Friday, September 14, 2012

Making Bird's Nest Soup for Pregnancy

Traditionally, bird's nest soup is believed to have cooling properties, improves general pregnancy's well-being and is potentially good for the unborn baby's complexion. Some Chinese expectant mothers would consume bird's nest soup or drinks regularly during their pregnancy or maybe starting in their second tri-semester onwards. I personally was always resistant in purchasing or consuming bird's nest soup during my pregnancy because (1) Bird's nests are very expensive and such luxury products to consume and (2) From my reading, there is no actual medical or scientific research result that proves the benefits of bird's nests on pregnant women; that's why I did not invest on buying bird's nests for my pregnancy early on.

As one of my birthday presents, my husband bought some dry bird's nests for me. Despite the fact that at the time he bought the bird's nests I was already about 2 weeks away from delivering our baby; my husband insists that I should at least consume a little bit of bird's nest soup to promote my pregnancy's well-being. He said, it is better late than never or not taking the soup at all. I complied. This said, I only started consuming this soup earlier this week.

Anyhow, my Mother-in-Law was the one who helped me prepare my first bird's nest soup because I had no knowledge at all in preparing this kind of soup. As you might have known, I am always careful in consuming herbal remedies during my pregnancy, therefore I refused putting any kind of Chinese herbs into my bird's nest soup. My Mother-in-Law had no problem with my request and just put some water and rock sugar for my bird's nest soup. Yesterday, when my Mother-in-Law was about to prepare my second bird's nest soup, I told her that I wanted to try preparing it myself so she taught me how to.

Before I forget the relatively simple steps in preparing this Chinese delicacy, the following is the methods I did in preparing the plain or basic version of home-made bird's nest soup for my pregnancy. The results of bird's nest soup below could be consumed by one or two persons.

Bird's Nest Soup for Pregnancy

Ingredients:

1pc Dry bird's nest
1 cup Hot water
1 cup Drinking water or boiled then cooled water, for soaking
5-6 pcs Rock/Lump sugar

Methods:

1. Soak the dry bird's nest in a bowl of water for about 30 minutes. Use drinking water or water that has been boiled and cooled down to soak the bird's nest. After 30 minutes, carefully strain the bird's nest and throw the water away.

A piece of dry bird's nest for the soup.

2. Put the soaked bird's nest and pour 1 cup of hot water into a slow cooker. If you prefer thinner soup, you may add more hot water into the slow cooker. Cook the soaked bird's nest and water in the slow cooker for about 2 hours.

The slow cooker I use to cook the bird's nest soup.

3. Once the bird's nest is soft and cooked, add the rock sugar into the bird's nest soup in the slow cooker and stir gently. You may add more rock sugar into the soup if you wish for sweeter bird's nest soup. Turn the slow cooker off.

The rock sugar for preparing the bird's nest soup.

4. Consume the bird's nest soup when it is cooled.

The cooked bird's nest looks like thin white strains of jelly or seaweed.
Can't see them clearly in this photo? Me neither.

I think the home-made bird's nest soup tastes more natural and possesses a pretty strong 'egg-like' smell than instant or bottled bird's nest drink bought from supermarkets or TCM shops. Nevertheless, the plain home-made bird's nest soup is still bearable to drink.

I found this article that may be useful in preparing bird's nest soup and alternatives in cooking home-made bird's nest soup to make it more delectable by adding pandan leaves, dried red dates, dried longan, etc..

P/S: Thank you, my husband, for the bird's nests gift! 

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