Collagen-boosting fish maw and wild yellow gold ear mushroom soup
Following up on last week's collagen-packed peach gum dessert soup, here is a nourishing savoury soup made with ingredients prized as beauty tonics in traditional Chinese medicine.
Dried unfried fish maw - fish air bladder - is another gelatinous food that I hanker for.
Good quality fish maw should not have any fishy odour.
The manager of the dried goods shop that I have been frequenting, Mr Walter Chua, 47, introduced me to yet another gelatinous ingredient - wild yellow gold ear mushroom (Tremella mesenterica).
It is similar in shape to the more common snow fungus. The wild yellow gold ear mushroom is much pricier and requires overnight soaking. The texture is soft and jelly-like.
In TCM, the tremella mesenterica is regarded as nourishing for the bones, skin, lungs, stomach and kidneys, and it helps maintain weight.
I also added a type of dried mushroom called ba xi gu in Mandarin (literally, Brazil mushroom or Agaricus brasiliensis).
This mushroom has several names, including himematsutake (princess matsutake in English). The mushroom itself is deeply aromatic and imparts much flavour to the soup.
- 500ml water
- 40g wild yellow gold ear mushroom, soaked overnight. Remove hard bits of stem and rinse thoroughly
- 40g yuzhu (dried Solomon's seal)
- 15g ba xi gu (princess matsutake), rinsed
- 80g dried unfried fish maw, rinsed
- 1 honey date
- 40g wild bamboo pith, rinsed.
Snip off 0.5cm of the woody stem end and cut into 2cm-thick rings
- 40 dried wolfberries, rinsed
- 1 tsp salt
- 11 litres of water
- 20 chicken feet, blanched
- 1 whole chicken breast, blanched
- 40g dried black longan meat
1. In a large soup pot, bring 4 litres of water to boil. Add the chicken feet and chicken breast. Cover, bring to a boil over medium heat then lower the heat to medium-low. Simmer for an hour and add 2 litres of water. Repeat this for another two hours.
2. After four hours, add 1 litre of water and the dried longan meat. Simmer for 30 minutes.
3. Turn off the heat. Strain the stock, discarding the boiling ingredients. You should have about 2 litres of stock.
4. Pour strained stock into a sturdy pot and add 500 ml of water.
5. Bring stock to a boil and add the yellow gold ear mushroom, yuzhu, princess matsutake, dried fish maw and honey date. Boil over medium-low heat for one hour.
6. Add the wild bamboo pith and boil for 15 minutes.
7. Add the wolfberries and boil for 3 minutes.
8. Season with salt.
9. Serve piping hot.
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