Everyone has a specific soup they crave when feeling under the weather. For me, it’s Chinese ginger chicken soup. No matter who in my family makes it, the broth is almost aways consistent, but the toppings can be customized. My favorite toppings to add are quail eggs and daikon.
I say the broth is “almost” consistent, because it depends on the type of chicken you use. My grandma, who lives in Shanghai, has access to a very special type of chicken designed for making broth. I found a type close enough at a local asian grocery store, called a “stewing hen”. It’s very skinny and boney, perfect for making the broth. If you don’t live near an asian grocery store, you can use cornish hen instead.
1 stewing hen (or cornish hen)
2 green onions, sliced into large pieces
4 slices of fresh ginger
6 cups of water
1 can of quail eggs, cooked
1 cup of chopped daikon
1 potato, chopped
1. Wash the stewing hen and rub it with a generous amount of salt. Add oil, green onions, and ginger to a large soup pot. Heat until aromatic. Add the water and hen to the pot, cover, turn heat to high.
2. Once the water boils, uncover the pot and turn the heat to medium low. Add the daikon and potato. Allow the pot to simmer for at least an hour. The longer the tastier the broth becomes. After an hour, the broth should turn slightly golden. You might see some fuzz gather at the top, which is normal; Use a spoon to remove the fuzz.
3. Remove and discard the stewing hen. Add the quail eggs until heated through. Add salt and white pepper to taste. (If using cornish hen, you can shred the meat and put it back into the soup).