3 Chinese Chicken Foot Soup Recipes 鸡脚汤

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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.

Recipe 1. Herbal chicken foot soup

Ingredients

  • 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)

  1. Wash and clean the solomon's seal. Cut into shorter strips if they are too long
  2. Soak the solomon's seal, red dates and peanuts in room temperature water before using them
  3. Clean the chicken feet by removing the outer skin layer and trimming the claws (if not done so by your friendly supermarkets)
  4. Place chicken feet and solomon's seal and peanuts in the chinese double boiling jar
  5. Add enough water to cover the ingredients
  6. Place the double boiler in a pot
  7. Bring the water to the boil then lower to a simmer for an hour
  8. Add the cooking wine and salt
  9. 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.

Recipe 2. Steamed chicken feet 蒸凤爪

This is a classic Cantonese dim sum dish. And here's how you make it. 

Ingredients

  • 20 chicken feet
  • 1 stalk spring onion
  • 3 pieces ginger
  • 2 star anise
  • Cooking oil

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

Directions

  1. Clean the feet, remove the tough skin and trim the nails
  2. Place the feet in a pot of cold water. Bring the pot to a boil and parboil the feet for a couple of minutes
  3. Remove and pat dry
  4. Heat enough oil in a deep fryer and fry the chicken feet till they are golden brown
  5. Remove the chicken feet and drain well
  6. Place the chicken feet in a sauce pan together with spring onion, ginger and star anise.
  7. Add enough water to cover the feet and simmer for 25 minutes
  8. Remove and halve the feet.
  9. Place all the seasoning ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix them well. Add the chicken feet and coat them well
  10. Place the seasoned feet in a steamer and steamed for 30 minutes

Video Tutorial

Recipe 3: Braised chicken food 酱油鸡爪

I like my chicken feet tender and falling off the bones. So, I will simmer if for a longer time. If the pot is turning dry, add a little hot water. 

Ingredients

  • 10 chicken feet
  • 1 section of young ginger
  • 3 small dried chilli
  • 5 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil

Method

  1. Cut the chicken feet in half
  2. Mix the soy sauce, dark soy sauce and cooking oil in a mixing bowl, add the chicken feet. Mix well and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes
  3. Slice the ginger into long thin slices 
  4. Cut up the dried chili and remove most of the seeds
  5. Place the marinated chicken feet in a clay pot or dutch oven. Add the ginger slices and dried chili. 
  6. Bring the claypot to the boil and stir the chicken feet to ensure they are evenly coated with the sauce
  7. Cover the pot and lower the heat to a slow simmer for 10 minutes or until the chicken feet is soft and falling off the bones. 

Happy Souping, Phoebe

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