Friday, July 6, 2012

Ling Zhi Black Chicken Tonic Soup (野山灵芝乌鸡汤)

We all knew that herbal soups are central to the chinese diet, and are essential for maintaining good health. I noticed that my mother-in-law is getting really busy with her work recently, and she seldom cook tonic soup for us, not as frequent as before. Although I knew she tried her best to.

Max looks weak and tired recently. I feels the same too. Is it the weather? Or is it we are not eating well? Or is it we are getting older or what?

I forgotten when was the last time I cook tonic soup. I think it's time to cook some to boost our vitality. The philisophy that food is like medicine, and that prevention is better than cure, you know? It sounds boring. I know. But still... It's the truth and it is good.

I do learn very basic chinese herbs knowledge from fellow seniors before. From my grandma, my mom, and now my mother-in-law. Not much, just abit of here and there. I know what is the basic chinese herbs to be used to boil nourishing soups.

This Ling Zhi Black Chicken Tonic Soup, it promotes general good health, improves vital energy, complexion, stamina, helps rejuvenate body and prevent cancer.

I've got myself a nice black chicken in NTUC. This bird cost me S$5.95, which I think it sounds reasonable. Henny complained to me that she got her black chicken from Cold Storage, and it cost her S$7.00. So, this is the price comparison for you, incase you wanna get one.

The ingredients that I'm using for this soup is actually the basic ones. Those are general herbs for chicken soup. But I have to be frank that the Ling Zhi 灵芝 that I used cannot categorized as the basic ingredient. It can be costly. Moreover, I'm using wild-life Ling Zhi here. I bought my wild-life Ling Zhi from Taiwan when I visit a very beautiful place called Sun-Moon Lake (日月潭) sometimes ago. You can get Ling Zhi from any of the general Chinese medicinal hall. Or you may opt out Ling Zhi if you face difficulties getting it due to the high cost. For the rest of the ingredients, they are general ingedients for chicken soup. Not difficult at all.

I'd named the ingredients accordingly. For easy reference and verification when you purchase ingredients :

  • 1 Black Chicken 黑鸡 / 乌鸡 / 竹丝鸡
  • 6g Ling Zhi 灵芝 (Ganoderma Lucidum)
  • 6g Dang Shen 党参 (Codonopsis Pilosula)
  • 3g Dang Gui 当归 (Angelica Root)
  • 1g Gan Cao 甘草 (Licorice Root)
  • 5g Chuan Xiong 川芎 (Sichuan Lovage Root)
  • 15g Huai Shan 淮山 (Chinese Yam)
  • 20g Yu Zhu 玉竹 (Solomon seal rhizome)
  • 7g Goji 枸杞子 (Wolfberries)
  • 1.5L Water 清水, or upto 1.8L if you want.
  • 1tsp Sea Salt 海盐
If you are lazy and or rather feelin' stressed over the list of ingredients here, go grab a pack of Chicken Soup Convi Pack from any of the chinese medicinal hall. You should be getting such standard ingredients, but not 100% same as mine of course. At least I know they won't include Ling Zhi into the convi pack.

You must be wondering why didn't I use Chicken soup convi pack instead. Reason is simple. I do keep stock for all above ingredients in the fridge. Especially Ling Zhi, Dang Gui,Yu Zhu and Goji. For the rest, my mother-in-law kept them. So, it's not something difficult for me to gather all these and put them into my soup. Stress free :)

  1. Rinse chicken and the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Everything in a pot, except salt. Add in 1.5L water. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce to medium low heat, simmer for 2 hours. I used slow cooker, so I leave it there for 3 hours.
  4. Salt to taste and serve hot. 

And incase you are unsure on the goodness of the ingredients, below info sourced from one of my recipe book named Tonic Soup For Vitality. I only listed down the function of 4 main ingredients, which I think it is always good to know :

Ling Zhi 灵芝 (Ganoderma Lucidum)
It is neutral in nature and taste bitter sweet. It is the parasite mushroom in the roots of oak trees or broad-leaved trees. It is rich in water-soluble proteins and amino acids. It is nourishing, enhances the body, helps digestion, cures asthenia, insomnia, warms the stomach, relieves pain and prevents cancer.

Dang Shen 党参 (Codonopsis Pilosula)
It is warm in nature and tase bittersweet. It contains protein, starch, glucose, Vit B2, B2 ad other nutriens. It regulates the functions of the spleen and stomach, replenish qi, improves lung-asthenia and qi-asthenia and cures Leukopenia.

Dang Gui 当归 (Angelica Root)
It is warm in nature, tastes savoury and bitter sweet. It contains oil essence with a unique flavour. It accelerates body circulation, replenish blood, treats menstrual disorder and physical weakness. 

Chuan Xiong 川芎 (Sichuan Lovage Root)
Warm in nature and taste savoury. It regulates qi, expels wind and heat, revitalizes blood, stops pain, relieves headache, expands blood vessels, relieves joint pain and muscle soreness

This bowl of goodness, it is probably one of the most nourishing meals because of the long, slow cooking makes the ingredients easier to absorb into our body. I don't know about others, but me, whenever I see mothers serving their family member a bowl of soup is like showering them with lots of love.

It is virtually a medicine for invalids and tonic for your family. At least the home-made version is. And why would you not make your own soup?

It takes only minutes to put together a large pot of soup and it could feed the whole family, happily :)


  1. That' really interesting thing. This is very good thing to know about our diet & body health.

  2. Hi
    Just cooked this n it's awesome! ! It's tastes sweet. All the ingredients are affordable.
    Easy to cook too.
    Thanks for your wonderful recipe.
    God bless

  3. Nice post. I have bookmarked you to check your new stuff. Thanks for sharing this useful information. Its really useful for us.

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  4. The picture of ingredients complete with names in both Chinese & English really helps!
    Thanks for posting, cant wait to do it :))