My family loves to drink soup. I guess it’s because of the way we were brought up to appreciate and love soup. As a Chinese Malaysian, soup is a staple dish for dinner. Home-cook soups are the tastiest because it’s made with love, patience and attention using the best, healthiest and simplest ingredients – without the usual overdose of MSG like the commercial-made soups in restaurants.
The Chinese believe that if you are a married woman, you must know how to make soup because it will make our husbands happy when they come home from a long day’s work. Thus, they will come home every night to drink that special soup – we call it yam tong (drink soup). Of course, that was the old wives tale that my mum used to tell me. In the current day, I, for example don’t even know how to make a decent bowl of soup until much much later.
“Yea, my hubby’s very happy with this soup. My mom and Grand mama will be proud of me!”
I grew up with simple chicken & corn soup. Of course, these are the 2 cheapest ingredient you can find many years ago but the flavour combination yields a very special feeling and memories of my home and my wonderful family whom I missed very much. Using corn cobs and chicken stock to flavour the soup tells me that this is definitely a chicken soup for the soul. I hope it makes you feel the same way too 🙂
Chicken & Corn Soup (adapted from Adam Liaw’s Adam’s Big Pot)
5-6 corn cobs, remove husk and silk pieces
1L chicken stock (store-bought or home-made – see below)
4 slices of unpeeled ginger
1 tsp salt, to taste
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp Shoaxing wine
2 tbsp cornflour, mixed with 3 tbsp water
4 eggs, beaten
1 spring onion (green parts only), thinly sliced
(Chicken stock & Shredded chicken) – prepared earlier
1 whole chicken, cleaned & remove visible fat
1 tbsp salt
1. To make the stock – rub salt all over the chicken including inside the cavity. Fill up the stockpot with water and gently place the chicken into the stockpot. Ensure sufficient water covers the whole chicken. Cover and bring to a simmer. Remove cover, reduce the heat and cook for 1 hour. Turn off the heat, place the cover back and let it stand for 30mins. Remove the chicken and let it cool for 10-15mins before chilling in the fridge. Strain the stock and remove any visible scums. Set aside 1L for the soup while keep the rest in an airtight container in the fridge, for up to 1 week.
2. Stand the cobs on a flat plate with raised edges and run a knife down the sides from top to bottom to remove the kernels. Set the kernels aside and place the cobs in a stockpot.
3. Fill up the stockpot with reserved chicken stock and water. Bring it to boil and then lower the heat to simmer. Add ginger slices, salt, Shoaxing wine and soy sauce. Cover the pot and continue to simmer for 45mins. Then remove the cobs and ginger slices.
4. While waiting for the stock to cook, take out 2 cups chicken meat (remove skin and bones) from the fridge and start to shred them to pieces with your fingers. Set aside.
5. Once the stock has cooked, add the kernels and simmer for another 5mins. Now, taste and adjust seasoning. If you prefer a thicker consistency, add the cornflour mixture. If not, you may omit this. Mix in the cornflour mixture until the texture thickens a little.
6. Slowly add the beaten eggs in a thin stream while whisking the soup constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the shredded chicken.
7. Serve the soup in a large bowl and garnish with sliced spring onion. Drip a few drops of sesame oil and some white pepper before serving.