Chicken soup in coconut

“Fantastic 4” Chicken Soup in Coconut


Chicken soup in coconut

“When true essence of chicken herbal tonic soup meets the fragrance of coconut”

I really cannot believe my own taste bud! It’s the real tasty chicken herbal soup I have ever cooked!

Simple, easy, and quick making chicken soup yields the real fragrance and natural sweetness from the coconut flesh, unexpectedly!

I went to the market in the morning. Saw an old folk selling desiccated coconut, freshly shred and dry from whole old coconut, one by one, on the spot. The idea of cooking chicken herbal soup in the coconut flashed onto my mind!

I asked for a whole coconut, chopped it opened from the top to make a lid. Drain the coconut, I took it home without the coconut water. It costs S$1.50 each.

The herbs in this chicken soup are very common which you probably find them anywhere, at the neighbourhood Chinese herb shop or supermarkets. Only 4 types of herbal ingredients were used here, so I named it as “Fantastic 4” (winking smile)!

Not too many kinds of herb, so that you can taste the true fragrance of coconut immerges into the chicken soup here! Yummy..

Yes, it counts only 140kcal per portion. You did not drink the coconut juice, but just the essence and minerals extracted from it through simmering. Healthy choice!

1 coconut shell with its flesh intact, drained
2 – 3 stripes of Radix Codonopsis Pilosulae ( Dangshen – 党参)
6 – 8 slices of Solomon’s Seal Rhizome (Yu Zhu – 玉竹)
2 – 3 stripes of dried Dioscoreae Oppositae aka Chinese wild yam (Huai Shan – 淮山)
1 tablespoon of Lycium barbarum aka Wolfberry (Goji – 枸杞)
1 small chicken drumstick or 2 chunk of chicken breast meat (skinless)
1 bowl of water
Pinch of salt

1) Put chicken meat into coconut shell (without the coconut water).

2) Top all Chinese herbs. Fill up water.

3) Heat double boiler or large pot which filled with water (if you do not have a double boiler) on stove over high fire. When boiled, put in the whole coconut which places on a regular bowl (since coconut shell cannot stand alone wihtout flat base, hold it on a regular ceramic or metal bowl to act as its stand, if you do not have any proper stand to secure it).

4) Reduce heat to medium-low fire, simmer for 2 – 3 hours. Sprinkle salt to taste. Serve hot.

I couldn’t find any bigger coconut that day. This coconut I’ve gotten was rather small. So, the soup portion is good for only 1 serving, in fact. I have already tried my best to maximise the available space, by staking the ingredients nicely and orderly. Yet, 3 of us got to taste only a few spoonful of such delicious tonic soup (sobbing). The coconut is just not big enough! Ok, ok, get a very large boiler, boil 2 coconuts at the same time, and share among 3 person. It should be just nice for all, then (smile).


Tips: If you are not using a double boiler, steam it with large deep pot, just like how you steam fish, yields the same effect. Remember to place the steam rack in the pot, before placing the bowl (coconut on it).
* Remove chicken skin for healthier soup.
* If your pot or boiler is deep enough, try stacking 2 coconuts vertically (the lower coconut goes without the lid), for more servings.

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8 Responses

  1. My partner’s dad taught me a similar soup to yours except the ingredients involved: coconut, chicken, wolfberries and dried scallop.

  2. Hi there,

    I think it is also a good idea to use dried scallop as the soup will be even sweeter in that case.

    I shall try your friend’s version in due.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. When I read the topic, I was like ‘what ? soup with 4 chicken in a coconut ? how ?’ Silly me, lol. I always want to make this kind of soup to mom, just not able to get fresh coconut in market here in HK, need to get from Thai/Indonesian groceries. I showed mom your recipe and promised to make for her very soon.

  4. Hi Chupman,

    haha… You are right. Now that I read it your way, it really sound like Fanstastic, 4 chickens, soup.. wahahha…

    Oh, I just came back from Hong Kong!!! I so envy that you stay in HK!! Such a gourmet paradise there! I miss the food there already!!

  5. Hi PatriCa,
    just had chicken soup in a coconut in a restaurant in China yesterday, and it was the most amazing experience – there were no herbs in there, just chicken and water. One coconut per person; steamed for 3-4 hours, they told us. Will try it out. Thanks for posting the recipe!

  6. I thought there was a comment sent to me from Ms Emma Wong some time last week, but I wasn’t in time to log on to reply due to my usual busy schedule, the comment seems gone.

    Anyway, if Ms Wong was still looking for answer to your questions posted, here’s my reply, and hope it helps. :)

    I did not encounter any coconut oil emerge out from the steaming. It could be due to the coconut itself. Choose read hard husk and check if the inner coconut flesh is not stale. Yes, use medium low fire is better. Perhaps it was the high flame that ‘force out’ the oil from the flesh. If you are worried that the meat in the soup will not be cooked with low heat, don’t be. Otherwise, cut the chicken into smaller pieces instead.

  7. Is there a reason why didn’t you use the coconut water for the soup? I want to try this recipe but I wondered if the original coconut water could be used.

    1. Hi Willow,

      I personally find the taste of the coconut water somehow interferes the desired taste of the soup I would like it to achieve. Hence, I did not use the coconut water. However, you may use it, if you are not particular about the slight difference in taste.

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