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Snow Fungus and Ginseng Chicken Soup

Delicious and healthy Chinese chicken soup with snow fungus, ginseng, red dates, lotus seeds, and bean curd sticks.

Snow fungus (Chinese: 白木耳) is commonly used in Chinese dishes and prized for its gelatinous texture once cooked. This fungus is rich in antioxidant and supposed to help skin to stay youthful, so you can imagine this is a popular ingredient for the ladies. :) Whether the last part is proven or not, I do love the texture of the cooked fungus, especially in soup, be it savory like this recipe, or in sweet version such as longan and snow fungus sweet soup.

Ingredients for Snow Fungus and Ginseng Chicken Soup
Ingredients for Snow Fungus and Ginseng Chicken Soup

Chinese dried ingredients for the soup

To prepare this chicken soup, you will need the following dried ingredients from your nearby Chinese market, or better yet, a store in Chinatown:

You will need to separately rehydrate all these ingredients in cold water, except ginseng. I usually do this right before I go to bed, and they will fully rehydrate the next day when I prepare the soup.

Snow Fungus and Ginseng Chicken Soup
Snow Fungus and Ginseng Chicken Soup

Free-range chicken or black silky chicken

When I prepare Chinese herbal soup such as this, I prefer using one whole young free-range chicken. We call this kind of chicken ayam kampung in Indonesia. If you want even more luxurious chicken soup, you can try using black silky chicken. If your grocery doesn’t stock free-range chicken, you can use skin-on bone-in chicken pieces too, in which case, I suggest using about 4 regular chicken drumsticks to make the soup.

Snow Fungus and Ginseng Chicken Soup
Snow Fungus and Ginseng Chicken Soup

Snow Fungus and Ginseng Chicken Soup

5.0 from 6 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins

Serves: 4

Print Recipe



  1. Place all ingredients in a pot and add enough water to just cover all the ingredients.
  2. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. Remove from heat and serve warm.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen


  • Noelle Simpson Noelle Simpson says:

    I love red dates, I have never tried a recipe like this one before! The ingredients really complement each other, great find.

    • Anita Anita says:

      I love red dates as well. :) I'm happy you love this recipe.

  • Julie Wallace Julie Wallace says:

    How beautiful and intriguing! I have Chinese friends that once served us a soup similar to this - it definitely contained the fungus. We loved it, so flavorful!

    • Anita Anita says:

      The snow fungus itself is quite bland, but we love the texture. The great thing is since it's bland, snow fungus can accept all kind of flavors readily, a bit like tofu in a sense. :)

  • Jill Jill says:

    We have a large international grocery near us. I'll have to go exploring in their Chinese section and see if I can find all these unfamiliar ingredients!

    • Anita Anita says:

      Lucky you Jill. I am currently living in a small city with a small Asian market, but luckily the store still has most of what I need. I can't wait for my next move to a larger city with a bigger selection of international groceries. :)

  • Pam Pam says:

    I'm not very well versed in cooking any type of Asian foods, so I appreciate your tips on choosing the ingredients. Looks great.

    • Anita Anita says:

      You are welcome, Pam. If you can find a brick and mortar store that sells them, it can be better, so you can inspect the quality first hand. Often times, showing the store staff a photo of what you need can work wonders. :)

  • Tawnie Kroll Tawnie Kroll says:

    I've never made anything with red dates, thank you for the recipe!

    • Anita Anita says:

      Tawnie, if you are a newbie with red dates, you may want to do the simplest thing first. I suggest making red dates tea by simmering 1 cup of red dates, 1-inch ginger, and 6 cups water for about 2 hours. Then you can drink the tea with/without sweetener. :)

  • Sau-lay Sau-lay says:

    So happy I can find Chinese soup recipes in English for us second/3rd generations!

    • Anita Anita says:

      Happy to help. :)

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