Chinese mushroom chicken soup is super easy, tasty and healthy. A 2-ingredient one-pot dinner can serve along with some noodles on the side. Cooking from scratch is that easy and versatile.
Total Time: 2 Hours 5 Minutes
Prep Time: ZERO
Active Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Inactive Cook Time: 1 Hour 50 Minutes
I love mushrooms very much. I eat all kinds of mushrooms. Little did I know until I developed this recipe that mushrooms are low carb. So, it automatically makes this a perfect Keto low carb recipe.
When I was younger, I remember someone told me that shiitake mushrooms are great for lowering blood pressure. The recipe in my memory is that 4 cups of water soaking around 1-1.5 cups of dried shiitake mushrooms. Once they are rehydrated, bring everything to a boil. No salt added into the mixture. Consume everything on a daily basis which will cure high blood pressure. I had never tried that before. But eventually, I will.
Traditionally, Chinese would put in a whole chicken or chicken feet and cook until the meat fall off the bones. The goal is to get as much bone marrow melted and incorporated into the soup as possible. Depending on people's preference, some would discard the meat. The others would dip the “sandpaper-liked” chicken meat into soy sauce and consume it, like my mom and sisters always do.
But this Chinese mushroom chicken soup recipe is a much improved version. The chicken will be perfectly cooked that the meat is easily shredded and still juicy to enjoy.
Chinese call Shiitake mushroom as "winter mushroom" because it is harvested during winter.
Dry shiitake mushroom has literally forever shelf life. If you open a package, store it in a fridge. As long as it is dry, it will be good.
In Hong Kong, , my hometown, the weather is very humid. My paternal grandmother used to lay out the dry shiitake mushrooms and other dehydrated seafood products under the sun once a month to keep them dry.
From the Chinese's perspective, the best kind of Shiitake mushroom is called "flower mushroom". What it refers to is the pattern of a dry mushroom. The bigger the mushroom, the better. And the more splits on top of a dry mushroom, the better it is, too. A lot of time, these 2 factors determine the market price of dry Shiitake mushrooms.
However, for this specific Chinese mushroom chicken soup recipe, use whatever is available and most affordable.
Also, the bigger the mushroom, the bigger its stem. Most of the time, the stem is very tough. It is best to snap it off while the mushroom is still dry. Save all the stems to make broth later which is super tasty and fragrant.
Many chefs would tell you to use hot boiling water to soak mushrooms. Chinese have been using cold water for many years. My mom taught me using this same method since I started cooking at the age of 11. I still stand my ground to use cold water. Here is the reason why.
Think about any food is in the contact of heat, it means that the cooking process starts. So, if you use hot water to soak the dry mushrooms, it starts cooking as soon as the hot water touches them. If you need to fasten the process for a quick recipe, hot water may be an option.
But with this Chinese mushroom chicken soup, there will be an hour before the mushrooms going into the soup. In fact, they should only start cooking when the mushrooms are in the hot soup. So, stick with the cold water.
The major difference between these 2 cuts of meat is the bone you are going to get. There are more bones from split chicken breasts. Most of the time, the stores don’t clean it good. So, you need to do the work before cooking it.
In my opinion, split chicken breasts are perfect for cooking soup. Bone-in skin-on chicken breasts would work better for roasting.
In my opinion, the Shiitake mushrooms are the stars of this soup recipe. Therefore, I skip ginger. But do feel free to add a couple slices of fresh ginger into the soup.
To make it carb friendly for your family, cook any kind of noodles on the side. I love flat rice noodles to pair with this Chinese mushroom chicken soup recipe. Let everybody to assemble the noodle bowl by themselves per their preference.
You can replace Shirataki noodles to make it completely Keto low carb friendly, especially if you are on this type of diet. Click here and learn how to prepare Shirataki noodles.
4.5 lbs Split Chicken Breasts (skin-on and bone-in)
2 oz Dry Shiitake Mushrooms
11 cups Water (divided)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Scallion (optional; chopped)
1-2 slices of Fresh Ginger (optional)
Serve This With:
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