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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Chinese Herbal Black Chicken Soup Recipe | Easy Asian Cooking

Chinese Herbal Black Chicken Soup (药材乌鸡清补汤)

My devotion for Chinese herbal soup will not simply end with papaya soup with American ginseng and black chicken and double-boiled ginseng roots and chicken soup, instead it marks a beginning of yet another soup chapter. I have been away for a while back to my hometown and obliged with copious amount of Chinese herbs by my mother. Being a discerning mom, she never fails to remind us to replenish our bodies with soul-soothing and nourishing Chinese herbal soup every now and then. Now only you know that my tiredless advocacy for Chinese tonic soup is actually attributable to my mom's inheritance. I have to admit, I’ve been jumping on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) bandwagon with much enthusiasm. For those young generation preferring in green and safe medicine for treatment of chronic conditions, tendency to use herbs in home cooking is becoming more and more prominent. Chinese herbs as a curative food can be complemented by western medicine which is best known solution for acute conditions. This herbal black chicken soup is also widely consumed during confinement at Chinese homes for healing purposes and well-being boosting.

My mom always raves about the goodness of black chicken to me. Sweet in taste, neutral in nature (not being warming or cooling), black chicken tonifies and nourishes the Yin of kidney and liver and bring down fevers that are associated with Yin deficiency (养阴退热、补益肝肾). When I did my rare Sunday morning wet market browsing with my mom few days ago, she unhesitatingly grabbed me a whole black chicken to bring back to Penang. With this, I have no excuse of not boiling herbal chicken soup due to not able to snap up one in Penang Lip Sin wet market.

This tonic soup is comforting, nourishing and to top it all, nothing beats the warmth and affection embraced by a great mother!

For this Chinese herbal black chicken soup (药材乌鸡清补汤), you'll need :

Ingredients :
1 whole black chicken 乌鸡

Chinese Herbs (quantity as illustrated in photos below) :

Chinese Herbs Ingredients for Chinese Herbal Black Chicken Soup

Chinese herbs with their medicinal uses as listed below. Images start from upper left, clockwise :

qi zi (Chinese wolfberries or goji berries) 枸杞子
Channels (meridians) entered : liver, lung, kidney
Effects : Nourishes and tonifies the liver and kidney, helps eyesight, improves blurred vision, alleviates sore back, strengthens the leg and stomach,  improves circulation, boosts immune function, promotes longevity.
功效 : 养肝,补肾,滋阴,明目,益气等。

yu zhu (Pharmaceutical name : Polygonatum odoratum) 玉竹
Channels (meridians) entered : lung, stomach
Effects : Nourishes Yin, promotes the production of body fluids and relieves dryness syndrome.
功效 : 养阴,润燥,除烦,止渴。治热病阴伤,咳嗽烦渴,虚劳发热,消谷易饥,小便频数。

bei qi (Pharmaceutical name : Astragalus propinquus) 北芪
Channels (meridians) entered : lung, spleen
Effects :  Treatment of Qi deficiency, spleen deficiency and Yang deficiency, weakness and fatigue, numbness of limb, morbidity after stroke, sweating, treatment of diabetes, promotes pus discharge and tissue regeneration, promotes diuresis to reduce edema. 
功效 : 补益肺气,用於气虚,脾虚,阳虚,体弱疲倦,肢体麻木,中风后遗症,自汗,糖尿病。排脓,生肌。利尿消肿。

dang gui (Pharmaceutical name : Angelica sinensis) 当归
Channels (meridians) entered :  heart, liver, spleen
Effects : Tonic for blood and for regulating the menses, lubricates bowels to correct constipation, reduces swelling, expels pus, relieves pain.
功效 : 补血活血,调经止痛,润肠通便,是中药妇科良药。

red dates (Chinese dates or red jujube) 红枣
Channels (meridians) entered : stomach, spleen
Effects : Treats weakness, shortness of breath, lassitude, lack of appetite, loose stools due to spleen deficient
功效 :  强筋壮骨,补血行气,滋颐润颜。

dang shen (Pharmaceutical name : Codonopsitis Pilosulae) 党参
Channels (meridians) entered : lung, spleen
Effects : Corrects blood deficiency, invigorates Qi (lack of appetite, fatigue, thirst, diarrhea, vomiting, polapse of uterus, stomach, rectum due to spleen deficient), improves digestive system.
功效 : 补中益气,养血补肺。

huai shan (Pharmaceutical name : Dioscoreae Oppositae) 淮山
Channels (meridians) entered : spleen, lung, kidney
Effects : Invigorates Qi, nourishes Yin, controls spermatorrhea and reduces urination.
功效 :  补脾养胃,生津益肺,补肾涩精。

1000ml water

Seasoning :
Salt to taste

Chinese Herbs Inventory for Gladys Kock Home Cooking

Chinese Herbs Ingredients for Chinese Herbal Black Chicken Soup

Method :

1. Cut whole black chicken into 4 big chunks, trim any excess skin and fat. Rinse black chicken and all Chinese herbs thoroughly and drain, set aside.

2. Parboil or scald the black chicken into boiling water and skim away any excess or visible fats. Black chicken is then removed and set aside.

3. In a clean stockpot or deep claypot, pour in 1000ml water and let it boils. When the water is rolling boil, put the black chicken and all the Chinese herbs into the pot. Turn to low heat and simmer for 1 to 2 hours. Alternatively, slow cooker (crockpot) or double-boiler can be used.

Simmer Chinese Herbal Black Chicken Soup in a Claypot

4. Add a pinch of salt to taste 5 minutes before serving the herbal soup.

More on  Healthy Easy Food Recipes 


  1. Hi Gladys! Thanks for dropping by my blog! This herbal soup is awesome too... a great boost of energy! Your blog is great with variety of recipes!

  2. Oh wow. That looks amazing! You have a gem of a blog. And just browsing through, I can tell you're a very good cook :)

  3. I love cooking with Chinese Herbs too. They're real tonic for good health :)

  4. I love this soup. My late-father used to cook this for me but with a different combination of herbs. But I'm going I'm going to love this one too. :)

  5. Black Chicken????? Never saw it before

  6. You really put in a lot of effort into food blogging, to let others know about the benefit of drinking herbal soup. Enjoy reading it! Keep them coming! Jia you!

  7. @ Bits of Taste : Thanks. Hope to see you around. :)
    @ The Little Teochew : You flatter me. BTW, I am also a Teochew but my Teochew speaking is hardly passable. :)
    @ Blackswan : I agree. As a Chinese and health-conscious, who doesn't love Chinese herbs? :)

  8. @ Divina Pe : Maybe you want to try it out, the aroma it exudes may evocative of good old days with your dad. I like to use claypot to simmer soup as I heard of stainless steel stockpot reduces efficacy of herbs. Well, I don't know how true is that.
    @ Cheap Ethnic Eatz : You can find the black chicken imagehere. For some stalls in wet market here, we need to pre-order to get one.
    @ ladyhomechef : Thanks! This platform is dedicated for like-minded ppl to share and exchange recipes and ideas. Hope you enjoy your stay here. :)

  9. I am going to prepare this soup for my dearest mum. Thank you. :)



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