清润鱼翅瓜鸡汤 / Chicken Soup with Shark’s Fin Melon

Being absolutely Chinese, having a bowl of soup is pretty much close to being a staple in a meal with rice and meat or vegetable dishes. Being in Singapore meant that…there was probably only that much soup I know of, only when I drink it at family dinners. So when I feel like having soup, I am hardpressed to not repeat a soup that I just had last week. You know, the usual lotus root soup, ABC soup, shark’s fin melon soup, old cucumber soup. Pretty much that.

I came across this series of magazines, 新之味 (Xin Flavours) when I was walking around one of those food fairs held at the Singapore Expo. Firstly, the food magazines featured a lot of Chinese food that I could associate with; secondly, which is a winner in my opinion, the magazine has bilingual recipes. Yay!! I no longer have to guess what the ingredient is or second guess what kind of ingredient they are referring to! (Sometimes the ingredients I know are in their colloquial terms whereas they are stated in their proper terms in some recipes). I selected a few and have been really glad to introduce some new soups to our dinner table.

This soup has had the stamp of approval by the hubby, and we just had it for dinner tonight. Yuuums. This recipe is adapted from the Xin Flavours magazine, Mar – Apr 2011 edition.

Ingredients (ingredients were halved and adjusted to my liking)

400g chicken breast (I used 3 chicken breast carcass & 2 boneless chicken breasts)
0.5kg shark’s fin melon
15g dried scallops, soaked (I soaked it in cold water till it somewhat fell apart)
5 pcs seedless red dates
2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1.5l water
salt to taste (I did not add salt)

1. Blanch chicken breast and bones in hot water and set aside. ( Which lazy me did not do; I threw them frozen into boiling water)

2. Chunk shark’s fin melon. Steam for 10 mins and remove. When cool, remove the skin and seeds. (I omitted this step and threw it into the pot, seeds and all. I did peel the melon though)

3. Bring water to a boil in a pot. Add ingredients and simmer over low heat for 3 hrs. Add salt to taste.

I enjoyed cooking soup in a clay pot. Somehow, I find that soups cooked in a clay pot just seemed richer and more flavourful. More moisture is retained and the pot is not too harsh on the ingredients, if that even makes sense to you. I recently acquired a 2.4l Tanyu clay pot. Looks like I need to be looking at a bigger pot soon.

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