Double steaming is a common method used in Chinese cuisines to cook soup with ingredients that are expensive (e.g. bird’s nest, herbal soup). This is usually done in a ceramics jar or sometimes even in melons or coconuts which can have their content emptied out to contain the soup with its ingredients. The entire jar / content is placed inside a steamer to steam. The result is a bowl of soup that is well-flavoured and nutritious, both because none of the nutrients are lost due to the heat from the steaming, and also because (if using melon/coconut) the stock absorbs the essence from the melon and coconut which gives it an added layer of flavour. Additionally, the coconut / melon flesh becomes soft and easily scooped out together with the rest of the ingredients.
I decided to go with coconut as the vessel for this soup because I love coconut juice and they are easily located at the supermarket – those that are readily hacked with a separable lid. The only complaint I have is that the opening is too small, so the scrapping of the content within the coconut could be a challenge. Otherwise, the stock was really delicious and irresistable – I could easily finish an entire bowl of the stock at a go anytime!
And remember to scrape down the sides of the coconut walls till they are clean and smooth – don’t waste any of it!
- Prawn meat: 100g, minced
- Minced chicken: 200g
- Egg white: 1 egg
- Coriander stem: 4 stalks, finely chopped
- Salt: 1/2 tsp
- Corn starch: 1 tbsp
- Sesame oil: 1 tsp
- Sugar: 1/2 tbsp
- Ground white pepper: a dash
- Water: 750ml
- Chicken stock cube: 1
- Fresh coconut juice: 500ml (2 young coconuts)
- Dried scallop: 4
- Nai Bai vegetable: 4
- Red dates: 6
- Fish maw: 1 medium, dried
- Wolfberry: 1 tbsp
- Young coconut: 4, lids separated
- Combine prawn meat, minced chicken, egg white, coriander stem, salt, corn starch, sesame oil, sugar and white pepper in a bowl. Leave to marinate 15min in fridge.
- Bring water, chicken stock cube, coconut juice and dried scallop to a boil. Simmer for 10min.
- Blanch nai bai in broth. Scoop out and set aside.
- Add red dates, fish maw, wolfberries into broth. Scoop out teaspoon-sized meat balls and add into broth as well. Bring to boil and switch heat off.
- Scoop ingredients out and distribute equally into 4 coconuts. Pour in enough broth to cover.
- Cover with lids. Double steam 25min.
- Serve hot with rice.