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Pick-me-up: An easier way to make herbal chicken soup

Published on May 30, 2014 12:03 PM

Despite the universal appeal of herbal chicken soup, many would agree that the dish, which is usually steamed with about 10 different herbs, is perhaps a tad too troublesome to attempt at home.

To prepare this traditional Chinese dish from scratch, one may have to boil the chicken for more than one hour, to allow the herbal flavours to thoroughly infuse the meat.

Here, Mr Yong Bing Ngen, the owner-chef of Majestic Bay Seafood Restaurant, shortens the cooking time by using a pre-made herbal soup, which you can buy in liquid form at supermarkets and traditional Chinese medicine retail outlets.

It should have Chinese angelica as the main ingredient.

Mr Yong, who devised the recipe with help from the Health Promotion Board, had to add only four herbs for a well-rounded taste. These are readily available at medical halls.

"This soup is perfect for days when you are feeling tired," he said.

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Double-boiled herbal chicken soup (Serves four)


Half a chicken (about 900g), skin removed, quartered

4 pieces fragrant solomonseal rhizome

4 pieces codonopsis root

4 pieces Chinese yam

4 pieces dried astragalus root

1 bottle Chinese angelica concentrated herbal soup

Chinese wine, to taste

800ml or three cups of water


Boil the chicken and set it aside.

Wash the herbs. Put them into a bowl or casserole dish, along with the cooked chicken. Add the water, followed by the concentrated herbal soup. Mix well.

Add a dash of Chinese wine and steam the dish for 30 minutes. Serve hot.


Energy: 299 kilocalories

Protein: 47.6g

Total fat: 8.8g

Saturated fat: 2.3g

Cholesterol: 180mg

Carbohydrate: 4.3g

Dietary fibre: 0g

Sodium: 592mg