This classic dish is famous throughout the Yunnan province in China. Traditionally it is made in a clay pot with a chimney in the centre. It is easy to make at home using a large metal bowl to sit over a pot of simmering water. The clean, delicious flavours come from the combination of speciality Chinese ingredients, in particular, the dried red Chinese dates or jujubes, the dried goji berries and dried longan. All of these combined with the dried astragalus huang qi and poor man’s ginseng are said to keep you very healthy and living much longer.
|½ cup||Dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes|
|3 cups||Chicken stock|
|3 small||Boneless skinless chicken breasts|
|1||Carrot, peeled and sliced into discs|
|8 slices||Peeled ginger|
|2 Tbsp||Dried goji berries|
|⅓ cup||Dried longan, see note|
|½ cup||Dried Chinese dates, see note|
|3 pieces||Poor man's gingseng, see note|
|4 pieces||Astragalus huang qi, see note|
|2 Tbsp||Soy sauce|
|2 Tbsp||Shaoxing rice wine|
|2 Tbsp||Coriander leaves, to garnish|
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- Drain shiitake, reserving 1 cup of liquid. Place all ingredients in a large metal bowl that will fit nicely over a saucepan.
- Cover tightly with plastic wrap twice, then place over a saucepan half-filled with water, cover with a lid and bring to the boil.
- Steam over medium heat for 2 hours, topping up saucepan with boiling water if necessary. Serve chicken breasts whole or sliced, spoon garnish into bowls and pour in the hot liquid. Top with a sprinkling of freshly chopped coriander.
Dried goji berries, dried longan, dried Chinese dates, shaoxing cooking wine, poor man's ginseng and astragalus huang qi are available from Asian grocers. Poor man’s ginseng and astragalus huang qi are often sold together in a small pre-mix packet especially for soup.