My mum is a Cantonese. So for the first 20 odd years of my life, I did not know how to appreciate the stronger and spicier cuisines such as Indian, Malay and Peranakan food. For most Cantonese meals, simplicity is the key, thus resulting in mostly non-spicy dishes. Soups are a must-have daily and it is the same for my mum and household.
I am not sure if it is to do with the amount of liquid or truly the nutrients from the quality ingredients which go into soups but my mum and grandma and aunts swear by good soups and that soups are essential for good skin. Looking at the general complexion of my female cousins from my mum's side of the family, I have to say that this seems to be true.
This traditional soup, which has been passed down from my mum's side of the family, is both flavorful and nutritious. Black eye beans is the base ingredient here as it adds a smoky flavour to this chicken soup which is peppered with meaty mushrooms and slivers of abalone / conch slices for that touch of sweetness. Here's sharing the recipe for one of my two favorite Cantonese soups. :)
:: The Gathering List
- Hua Gu 花菇 (Dried Shitake Mushrooms, washed and soaked - we use about 10 - 12 medium sized per time) Note: Hua Gu has a flower pattern at the top hence, its name. The soup calls for this mushroom type as it lends a meaty flavour to it.
- Chicken feet + whole Chicken (we tend to add in more chicken feet because we love them and well, it apparently has collagen and maybe, just maybe, that helps with skin?) :p
- Dried Conch slices 干响螺片 or you can also replace this with dried abalone slices 干鲍鱼片 (We use about 4 full slices, washed)
- 3 table spoons of black eye peas 眉豆 (sometimes also known as black eye beans), washed
- Optional: peanuts (2 table spoons) / Wolfberries (I usually use about 2 - 3 teaspoons, presoaked and washed
:: The cookout
- 1.5 litres of water
(I use the slow cooker for this dish and I usually save time by boiling the water in another pot before transferring to the slow cooker)
- Add all the ingredients into the water and cook using slow cooker (should take about 6 - 8 hours)
- Add salt to taste!
It's that simple!
This is part of a What's Cooking Blog Train which I am hosting for the months of September to November. Join us again in November for the last installment as some blogger mummy friends and I share recipes on some Japanese dishes!
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