Saturday, March 21, 2009
GOING NUTS OVER PEANUTS
My dad loves peanuts. Everyday, he would sit in his black leather chair, watching tv, and he would occasionally reach into a bag of unshelled peanuts, cracking them between his fingers and popping the nuts into his mouth. My 3 year old son loves to watch grandad do that. And when he was old enough, my dad let him join in for some fun. It's kinda cute seeing grandad and grandson sitting together, heads bowed, fully concentrating on cracking them peanuts.
My mother-in-law has reminded me a couple of times that my sons have to have their peanut soup once they reach 12 years old. It's an old tradition which my mum-in-law believes in. Apparently, this soup will help boys grow tall and strong because the Chinese believe that eating peanuts help stimulate growth.
But hey, why wait till they are 12? Why not just drown my kids with peanut soup and peanut butter as soon as they are old enough to eat peanuts assuming they are not allergic to these legumes :-)
CHINESE CHICKEN PEANUT SOUP
1 piece of chicken breast meat
10 Chinese wolfberries (kei chi)
100g large peanuts with skin
1 piece dried scallop (bought from a Chinese medicine shop)
Salt to taste (and a pinch of sugar ... that's the secret ingredient those ladies won't tell you)
1. In a large soup pot, add 2 litres of cold water. Add everything except salt and sugar to taste and bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
2. Let soup simmer for at least 1 hour. Don't let the soup boil over high heat. Let the ingredients sit nicely in the hot tub. Season the soup with salt and sugar to taste only before you are ready to serve.
Could not be an easier dish to do.
Besides being a growth serum of sorts, this soup is good for people who are not feeling well because the Chinese believe any chicken soup helps strengthen the body. Chicken soup for the soul? Meanwhile, people are pushing wolfberries like they are the next cancer killing pill. Anyhow, ok. Anything that's good for the body is good for me.
Now, quite a few ladies like to boil chicken feet (minus the claws) instead of breast meat because they believe chicken feet has lots of collagen, and that's good for the skin. Frankly, I don't mind chicken feet soup. It's those dried sheep placenta that I can't imagine eating or putting on any part of my body.
Some recipe books will instruct the reader to quickly parboil the chicken and pork in some hot water before plunging them into the stock soup. The reason is to remove any blood and scum for better presentation. If the meat is washed thoroughly beforehand, I believe there's no need to do that. The scum is actually protein, and it's good ok for consumption. Stop me if I'm wrong :-)
Oh yes. How to drink the soup? My granny use to serve them in individual delicate China bowls during meals. I'm too lazy. I just scoop them into a mug and drink them as I watch tv. My granny used to love Cantonese serials. Never fails. In every episode, every time someone walks through the door, the tv mum will quickly run out of the kitchen with a bowl of steaming hot soup for them to drink as a show of love and concern. "Lay ... yum thong lah" She would say. "Come ... drink some soup please"
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