“Nourishing Chinese Herbal Soup, its extensive health benefits to all ages are beyond your imagination.”

I had a bowl of Cordyceps tonic soup for lunch at one of the coffee shop at Ang Mo Kio area last week as I wanted to take something nourishing and tonical. Did not expect Cordyceps soup to taste so great, its mild fragrance in the palate with a hint of natural sweetness impressed me. So, I jotted down the Chinese herbs found in the soup (luckily, I still recognise each herb used.. :p), and decided to find out more about it, and to make it at home for my family.

[Ingredients Value] Benefits of Cordyceps:
Cordyceps Sinensis, also known as caterpillar fungus. In Chinese, we called it 冬虫夏草 (direct translation as ‘Winter worm Summer grass’), or simple term as 冬虫草, or even just 虫草. I simply love the subtle taste of this clear soup. This great and nutritional soup not only taste good, it has its vast health benefits! The characteristic of cordyceps is neither cooling nor heaty, but mild and nuetral to be taken by all ages. Cordyceps are widely used in Chinese medicine due to its high healing properties believed by many Chinese medical practitioners. Some Chinese even believe that it promotes longevity, if Cordyceps were to be taken on regular basis.

Major health benefits are believed to help in regulating and ensuring the normal functioning of various parts and organs of our body. Cordyceps strengthens our immune system and promotes overall vitality as well as resists bacteria. I heard taking cordyceps may reduce blood pressure, strengthen heart, lung and kidney, and of course, overall body immune system.

I even came across some studies that cordyceps alliviates mental tension. Many of us encounter pressure from work or personal life, and hence, Chinese practitioners believed that taking Cordyceps helps to get rid of pressure-causing illnesses such as anxiety, headache and insomnia.

By looking at its great health benefits, there isn’t any reason for me not to boil this soup for my family and myself regularly. I added ginseng slices to this soup to make it even better taste and higher nutritional value.

This soup is very easy to cook, and its Chinese herbs ingredients can be easily purchased from Chinese herbal shops and major supermarket (Chinese soup or dry goods section). Try it today!

Ingredients
10g – 20g each of the following Chinese herbs:
Cordyceps Sinensis “Dong Chong Xia Cao” (冬虫夏草) *see pic on right
Ginseng slices “Pao Shen” (泡参) *see same pic on right
Codonopsis Pilosulae “Dang shen” (黨參)
Solomon’s Seal Rhizome “Yu Zhu” (玉竹)
Radix Dioscoreae Oppositae aka Chinese Yam Root “Huai Shan” (淮山)
Liquorice Root “Gan Cao” (甘草)
Fructus Lycii aka Wolfberry “Gou Qi Zi” (枸杞子)

1 black chicken (乌鸡), skined and quartered

1 – 2 teaspoon of salt (*add gradually, adjust amount to suit your taste)

1 pot of water, 70% filled (about 2000ml)

Method:
1) Heat pot of water over high flame. Add all Chinese herbs and reduce heat to medium fire. Boil herbs for 15 minutes.

2) Add black chicken meat (you may blanch the chicken meat beforehand). Reduce heat to low fire and simmer for 2 hours. Add salt to taste. Serve hot.

Variation: May add ribs or white chicken (old hen) instead of black chicken.

Tips: If you do not have time to boil during weekdays, use a slow cooker to do the job. Place all ingredients in the croak pot and boil with slow cooker on auto shift mode in the morning before leaving for work. By evening, simply add salt to taste, and this tasty and healthy soup will be ready for dinner.