Chicken Herbal Soup


I grew up with homemade Chinese soups at our dinner table every day, and Chinese soup is somehow very comforting for me. I think soup is in the Hokkien people’s food culture. Hokkien people are from the Fujian Province in China (my papa was born in Longyan, west of Fujian Province). Papa loved soup so much that he could just drink a big bowl of soup for dinner. Somedays when I want a light dinner, I have just a big bowl of soup.. aahh

One of my favourite soup is Chicken Herbal Soup. I love to take this gentle and nourishing tonic soup frequently to maintain good health. Herbal soups are most convenient to cook with a slow cooker – I put all the ingredients in the slow cooker before in the morning and it’s ready when I return home for dinner. These photos are taken at night in my kitchen under the white fluorescent light, not bad huh?

There’s many variation of herbal soup with different combination of herbs, and I have this tendency to mix up or recognize the herbs name. Being a BANANA (yellow skin but white-man thinking on the inside) does not help much, my business partner always joke about me being OCBC (Orang China Bukan China – literally translation is Chinese People Not Chinese). Well, I am of Chinese descent but I can’t read or write Chinese characters much.

When I left home to Australia for university, my mama was so sweet (and clever) to make ready packets of the herbs combination for me to bring. I would use her sample packs as reference when I pick the herbs at the soup for my soup. Thank you mama.

Years later, I’ve come to love this combination for my chicken herbal soup. I’m not sure what is the exact benefit of this combination, all I know it’s for good health. Come to think of it, most Chinese dishes are somehow for good health!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chicken Herbal Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • Half Chicken
  • 10 Hong Zhao (Red Dates)
  • 1 Tablespoon Go Ji (Wolfberries)
  • 2 Tablespoon Yu Zhu (Solomon's Seal)
  • 10 LongYan (Dried Longan)
  • 5g Dang Shen (Codonopsis Root) - about 4-5 slices
  • 6 slices Huang Qi (Astragalus Root)
  • 1 liter Water (or according to your pot size)
  • Add Salt to taste
  • 5 slices of Ginseng (optional)
  1. Put all ingredients into pot and bring to boil. Simmer on low fire for at least 1 hour. If using slow cooker, put on high or automatic for 4-6 hours.
  2. Add salt to taste. Serve hot.

Most people drink just the tonic soup and throw away all the ingredients. I would finish the whole pot of ingredients, except the herbs Dang Shen and Huang Qi. What about you?


  1. I just made this and its delicious. I might put less dried longan next time as i found it a bit too sweet. The pictures with the words really helped!!!

  2. wow, looks good! the chinese shop was a bit intimidating so i just picked up the herbal kit from root and spring (making sure that the ingredients were similar to yours). feeling healthier already 🙂 thanks shannon!

  3. Very simple recipe, will try is asap! However, I’m not Chinese and I may not really know which ones not to eat after cooking. Can we really not eat the 2 items u mentioned? Thanks in adv. 🙂

    • The 2 herbs I mentioned are still hard and woody after cooking, which most people do not enjoy eating them. Some people (especially the Cantonese) do not eat any of the herbs or chicken at all, they only drink the soup because they believe all the nutrients are now in the soup. I have to let you know that many non-Chinese are not used to the chinese herbs taste, it is an acquired taste that we grew up with from childhood 😀

  4. Hi Shannon,

    First, Happy New Years!!! Love your blogs/site, very funny. I know how moms are especially for their daughters. For this recipe, I was wondering if its okay to use an electric double boilers, called “Dun Jones” in Chinese? Do you think I can get the full benefits of herbs using one? and the recommended time for this recipe? I’m thinking maybe 4 hours. Thanks for any recommendations and considerations.


    • Happy New Year to you, Gary. Sure you can use double boilers for any Chinese soup recipes, the Cantonese people like using this method. I have not used a double boiler before, so I can advise on the cooking time.

  5. Hi Shannon,

    I remember my friend’s mom who served this soup many years ago in Malaysia.. I still remember the comforting flavours in that bowl and Auntie Chua served it with love (thats what I love about her). I’ve lost touch with the family and now living in sweden I wanted to do the soup but I had no idea what the ingredients were. My friends have given me the chinese names of the herbs but it is not easy to find these here in Sweden. I’ve asked other food bloggers to put up pics or at least share the scientific name of these herbs but never got any response. I see the pics here and i squeled with joy cause the vietnamese use these herbs in their soups and it is available here.

    So, thank you for sharing your recipe and the pictures of the herbs. I cant wait to get these ingredients and cook up a pot of this comforting soup.

    Bless you loads, Shannon. Cheers 🙂

  6. Nice blog. This soup sounds wonderful and so healthy too, thanks.

    You are welcome to join in my monthly food blogger event THE SOUP KITCHEN, here for entry details and current theme offering a new theme each month. All bloggers are welcome, hope to see you participate soon.
    Debs @ The Spanish Wok recently posted..Caprese SaladMy Profile

  7. Shannon- first, thanks for the foodbuzz friend request. Much appreciated. Second, you have no idea how much of a fan I am of special chicken soups that the Chinese seem to know best. I love your description of this one… tonic, gentle and nourishing… maintains good health. All things I care about. I will carry this recipe (and your nice descriptive photos) to San Francisco with me the next time I go so I can purchase the right herbs at the Chinese shops on Clement Street.

    Thank you again. I look forward to more of your Chinese specialties. My best, Pam

    • Pam, thank you for your kind words, I’m happy to know that this post is able to help with your chinese soup quest 🙂 Your words encourage me to post more chinese cooking I grew up with.

  8. Hi shanon, thanks for visiting my blog earlier. You have a very lovely site here. Hope to hear from you more often.
    Looking forward to sharing and enjoy your day.
    Blessings, Kristy

    • Kristy, i am humbled by your experience as a seasoned blogger. hope to learn from your amazing cooking

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.

Rate this recipe:  

CommentLuv badge


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.