Learn how to cook this very simple Chinese dessert soup with bird nest and ginseng, both are some of the most treasured and expensive Chinese ingredients.
Bird nest is one of the most expensive ingredients in the world, so I don’t usually go out of my way to buy some. But I was gifted a small packet of this from my brother, hehe, so I am going to show you a really simple recipe to serve this delicacy. This bird nest soup with ginseng is the recipe that my mother always use and this is our de facto family recipe to prepare bird nest. Chinese cook bird nest soup mainly to enjoy its texture. By itself, it practically has no taste, so one or two slices of ginseng will really infuse this soup with the amazing flavor.
To cook this soup, we usually use a double boiling ceramic jar, which is not easy to find in the States. If you don’t have one, you can still make this soup by first placing all the ingredients in ceramic bowl and cover it tightly with aluminum foil, then find a pot in which the bowl can easily fit into. Place a small metal steamer rack at the bottom of the pot, then place the covered bowl on top of the rack, fill the pot with enough hot water to partially submerge the bowl (think oven set-up for bain marie, and this is the same, just stove top). Now you just need to cover the pot and simmer for however long is required by the recipe :)
Bird Nest Soup with Ginseng
- 7 gram dried bird nest
- 1-2 slices of ginseng
- 1-2 tablespoon of rock sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- Soak bird nest in cold water overnight.
- Use a double mesh or fine strainer to strain the soaked bird nest, and remove any impurity that you can see. You may need to tear the bird nest into smaller strips if they clump together.
- If you own a Chinese double boiling jar, place bird nest along with the rest of the ingredients into the ceramic bowl. Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Serve hot.
- If you don't own a Chinese double boiling jar, place all ingredients in a ceramic bowl and cover it with aluminum foil. Place a metal rack/steamer rack inside a pot, place the covered ceramic bowl on top of the rack. Pour enough hot water to partially submerge the bowl. Cover the lid, and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Serve hot.