Tree Mushroom and Chicken Soup 树菇鸡汤
Simple but tasty, tree mushroom soup
We had our first taste of tree mushroom soup in Chaozhou, China. In 2000 when we visited Chaozhou for the first time we were warmly welcomed by SK's cousin and his family. Each time we visited another relative we were offered hard-boiled eggs cooked in a sugary soup. Of course, we had trouble downing eggs cooked in sugar. Never in our lives have we eaten eggs in sugary soup. But that is the custom Teochew relatives in China treated those who visited the ancestral village for the first time. Thank Heavens, besides the sweet eggs, SK's cousin had other great dishes waiting for us! This tree mushroom soup was one of them.
Dried tree mushrooms imported from China
40g dried tree mushrooms ( chew koe in Teochew )
600g chicken ( chopped into bite-sized pieces )
1.5 litres water
1 sprig Chinese celery, cut into 3 cm sections )
1 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1. Wash the tree mushrooms and clean them properly to remove grit and cut off the hard parts near the roots.
2. Soak in 1.5 litres of water for one hour or until the tree mushrooms have softened.
3. Take out the mushrooms and put them into a large pot
4. Retain 90% of the water used to soak the tree mushrooms and discard the cloudy water at the bottom.
5. Pour this water into the pot with the tree mushrooms and boil for one hour using medium fire. Add a little water if and when necessary.
6. Switch off the fire and add in the chicken pieces.
7. Cover the pot immediately and allow the hot soup to cook the chicken pieces for 30 minutes.
8. Add in the cut Chinese celery and salt.
It has a unique flavour and it tastes delicious