Sunday, December 20, 2009


Pour kicap (soy sauce) into the milk to turn it into soy milk to feed  it to the chicken that plays with onions and rolls in rolled oats.

Which translates to :

Kicap (soy sauce)
Soy milk
Rolled oats

That was my grocery list memorized according to Kevin Trudeau's mega memorizng method that I learnt years ago when I thought I still had one (a memory).

It took me a good 3 minutes of hard concentration to come up with that useful utter nonsense. It's hard work.

Which translates to :

I have very little willing memory.

So when Terri of Hunger hunger had so generously given me some gingko nuts when we met on her way home from China I thought they would make lovely plugs for all those holes that my brain has been complaining about.

I have made the soup three times since. It is simply chicken broth cooked with some ginger, any kind of vegetable, some tofu and of course the memory enhancing gingko nuts. A simple, light and healthy soup with a slight bitter undertone from the gingko nuts. All in all quite lovely. And I have finished the batch of nuts that Terri had given me.

When I first began cracking the shell, ejecting the nutmeat, blanching the nutmeat in hot boiling water to ease the skinning of the thin brown skin, splitting the nuts length wise to remove the bitter young shoot within, I found it more fiddly then I had expected. But I was determined to make it.

Eventually, as the following batch of nuts sat and waited their turn over the next few days, ejecting and peeling them became much easier. Terri had also told me that it was not necessary to rid it of the bitter shoot within. But being rather bitter intolerant I thought it would be better if I did.

The gingko nuts were very tender when cooked. They were rather creamy and soft and rather bland with a slight bitter edge to it.

The soup was very easy to make. I have adapted it from a recipe for a lovely clear chicken soup with leeks from a Vogue Travel and Entertainment magazine.

Please note that the gingko nut is toxic if eaten raw. It must be cooked.

The recipe................ serves about 4

1 medium free range chicken (kampung chicken), whole
3 slices ginger
leeks, white part trimmed to 1 cm lengths and green part just cut roughly, washed and rinsed well

1 large onion, peeled
1 small carrot

1 cake tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes
10 -12 gingko nuts, shell cracked, brown skin peeled and bitter shoot removed, if preferred

Place whole chicken into a pot large enough for it. Cover with water. Put in the ginger, whole onion, and washed green part of the leeks and a carrot.

Bring to a boil and then simmer for 40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Add salt. Remove scum, the green leeks, carrot and onion.

You have basically made a chicken broth.

Remove the chicken, drain well and keep it aside on a board.

Add tofu, the chopped white part of the leeks, prepared gingko nuts and bring the broth to a boil and then simmer very gently for about 10 to 15 minutes. 

Meanwhile, the chicken may be deboned and the meat removed in shreds or it may be cut up into its parts with a pair of kitchen scissors at the leg joints, wing joints and the breasts cut into 2 or 3 parts with a knife. Arrange in serving bowls and pour the soup over the chicken to serve, dividing the tofu, leeks and gingko nuts between the individual bowls.

Serve hot. Food for the brain.


3 hungry tummies said...

this is what i really need now!

ann low said...

Very healthy soup, good for the whole family.

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

Lovely soup, well done!!! Zurin, you're hilarious. I read and re-read the first para of your post, completely puzzled. And then I read the following bit. :) Soup is perfect for the current rainy weather.

tracieMoo said...

mm.. I love ginkgo, they always the best things I would fig for in porridge and soups!

Unknown said...

I love your photos, and your post is so funny, the ideal soup for this time with the snow

Angie's Recipes said...

What a scrumptious soup!
Ginkgo nuts are supposed to be very good for circulation!

Ozoz said... the clearness of the broth and the chicken, peeking and poking up from the surface. I've also never seen ginko nuts!

Pam said...

What a pleasure it must be to use the nut your friend gave you!
The soup looks delicious, your first paragraph made me laugh. I too have lost my memory. It's nice to know I'm not alone!

Faida said...

Good healthy soup. And your idea of memorizing is useful. I do my grocery once a week sometime once is 2 weeks. Such a long story I could create out of my lists.

Kate at Serendipity said...

Really wonderful soup. But where can I get ginkgo nuts in Belgium? Thanks for the recipe.

Anonymous said...

wah this sounds healthy. I will try this with Ayam Kampung and eat with sambal belacan... ya Allah.. mesti kick punye!

Anonymous said...

ROFL at how you memories the grocery list!! hahaha!! I love this kind of soup but seldom make them because both hubby and daughter don't appreciate Chinese soup :(

Anonymous said...

OOh I've had something similar and it was gorgeous! Thankyou for sharing the recipe! :D

Zurin said...

Hungry tummies, thks for dropping by :))

Annco, it was good! :))

Ju, talk about rain Ju! it took me 3 times b4 Icld get some decent pics ! but the soup was good.:))

Traice, My first gingko experience..not bad. :)

Chapot, TQ :))

Ange, I hope they are..I feeling like I need it :))

Ozoz, tq, ive never seen them b4 either up until now..nice cute nuts...reminds me of pistachios tho taste nothing like it. :))

Gypsy chef, :)) I still waiting for the gingkonuts to work :))

Faida, :)) yes so long we can write volumes :))

Kate, tq, AT the Chinese store perhaps if you have one?:))

Lina, yes do try...anything wth sambal xtra good!! :))

Ellie, :)) awww My daughter loves thin soups!!

NQN, Welcome! its quite good . :))

Federica Simoni said...

Ciao! grazie della tua visita!!

e grazie dei complimenti!

Auguro a te e alla tua famiglia di trascorre delle meravigliose Feste!

un abbraccio!


terri@adailyobsession said...

u did it! ok, i will get u more gingko nuts next time i go to guilin or guanzhou:)

Reanaclaire said...

yummy... yeah, good idea to put gingko in our chicken soup.. i always tot it is for barley dessert only...

Through My Kitchen Window said...

Most unusual and yet your soup sounds very heartwarming and nutritious.

Merry Christmas to you too zurin.

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

This soup look simple and nice, and always love your photos. Merry Christmas !!

Nat said...

Didn't know you had a problem with memory. But i think your memory is much better than daddy's.

I think it also runs in the family. I tend to forget wat I had for breakfast.


Pei-Lin said...

Mmm ... Sounds good to me! Would love to try this combo in my soup sometime ... Yes, the stupid weather is fickle that it's driving me nuts! Soup will be something I need to calm me down, LOL!


fimere said...

c'est moelleux et léger et cette mie bien aérée j'adore
bonne soirée

Zurin said...

Federica, tq...:)

terri, at last yes Idid it after 3 tries they looked good...minus the soy sauce...but the soy sauce gv the soup more flavour tho'.:)

renaclaire, oh yes I read about gingko in desserts too..must be good :)

Mariana, tq :) yes it is nutritious m looks it anyway :)

Sonia, tq and tq :)

Natie dearie, I hope its not something tt runs in the family ...HORRORS!! Uhmmm yes my memory is better heh...:))

Dodol, Yes do is gloomy and dull its so difficult to blog! LOL (dull pics) :)

AGourmet, tq have a good day too!:)

2 Stews said...

Thanks for the promised recipe...I have yet to receive the gingko nuts from my daughter...perhaps she forgot?! ;-) I'll send her to this post, so she can give it a try, too.

Thanks Zurin...I loved reading this!



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