Chinese Herbal Chicken Soup

I was inspired to make this herbal chicken soup after I saw Noobcook's delicious looking Steamed Chicken with D.O.M Liquor posting. A real comfort food, full of memories. My mum also used to cook me herbal chicken soups when I was younger. Sometimes the soups were black due to some Chinese herbs that she used and I have no idea about, and sometimes the soups were very clear. The black soups tend to be sweeter and the clear soups tend to be more bitter. I myself prefer the more bitter clear soup. My mum told me that chicken herbal soups are very healthy and nutritious: the wolfberries for the eyes, the Angelica roots for the blood circulation, the Solomon's Seal lowers the blood sugar levels, and so on and so on.

Chinese Herbal Soup is actually quite simple to prepare. You just need to boil the chicken with the Chinese herbs under low heat for about an hour and the only type of seasoning that you need to add is simply salt. Some people prefer to steam the chicken with the herbs, but I prefer to boil it and have it as soup. I added some oyster sauce to my herbal soup (I can somehow hear my mum scolding me already....!) - I just can't help it, I am just not a purist in any food preparation and production...! Here is my recipe if you dare to follow it:

  • 2 Chicken thighs
  • 3 cups of water
  • 20 red dates
  • 3 small garlic cloves, crushed
  • 10 dried longan
  • 2 tbs wolfberrries
  • 1 small stack of ginseng
  • 3 slices of ginger
  • 8 angelica roots (I like my soup somehow bitter)
  • 1-2 tbs oyster sauce (VERY optional -if you're a purist)
  • A dash of salt
  • 3 tbs Shao Xing Wine (optional - to be added when the soup is ready to be served)

Red dates, garlic, dried longan, ginger, wolfberries, ginseng and angelica roots.

Serve the soup with a bowl of warm, fluffy rice and garnish with spring onions or chives.

The pictures don't look so fabulous, but at least I liked the soup - even my husband did too. It's very aromatic and hopefully nourishing too.

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  1. Besides making into herbal soup, I also steam herbal chicken. These are my favorite. :D

  2. I donk like chicken herbal soup like this , but my mother always says : ini makanan cia poh , musti makan biar sehat ha222

  3. I like herbal chicken soup...this is a nutrients-loaded and delicious meal.

    Angie's Recipes

  4. nice blog. this is my 1st time seeing herbal soup with ginseng and angelica roots. as far as i know if we use ginseng then we don't add in angelica roots.


  5. Glad to stumble upon this. I always adore Chinese tonic soup for its nourishing and comforting qualities. I brothed another Chinese herbal black chicken soup today and it seems that my physical well-being is boosted. :-)

  6. you're awesome! cooking these old school slow cooking chinese soups is a lost tradition now a days... it great to find someone who also enjoys these soups...

    i love making these herby soups...this is truly comfort food.