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Chinese Apple Herbal Soup

Do you have a favorite soup to order in a Chinese restaurant? For the longest time, my parents always get Apple Soup (蘋果湯) whenever we go to one. The restaurant version almost always have fried fish with it instead of chicken, but I never really like the fish, so I use chicken when I make the soup at home. For that matter, I am not even sure what fish they use LOL :D

Chinese Apple Herbal Soup Ingredients
Chinese Apple Herbal Soup Ingredients

Since this soup is not as common as Chinese chicken herbal soup or Chinese six herbs soup, I never find pre-packaged soup packets for this. I hope the ingredients photo gives a good idea on what each ingredient look like in case you are interested to hunt them down on your next visit to Asian grocers or Chinatown :)

Chinese Apple Herbal Soup
Chinese Apple Herbal Soup

Chinese Apple Herbal Soup

4.8 from 9 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours 15 mins

Serves: 8

Print Recipe


  • 2 liter (8 cups) water
  • 1 small chicken (Indonesian: ayam kampung), skinless is better, cut into 4-8 pieces
  • 15 gram solomon seal rhizome (Chinese: yu zhu)
  • 10 gram Chinese yam (Chinese: huai shan)
  • 10 gram dried longan (Chinese: gui yuan)
  • 10 gram American ginseng
  • 4 red dates/jujube (Chinese: hong zao)
  • 5 figs (*)
  • 2 Fuji apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
  • 5 gram goji berries/wolfberries (Chinese: gou gi zi)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste


  1. Place water, chicken, solomon seal rhizome, Chinese yam, dried longan, American ginseng, red dates, and figs in a pot. Cover, bring to a boil, lower heat, then simmer for 1 hour.
  2. Add apples, and simmer for another 45 minutes.
  3. Add goji berries, and simmer for another 15 minutes.
  4. Add salt, adjust to suit your taste.
  5. Turn off the heat, transfer to serving bowls, and serve hot or warm.


  • (*) The Chinese usually use the dried version for making soup, but you can use fresh figs as well.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen


  • the lousy cook wife the lousy cook wife says:

    Hi Anita, this recipe looks delicious. Where can I find these chinese herbs / ingredients in Jakarta? Thanks!

    • Anita Anita says:

      Usually wet markets in North and West Jakarta should have at least one shop specializing in Chinese herbs. Try the ones in Muara Karang, Pantai Indah Kapuk, or Taman Duta Mas. For the most complete selection, I have heard that Kota area is the best, though I never ever went there myself to confirm it ;) If wet market is not your thing, I have found that the one shop in Pluit Village Mall in the little glodok section carries quite a complete selection of Chinese herbs. Cheers!

  • Janice Janice says:

    We cooked it for our family moon festival gathering and it was really sweet and delicious. Thanks heaps. Not being able to read chinese well I don't think I could have done it if I hadn't found you. I love herbal soups.

    • Anita Anita says:

      I am happy your family love it Janice :)

  • Shama Shama says:

    Hi, I want to know what benefits you get from this soup.

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Shama, I'll try to list the benefit of each ingredients. But, please realize that I am not a herbalist, so this is what I learn from Mom and what people usually claim. Please don't hold me on my words ;)

      1. Jujube is good for sore throat, and we sometimes make tea with it. Supposedly it is also rich in antioxidant and good to maintain normal blood pressure.
      2. Goji berry is rich in vitamins and nutrients, and lately is gaining quite a traction in the western world as one of magic food. Supposedly good for eyes, but I still end up with a poor eye sight though being fed with many different soups with these since very small LOL.
      3. Solomon seal is supposed to be good for dry lungs (i.e. asthma) and in general good when your body accumulates too much heat (okay this one probably is weird for non Chinese, we believe that food has heat and cool properties, like yin and yang, and we constantly strive to create balance in our food).
      4. Ginseng is good to reduce fatigue and increase body immune system. Also commonly used to make tea to cure sore throat and coughing related to sore throat.
      5. Chinese yam is believed to help with diarrhea and stomach pain.
      6. Longan is supposed to be good for heart and also promotes smooth skin. Of course, the fruit will sweeten the soup without adding sugar.
      7. Fig has high fibre, high protein, and high carbohydrate content. But we mainly use these to sweeten the soup.

      I hope I don't miss out on any major ingredients. So... I guess in general, they are supposed to be good to maintain health and balance of body while increasing body immune system.

      • Loretta Wollering Loretta Wollering says:

        Yes, the herbal benefits are also my greatest interest! And yes, I am familiar with some Chinese Traditional Medicine principles. Luckily, more of the world is learning about this system of healthcare. It will enrich everyone's lives. I would say, I bet this soup is great for autumn. Goji is also good for blood and kidney yin, I have been told. I would love to learn about a good soup combination that is good for kidney yin and liver yin. I made a strong herbal "wine of life" from purchasing an herbal mixture. It tastes terrible, but is starting to show benefits. The herbal soups are my favorite because they taste so nice and are soothing. Please post more and also put on Pinterest if you can! Thank you for sharing!


    First time i heard an Apple put into herbal soup. How is the taste?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Franklin, it is still a savory soup but with hint of sweetness from apple, longan, and fig. If you can find all the ingredients, do give this soup a try.

  • Helen Tham Helen Tham says:

    Hi, Anita. I m a Cantonese Malaysian. I love herbal soup but I have never heard of this soup using Apple b4. Can u pls tell me what it is good for? Tq.

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Helen, to be honest I only have vague idea about what the individual Chinese herbal ingredient is good for. For example: (1) Jujube is good for sore throat, rich in antioxidant, and good to maintain normal blood pressure; (2) Goji berry is rich in vitamins and nutrients, and supposedly good for eyes. So... I guess in general, all the different herbal ingredients are supposed to be good to maintain health and balance of body while increasing body immune system.

  • Sophie Goel Sophie Goel says:

    This soup looks so unique!! Maybe some day I'll be able to find all these ingredients!!

  • Catherine Catherine says:

    I've never heard of this before but I'm so intrigued and would love to make this. What a comforting recipe for the winter...this is simply beautiful.

  • Suzanne Suzanne says:

    This is such a classic and warming soup. Thanks for the recipe! It'll definitely be on rotation as the weather gets colder.

  • Jessica Jessica says:

    What a unique combination! I love learning about recipes from around the world. It's fun to explore beyond my normal culinary zone.

  • veena Azmanov veena Azmanov says:

    Have never heard some of the ingredients ever. But Herbal sounds definitely healthy. Soup is one of my favorite dinner options.

  • Tana Chan Tana Chan says:

    Delicious soup. Thank you.

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