Hot Chic-Ku-Teh To Warm An Ice Queen?

Mua ha ha ha haaaa……..

Yes, you read it right. I am known as The Ice Queen.

Why, you ask? Is it because I’m cold hearted, evil or harsh? Is it because I’m rude, brash, down to the point and IN YOUR FACE?! Haha… well, sometimes yes and sometimes no, depends on what day you catch me on! 😉 Every girl have their moments and I’m one of them.

I’m known as the Ice Queen because I am constantly cold. My hands are always cold and I wear woollies to malls, yes I am THAT cold. It is sometimes embarassing to walk side by side my husband who’s only in t-shirt and shorts and I’m in jeans, boots and thick jumper!

Yesterday was no different to the coming winter days, the days are getting cooler and colder at night. Since my husband had a work dinner engagement, I took an extended evening walk around my block. By the time I headed home, I was sniffling and my eyes were watering from the cold wind blasting in my face. My tight fisted formed hands tucked into the pockets of my jacket kept warmish while my legs doubled their steps, quickening my pace towards home. I couldn’t wait to get home, first of all because I was bl*ody cold and secondly I couldn’t wait to get started on my beautiful soup that I had planned with my tofu puffs that I bought yesterday from Lotte Supermarket.

In my beautiful big IKEA pot, waiting for me on the gas stove top, I only had to systematically throw in all the ingredients and let it simmer and boil. This is one of the easiest and loveliest soup to make, a big all in one pot of warm-the-heart goodness.

In my kitchen shelf lies a box filled with food sachets, curry sauces, herbal soup packets, tumeric, cumin and curry powders, oh and several emperor herbal chicken soup sachets too? I found a few (overdue-dare-I-say) Ba Ku Teh sachets. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Ba Ku Teh, it is a Chinese Herbal soup comprising of herbs and spices that is boiled with pork ribs. Pork ribs are normally the meat source for this dish however I substituted with chicken, ribs for next time for sure! We Chinese love herbal soups and anything that’s good for your body hence the massive collection of herbal soup packets!

So these are the ingredients to add slowly into the pot:

1 packet of Ba Ku Teh (2 sachets)

5 black chinese mushrooms (soaked) cubed or sliced

(as many) wood ear fungus (soaked) sliced

1 packet tofu puff, halved

1 garlic bulb, peeled and whole

500g chicken breast, sliced (or fried tofu cubes)

soy sauce

sugar (optional)

Put in the 2 sachets and follow the instructions on the packet for water amounts, in this case 1500ml of water (6 soup bowls), into the pot and leave to boil.

While the water’s boiling up, add the whole garlic cloves. Then the meat and leave to boil for about 10-15 min to boil and for the herbal sachets to burst out the goodness hidden within it.

Then slowly add the rest of the ingredients, mushroom, fungus and lastly the tofu puffs. Season to taste.

I had some left over soy bean sprouts so I added it in raw using the hot soup to ‘cook’ it. Then topped with lots and lots of goodies and finally a sprinkle of roasted sesame seeds. A little toss and turn, it was ready to be enjoyed. It was so delicious, I love the herbal smell wafting through the apartment, the mushrooms were fat and juicy, wood ear fungus was firm and crunchy and the soup was going down so quickly, it burns my oesophagus! But that didn’t stop me, I kept on going until I thawed.

30 min later, I was still eating, nibbling at the stove top, going back for my 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th rounds. Oh My Goodness, it was so good I didn’t want to stop. But, there’s more to come for tonight’s dinner (because I didn’t tell you my little secret… I doubled the amount so I can enjoy it again today!)

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