How to Prepare Bird's Nest Soup

Posted on June 01, 2015 by Darren Ng | 0 comments

Xin Yan Bird's Nest Soup
A bowl of bird’s nest soup is a prized Chinese delicacy. Bird’s nests are expensive due to the difficulty in harvesting and the many benefits it brings. Bird's nest soup does wonders for the skin, throat and lungs, as well as boosting overall health and well-being.

Lots of Asian celebrities consume this daily to look beautiful! When cooked, the bird’s nest takes on a gelatin texture, making it a lovely tong shui (“sweet soup”; Chinese dessert). The highly recommended way to enjoy bird’s nest soup, is just with water and rock sugar. Check out the recipe below to make that homely bowl of double-boiled bird’s nest soup.

Information:

Serves: 1
Prep Time: 10 mins 
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
1 piece Xin Yan Bird's Nest
1 bowl of water
A handful of rock sugar to taste 
3 pieces red dates (optional)
2 pieces dried longan (optional)
5 pieces wolfberries (optional)
3 pieces American Ginseng Slices (optional)

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Soak bird's nest in a bowl of water overnight (8-10 hours) until expanded and softened.
    Xin Yan Bird's Nest Soak Preparation
  2. Pluck out any feathers or debris using kitchen tweezers. Rinse and drain. To prevent wastage, run soaking water through a fine sieve to catch the small bits of bird's nest.

  3. Add soaked bird's nest, 1 rice bowl of water, and any another optional ingredients in a small bowl and cover with lid. 

    Xin Yan Bird's Nest Preparation

  4. Place small bowl inside a larger pot and make sure the water in the larger pot starts to boil. Once it starts boiling, close the lid for the small bowl and let it boil for 15 minutes. When the bird's nest is cooked to desired texture, stir in rock sugar to taste and cover for about 5 minutes to allow the sugar to dissolve fully. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

    Xin Yan Bird's Nest Cooked Soup

TIPS

Xin Yan Bird's Nest Soup Preparation Tips

  1. Rather than weighing the bird’s nest, go by pieces per person. For one person, use 1 piece of Xin Yan Bird's Nest. This equates to about 8-10 grams per person. We use 1 rice bowl of water per person.
  2. Although red dates are a common addition in bird’s nest soup, we wouldn't recommend using it. According to our own experience, the cheap red dates will act like a sponge which absorb the goodness of the bird’s nest soup (though it’s not so bad if you eat the red dates).
  3. We highly recommend to enjoy bird’s nest in the purest way – just bird’s nest, water and rock sugar. You may also add American ginseng slices. If you find ginseng bitter or intend to consume at night (it improves alertness/提神), omit it.
  4. Don’t fuss over prepping the bird’s nest, because our Bird's Nest usually very clean. Simply soak the bird’s nest pieces in water overnight until fully expanded and softened, but not so long that the bird’s nest disintegrates into small bits. If there are any impurities such as debris and feathers (which is very normal, as it proves that it is 100% authentic bird's nest), pluck them out using a kitchen tweezer, drain, and they are ready for cooking.
  5. Avoid boiling bird's nest for too long. Boiling them for too long will remove the solid chunks in the Bird's Nest soup, and cause it to become very watery. It will also remove all the proteins and good nutrients inside the bird's nest. The older folks especially dislike it when the stewed bird’s nest soup do not have solid chunks after cooking (i.e. very watery). We highly recommend boiling them for 15 minutes max. 
  6. For best results, use the traditional way of double-boiling instead of an electronic double-boiler slow cooker. However, an electronic slow cooker is an alternative, subjected to personal preference.
  7. It is said that bird’s nest soup is best consumed at room temperature, or chilled, on an empty stomach (such as just before bed, or when you wake up in the morning). For maximum absorption, do not eat “heaty” snacks or medication a few hours before and after drinking bird’s nest soup.

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