The root herbs-astragalus, codonopsis, and dioscorea-are classified by Chinese herbalists as qi tonics. They benefit digestion, aid absorption of nutrients, improve cardiac function, and enhance energy. The two dried fruits, lycium and longan, are classified as blood tonics; they are frequently used to treat anemia, reduce fidgeting, and benefit sleep. Black fungus is reputed to alleviate dryness and benefit the circulation; it adds a satisfying texture to the soup. Polygonatum is classified as a yin tonic; it helps restore moisture to dried membranes. Lotus seed is a mild tonic and sedative useful for alleviating nervousness and irritability.
To make the soup, place about 2 pounds of chicken (best with bones included) with the skin removed in a medium sized pot and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and remove any residue that floats to the top at that time. Add in the whole package of herbs, 2 cloves of crushed or grated garlic, 2 thin slices of fresh ginger, and a teaspoon of salt (the amount of garlic, ginger, and salt can be adjusted to your taste; these amounts are for a mild flavoring). Bring back to a slow boil, cover, and simmer for about 50-60 minutes.
Add sliced fresh vegetables, such as carrots and celery (for a more warming effect, use green onions), and various greens and squashes at this time and simmer again for an additional 5-10 minutes to soften them. Then add 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon of wine (or mild vinegar). Remove from heat. All the herb materials are edible except the astragalus, which is too fibrous, and this item should be removed before serving (it is the flat herb that retains a woody appearance).
The package of herbs contains about 5.5 ounces. This recipe makes enough soup for four servings (a large bowl of soup each) providing about 40 grams of dried herbs. For individuals recovering from serious illness or other debilitating experience, the soup can be taken daily for about one week to help restore strength. Others may wish to enjoy this dish about once a week for nourishing the blood and getting a great energy boost. Serve with a side dish of rice to make a complete meal.
How to make it
Clean the chicken legs and pour boiling water over it. This will help to remove some unpleasant “smell”. Bring water in double boiler to boil. Place herbs on bottom of a double boiler and place chicken on top of the herbs. Add the 700 ml boiling water and cover lid. Double boil for 3 hours. Add salt to taste before serving. This is only simple of making this Traditional Vietnamese Food, you could search more information to make perfect dish.
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