Bird’s nest soup is considered an expensive delicacy among the Chinese. Bird’s nest itself is a gelatinous texture made up of cave swifts’ saliva, hardened into the shape of a shallow cup that forms their nests. These bird species and nests are endemic to the caves in various parts of Malaysia, Indonesia and China and exported mainly to the Chinese communities in other parts of the world such as Hong Kong, Singapore and even the United States of America.
Although it does not sound very appetising to be consuming the saliva of an animal species, the taste of bird’s nest after it is softened in water is actually like that of jelly – soft and silky. In general, the Chinese believe that consuming bird’s nest would bring about benefits such as having better complexions and better digestion, perhaps due to its high levels of iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium. I’m not sure how scientific these benefits are, but I’ll definitely welcome a bowl of chilled bird’s nest soup at any time of the year!
- Bird’s nest: 1/2 tael (about 20g)
- Red date: 8 pieces
- Wolfberry: 1 tbsp
- Yang Shen (American ginseng root): 3 slices
- Rock sugar: 1/3 cup
- Water: 4 cups
- Place all ingredients into a slow cooker.
- Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and leave to simmer for about 2 hours.
- Serve hot or chilled.
2 persons (2 small bowls)