Bird nest soup is a unique nutritious delicacy savored by people mostly in South-East Asia and several other parts of the world. The soup is made from the nests of Swiftlets and it’s a natural source of several nutrients including protein. But, preparing the soup often seem like a tough task to some people, especially those trying to do so for the first time.
Regardless of how you choose to prepare the soup, preparing the nest for cooking follow similar process. Here they are:
Measure: place the desired amount of bird nest you intend to cook in a soup bowl. The bowl should be large enough to give the nest some space to expand during soaking. While measuring the actual amount to prepare is a bit tricky, to cook a rice bowl for dessert you may need 6-7 grams of nest.
Soak: carefully place the nest in cool boiled water to soak. Ensure the entire nest is submerged in water to allow it expand accordingly.
Sift: after you observed that the nest is fully soaked and has expanded, pour the water away by using sift or a double layered filter to prevent the nest from floating off with the water.
Tear off: after sifting, it’s easy to observe that the nest will be absolutely soft. Carefully strip it into separate strands.
Ready to cook: After stripping, the nest is ready to be simmered with any desired ingredient.
However, just like almost all other food, there are several ways to prepare the soup. Here are some of the most appropriate ways:
Preparing Bird Nest Soup with Rock Sugar
You can prepare a tasty bird nest soup with rock sugar. Here are the ingredients you need to get started:
Four cups of water, two ounces of bird nest, 7 tablespoons crushed rock sugar, and the entire soup preparation may take up to two hours.
Start by soaking the nests in clean water for several hours or preferably overnight. Afterwards, rinse it and carefully pick out any loose feather, droppings, dirt, or any other material found in it. Start by boiling the nest twice. Afterwards, boil a pot of water then simmer the nest for up to five minutes. Then rinse it carefully and squeeze it gently to dry.
Next, place the nest in a pot, add water, and let it boil for a while until it is absolutely soft. Afterwards, add the rock sugar and stir gently for the sugar to dissolve. The soup is best enjoyed while it is hot.
Preparing Bird Nest Thumbprint Cookies
Here are the ingredients you need to prepare the cookies:
Strawberry jam, 4 and ½ cups of flour, two ounces of bird nests soaked in water for several hours, 16 ounces of butter, 2 teaspoons of vanilla, 2 cups of granulated sugar, 4 eggs, and 2 cups of pecan finely chopped.
Start by mixing the cream butter, soaked bird nest and sugar, and then add flour, vanilla, and egg yolk and blend all together. Next, carefully roll dough into walnut size balls. Carefully dip each of the balls into white unbeaten eggs, and then carefully roll the balls in finely chopped pecans. You can easily put an indentation in the middle of the balls with your thumb and place on un-greased baking sheets.
Bake the balls at 350° for about 5 minutes. After baking, take the cookies out and add a small portion of strawberry jam into the indentation of each of the cookies. Place the cookies back in the oven and bake for about ten minutes or until they turn brown. Enjoy the cookies afterwards.
Bird Nest Soup Spices
You can use any of the following as ingredients to spice up the soup:
Pandan Leaves: this leaf is famous for its enticing scent and is often used across South-East Asia to enhance the aroma of foods. You can cook the leaves with the nests together in the same pot for a very strong aroma.
Red dates: you can spice up your bird nest soups with red dates. Red dates are medicinal. It enhances the production of red blood cells and improves immunity. Also, Red dates are very good for curing sore throats.
Dried Longans: Dried Logan is well-known for its therapeutic properties. Dried Longans produces a soothing sensation to bird nest soup.
Ginger: is a catalyst that aids the body in absorbing the antioxidants in the soup. Also, as an alkaline it helps the body in food digestion, aids blood circulation and functions as a natural therapy for common cold.
Egg White: you can add some egg white to the soup to boost its taste and flavor and it blends quite well with ginger.
Preparing Goji Berry and Dried Longan Bird Nest
Here are the required ingredients; dried bird nests 7 grams, dried Longan 6 pieces, Goji berry 10 pieces, water ¾ bowls for stewing.