Saturday, February 1, 2014

Superior Chicken Stock (鸡上汤)

When it comes to festive season that requires lots of cooking, I will prepare this. The broth produced by these simple ingredients could give you full flavor in almost every Cantonese cooking.

It's magical!

Some people called it superior stock, some called it chicken stock, some called it gou-tong (高汤) and some called it sheung-tong (上汤). Whatever. As long as you have this pot of goodness in your kitchen to standby, I bet you will be able to cook up some good Chinese food! :)

I shall cut this post really short. The trick is to use a good chicken and DO NOT opt out chinese ham. This ham gives the soup the superior taste!

  • 1 Kampung Chicken, preferably old hens (老母鸡)
  • 150g Chinese Ham (金华火腿) ** See Note
  • 2 to 3 Chicken carcass (鸡骨/鸡壳)
  • 15g Ginger, sliced (姜)
  • 3 parts Spring Onions, white part only (葱)
  • 4L Water
Note : You will have to prepare chinese ham in advance. When you purchase your chinese ham from the shop (usually shops that sells dried seafood), please ensure that you are using only the meat part. Those outer layer (skin and the dark surface part) need to be removed. Wash and blanch the ham with hot water to remove the oil. Put the ham into a bowl of hot water. Put two slices of ginger into the bowl. Steam the bowl of water with ham and ginger for 45mins or upto 1 hour. This is the preparation you need to do. If not, you will find that the chinese ham doesn't taste as pleasant as you expect. I always did mine way in advance. Steamed ham can be well kept in the freezer for 3 months or more. Try to prepare at least 400 grams at one time. If not, you waste your gas for steaming it for 1 hour. Hahaha...  When you need to use it, just take it out for your soup.

  1. Clean chicken, and chicken carcass. You don't have to cut them into pieces. Just leave it whole. 
  2. Prepare ginger and spring onions accordingly.
  3. Using a big pot, put in all the ingredients and pour in 4L water. Bring to a boil.
  4. Scoop away the scums that float up, but do not scoop away the chicken oil. Those are flavors. 
  5. Let the soup boil for 10mins, and reduce to very low fire to let it slowly simmer for at least 4 hours.
  6. Once the soup is cooked for 4 hours, let it cool abit. Strain the liquid and discard all the soup ingredients, and keep only the broth. 
This is the result after 4 hours. It may looked pale and unattractive. But I tell you, this is magic broth for all Chinese cooking! I use this broth for stir-frying - noodles, vegetables, seafood. I use it to braise my mushrooms, radishes and alot more!

Divide the broth with plastic bags or small containers into portions. Remember to well seal them and air-tight. Freeze away. If you need to use them, just take it out, thaw and you have superior chicken stock!

You totally don't have to use any MSGs for your cooking!

Give it a try :)


  1. Oh! This sounds perfect! Gonna make this and store in little bags

  2. Won't boiling the chinese ham in hot water for 45 mins remove its taste?

    1. Hi Apodistagon, Not boiling. It's "Steam" the bowl of water with ham and ginger for 45mins or upto 1 hour :)

    2. Oh my mistake. I read wrongly.

      I have not cooked with jinhua ham before. My first impression of it's smell, like chinese sausage lap cheong. Does it smell right?

    3. Hi Apodistagon, jin hua ham smells abit like parma ham. They are different, but if you were to ask for the smells alike, maybe parma ham's smell :)

  3. Hi Annie, what did you do with the liquid that you steamed the chinese ham in? I deduced it is concentrated with the chinese ham flavor.. did you add it to the soup?

    1. Sorry for my late reply. The liquid from the steamed ham can be kept for next time use. I just divide the concentrated haham juice into 2 packs. I would throw them into the soup for extra flavor whenever I cook chicken soup again.

  4. Hi Annie, What about the chicken meat? did you thrown it away ?

    1. The meat can be eaten. I don't waste. I keep it to feed the cats. They love it :)

  5. Hi. Can I cook this in a slow cooker? How long would it take? Thank you.