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December 24, 2020 – 1:14 pm | 3,850 views

Soup Name:  Basic Chinese Chicken Soup Stock (Soup Base)

Traditional Chinese Name: 清雞湯 (qīng jī tāng)

Introduction: This is the base Chinese Chicken Soup stock that …

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Home » 1-star, Chicken, Difficulty, Relieves Heatiness, Savoury, Soups, Summer Soups

Chicken Watercress Soup

Submitted by on January 12, 2009 – 12:40 pm7 Comments | 23,134 views

Soup Name: Chicken Watercress Soup
Traditional Chinese Name: 西洋菜雞湯 (xī yáng cài ji tāng)
Watercress is a very popular ingredient for Chinese soups.  Typically, watercress soup is made with pork bones (see recipe here).  However, for those who cannot eat pork or dislike the taste of bone marrow, it is equally delicious made with chicken!

What Ingredients are required?

1 whole chicken
2-3 bunches of fresh watercress
1 tablespoon of  apricot kernals
1.5 – 2 L of cold water

How do I prepare it?

  1. Prepare the chicken (see chicken for preparation steps)
  2. Add the apricot kernels to the soup
  3. Boil for 45 – 60 minutes (until the chicken is cooked and soft)
  4. In a separate pot, pre-boil the chicken, strain and add the chicken to the boiling water of your soup
  5. Thoroughly wash the watercress in cold water
  6. Add the fresh watercress and boil for at least another 30 minutes or until the watercress becomes soft
  7. You can continue to boil the soup for more flavour (a slow cooker is ideal for this)

 Any benefits?

  • This soup is traditionally used as a cough remedy
  • It helps relieve heatiness
  • The watercress is high in A , B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B17, C, D, E and K

Any precautions?

  • Women who are pregnant (less than 3 months into term) or menstrating should drink in moderation as it watercress is a “cool” food and can potentially cause contractions


  • anyhow-cook says:

    I’m not so familiar with home-cook soup and I’ve learnt a lot from your blog. Thanks for the information !

  • Susan says:

    I like this website so much, it is hard to find English Chinese soup recipes. But I have 1 question here, is chicken a hot type food? so when boiling with this veggie, will it offset the cool feature? Looking forward to ur advice 🙂 Thank you.

  • LadyTong says:

    Hi Susan,

    I know it’s difficult to find English translated Chinese soup recipes! Which is why I was so keen on starting a site, so people like me could continue the tradition! Chicken is considered a “warming” food, but depending on what cooling feature, it won’t totally offset it. For example, chicken and ginseng is considered cooling. Hope this helps and thanks for your continued support! Lisa

  • Susan says:

    Thank you Lisa 🙂

  • michelle says:

    Hi, I am trying to make the soup but there is a bitter taste to it. what can i do to remove it or make the bitter taste less obvious?

  • Michele says:

    I love this website! You’re really helped me a lot during this period of lockdown. One thing I’m curious about – none of your recipes talk about adding salt or flavourings to your soups. Is that deliberate?

  • LadyTong says:

    Hello Michele,
    I am actually not a big fan of adding salt or other flavouring unless absolutely necessary. I prefer that the natural flavours come from ingredients. For example, if I wanted a more savory soup, I add more dried scallops or dried shrimp, or even preserved veggies (which already have quite a bit of salt). This is really a personal preference and play with it, some do prefer more salt (such as my husband!). Hope this helps and continue to visit! Lisa

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