The chicken foot soup demonstrates the resourcefulness of the Chinese to use every part of an animal for food.
Chicken foot soup does not sound very appetizing, but it is reputed to be good for maintaining beautiful skin because of the high levels of collagen. I am not sure if this is true and a few visitors have told me so. ; P
Chicken feet do not look very nice. It may even be repulsive to some, especially the way they are packed and presented at the supermarkets. I grew up eating chicken feet so they aren't that bizarre.
If you are not squirmish about chicken feet, you can try this herbal soup.
1. Herbal chicken feet soup
30g solomon's seal 玉竹 (yu zhu)
2 pairs chicken feet
2 tbsp dried peanuts
3 to 5 dried red dates
Dash of cooking wine 绍兴酒 (shao xing jiu)
Pinch of salt
Dash of vinegar
Directions (for double boiling jar)
Wash and clean the solomon's seal. Cut into shorter strips if they are too long
Soak the solomon's seal, red dates and peanuts in room temperature water before using them
Clean the chicken feet by removing the outer skin layer and trimming the claws (if not done so by your friendly supermarkets)
Place chicken feet and solomon's seal and peanuts in the chinese double boiling jar
Add enough water to cover the ingredients
Place the double boiler in a pot
Bring the water to the boil then lower to a simmer for an hour
Add the cooking wine and salt
Add a dash of vinegar before serving
One of the first encounters a foreigner will probably have with chicken feet would be steamed chicken feet 豉汁蒸凤爪. Here's a recipe.
2. Steamed chicken feet
This is a classic Cantonese dim sum dish. And here's how you make it.
20 chicken feet
1 stalk spring onion
3 pieces ginger
2 star anises
Seasoning for the chicken feet
4 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 fresh chili
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp cooking wine
1 tsp sesame seed oil
1 tbsp preserved black beans
Clean the feet, remove the tough skin and trim the nails
Place the feet in a pot of cold water. Bring the pot to a boil and parboil the feet for a couple of minutes
Remove and pat dry
Heat enough oil in a deep fryer and fry the chicken feet till they are golden brown
Remove the chicken feet and drain well
Place the chicken feet in a sauce pan together with spring onion, ginger and star anises.
Add enough water to cover the feet and simmer for 25 minutes
Remove and halve the feet.
Place all the seasoning ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix them well. Add the chicken feet and coat them well
Place the seasoned feet in a steamer and steamed for 30 minutes