1. What is bird's nest soup made of?
Made from the saliva of swiftlets, the nests are expensive due to the difficulty in harvesting and the many benefits it brings. Lots of Asian celebrities consume this daily to look beautiful!
Bird’s nest is believed to boost the immune system and raise the libido. Women believe that eating it daily enhances their complexion, making it a perfect gift for mums.
Bird’s nest contains high levels of protein, calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium. In fact, bird’s nest itself is almost tasteless; it requires additional effort to render it tasty.
2. How to clean bird's nest feather before cooking at home?
Step 1: Soak the raw or dried bird’s nest in a bowl of tap water for about 2-3 hours, or until the layers have softened and expanded.
Soak bird's nest in a bowl of water about 2-3 hours or until expanded and softened
Here's the result:
Layers of the bird’s nest have softened and expanded
Step 2: Use a pointed tweezer to carefully pluck out the tiny feathers and dirt in between the layers. Be careful not to press or separate the layers too much with your fingers, it could easily disintegrate.
Use a pointed tweezer to remove bird’s nest impurities
- Use a cup preferably with an all white inside, so you can see the dirt that has been removed
Tiny feathers and debris have been plucked out from the bird’s nests.
Step 3: Transfer the cleaned bird’s nest into another bowl with water, and repeat this process 2-3 times until the nests are so clean. Further rinse and drain the bird's nest with a fine colander or strainer.
Further rinse and drain the bird's nest with a fine colander or strainer
3. How to cook Bird’s Nest in slow cooker (without double boiler)
- Once done the cleaning bird’s nest process, pour all cleaned bird’s nest into a slow cooker. Rinse the dates and put on top the cleaned bird's nest in the slow cooker. Add in the rock sugar.
Add dates, rock sugar and put on top the cleaned bird's nest in the slow cooker
- Add enough water to cover the ingredients and let it cook in the slow cooker for 45 minutes to 1.5 hours, depending on your desired texture.
Bird's Nest cooked in the slow cooker for 45 minutes to 1.5 hours, depending on your desired texture
- You may also cook it with pandan leaves for a different dimension and aroma.
The gooey, gelatinuos bird's nests, strands still intact
4. How to cook bird’s nest with rock sugar in a double boiler (simple bird’s nest soup recipe)
Bird’s nest with rock sugar
- Prepare a double-boiler and fill the external pot with water that covers almost half the internal pot.
- Place the drained bird's nest in the internal boiler and add 1 - 2 bowls of water depending of the pieces cooked.
Place the drained bird's nest in the internal boiler into the external boiler
- Cover both the internal and external pots and start boiling the pot.
- Once it's boiling, turn to low flame to continue to boil for another 2 - 3 hours.
- When the bird's nest is cooked to desired texture, stir in rock sugar to taste and cover for about 5 minutes to allow the sugar to dissolve fully
- Do remember to check the water in the external pot is not dried up and sufficient throughout the boil. Once cooked you can have your bird's nest served hot or cold in a bowl depends on your preference.
You can also cook bird’s nest soup with rock sugar using a slow cooker like above method.
5. Additional ingredients you can add into a bird's nest soup
Raw Edible Bird’s Nest is mainly made up of nutritious protein and therefore contains a certain 'egg-like' smell. Purists have been known to consume Bird’s Nest Soup without any other ingredients for maximum absorption and quality.
Here, we do recommend several alternatives that can be added to your Bird’s Nest Soup to make it more delectable.
Often consumed as a dessert delicacy, Bird’s Nest is widely-expected to taste sweet. Rock sugar is an essential ingredient in cooking Bird’s Nest. Use suitable amount of rock sugar according to personal preference.
Ginseng has been used in traditional chinese medicine for centuries. It is widely used as an energy tonic, treating stress, increase alertness and mental clarity.
It help the body to produce more red blood cells and boosts immunity. it is also very good for the throat.
Help to produce a 'calming' sensation to the Bird’s Nest soup and has therapeutic properties.
Ginger is a catalyst, helping the antioxidants in the Bird’s Nest soup to be better absorbed by the body. It is alkaline and helps the body to digest food, aiding blood circulation and is a wonderful natural remedy for colds.
Adding some egg white helps to enhance the favours of the bird nest. Goes very well with ginger with bird nest as well. Highly recommended.
They have a wonderful fragrance and are often used in Asia to magnify the aroma of dishes. Pandan leaves can be cooked together with the Bird’s Nest in the internal pot for a heavenly scent!
They have high level of antioxidants. It is an effective treatment for deteriorating memory and early stage Alzheimer's disease.
Important : Must be taken in moderate amount to enjoy benefits.
6. Useful Tips for cooking Bird's Nest Soup
- Rather than weighing the bird’s nest, go by pieces per person. For one person, use 1 piece of Hello Nest Bird's Nest. This equates to about 9-12 grams per person. We use 1 rice bowl of water per person.
Rather than weighing the bird’s nest, go by pieces per person
- Although red dates are a common addition in bird’s nest soup, we wouldn't recommend using it. According to our own experience, the cheap red dates will act like a sponge which absorb the goodness of the bird’s nest soup (though it’s not so bad if you eat the red dates).
- We highly recommend to enjoy bird’s nest in the purest way – just bird’s nest, water and rock sugar. You may also add American ginseng slices. If you find ginseng bitter or intend to consume at night (it improves alertness/ 提神), omit it.
- Don’t fuss over prepping the bird’s nest, because our Bird's Nest usually very clean. Simply soak the bird’s nest pieces in water overnight until fully expanded and softened, but not so long that the bird’s nest disintegrates into small bits.
If there are any impurities such as debris and feathers (which is very normal, as it proves that it is 100% authentic bird's nest), pluck them out using a kitchen tweezer, drain, and they are ready for cooking.
Don’t fuss over prepping the bird’s nest, because our Bird's Nest usually very clean
- Avoid boiling bird's nest for too long. Boiling them for too long will remove the solid chunks in the Bird's Nest soup, and cause it to become very watery. It will also remove all the proteins and good nutrients inside the bird's nest.
The older folks especially dislike it when the stewed bird’s nest soup do not have solid chunks after cooking (i.e. very watery). We highly recommend boiling house nest for 20 minutes max. Please see below for more details.
- For best results, use the traditional way of double-boiling instead of an electronic double-boiler slow cooker. However, an electronic slow cooker is an alternative, subjected to personal preference.
Traditional way of double-boiling is recommended
- It is said that bird’s nest soup is best consumed at room temperature, or chilled, on an empty stomach (such as just before bed, or when you wake up in the morning). For maximum absorption, do not eat “heaty” snacks or medication a few hours before and after drinking bird’s nest soup.
7. How long to cook bird's nest soup ?
Time of cooking depends on your desired texture and type of bird's nest. Recommended cooking time for double boiling:
- House Nests including white, pink and red nests: 20-30 minutes
Time of cooking depends on your desired texture and type of bird's nest
- White Island Nests: 2-3 hours
- Red Island Nests: 4-6 hours
8. How to store cooked bird's nest soup ?
Simply store in a fridge, you can keep it up to 1 week.
>> Useful tips to realize stores where you can buy Best Bird's Nest Soup with highest grades and lowest prices.