Thursday, July 10, 2008

Watercress Chicken Soup

The Chinese have a very interesting way of cooking their soup ~ double simmering soup (toun tang) . Soup is placed in a small claypot or porcelain pot, and this pot is then placed in a bigger pot of boiling of water. Double simmering means simmering a smaller pot in a bigger pot of water. The surrounding simmering hot water will cook the content in the the smaller pot.

And it is supposed to be very nutrious as all the essence of the ingredients will be slowly squeezed out from the slow simmering in a claypot. The smaller soup pot will not directly touch the heat source and there is no big movement in the ingredients during cooking unlike direct boiling. The results are usually very clear, thick and 'sweet' tasting soups, which does not need any msg or even salt.

One of our favourite is Xi Yang Chai Toun Chi Tang (Watercress Chicken Soup). Normally, this soup is done with pork ribs. In the chinese tradition, xi yang chai (watercress) helps to reduce body heat while the chicken gives energy and nutrition.

Serve 4
1/2 no of small kampung chicken about 500gm, chopped to smaller pieces
1 bunch of xi yang chai or watercress
8-10 pcs of red dates
1 litre of water

1) Pick the tender part of watercress from the stem and set aside. Tie all the hard stems with a thread.

2) Boil some water. Blanch chicken or pork rib. Bring to a boil to rid the blood and any dirt. Strain off water.

3) Boil the 1 litre of water in a normal pot. Add chicken followed by red dates and the bunch of hard stems of water cress. Bring to boil. Add the tender part of watercress. Turn off fire. This way the soup will not taste raw or stink from the meat.

4) Pour all content into a claypot. Close lid and place claypot in another pot of boiling water. This external pot of water must be boiling as we do not want the soup claypot to have too much temperature variation. Close the lid of the bigger pot. Bring to small fire and let the claypot simmer in a bigger pot for at least 2 hours.


Bento Pet said...

You two are amazing. From London even you can post about watercress soup! LOL!!

Anonymous said...

haha we have nothing to do before we leave for paris. that's why! of course dedicated bloggers ma...

NEE said...

haha we have nothing to do before we leave for paris. that's why! of course dedicated bloggers ma...

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