes from the Chicken cos chicken skin is just so so oily. So you must remove the skin of the chicken completely.


Food For Tots said...

My mind is blocked now looking at your soup. Need one bowl to clear the blockage. Dun mind to share?

mysimplefood said...

Hi Food for tots...hehehe...don't know whether it will clear your mind's blockage but it will sure be satisfying to the tummy.

Nifty Noshing - The Delights of Ethnic Cooking And Dining said...

Hey, I love this soup, thanks for sharing the recipe!

mysimplefood said...

Hi Nifty Noshing - You are welcome! Hope yours turn out well!

yue9898 said...

Do you kbow the cooking time for a fresh abalone? Most of my reading is from can abalone. Should I slide up the fresh ab before cooking for
1)cook faster
2)wouldn't get tough


yue9898 said...

Do you know the cooking time for a fresh abalone? I read most are from canned abalone. Should I cut up the abalone before cooking for
1) cook faster
2) avoid toughness


Chaeles Bagli said...

mann i love bird's nest soup too even IF its made from spit!!! <333

i eat it like once every monthish and used to bought from website sometimes, my mom went back to hong kong and bought a full suitcase of it cause its cheaper there XD

mysimplefood said...

Chaeles - Yup, "expensive" delicacies are fresh and relatively "cheaper in HK!

Jane Kaylor said...

Thanks for the recipe!!! Love it. Fresh or frozen local abalone is cheaper but will never give the same taste, flavor and texture as canned abalone ( I love the flavor and taste of canned abalone and one day I want to eat abalone like 'abalone kings' do: braised in sauce and served whole, like a steak, washed down with a good white wine. Cut with a knife and fork of course. Meantime, it's still cheaper to slice abalone thinly and share with the family. I love this dish. It's such a special treat

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