Thursday, December 03, 2009

Conch, Dried Scallops, Mushrooms Herbal Soup

CONCH (pronounced 'konk') is a common name for certain large marine snails. Conch meat has a mild, sweet clam-like flavor, and the sliced dried conch meat is exceptionally delicious in soups.  The meat will taste like abalone after it has been cooked for a long period of time.

DRIED SCALLOPS or Conpoy is a type of dried seafood product made from the adductor muscle of scallops Conpoy is a loanword from the Cantonese pronunciation of gonbui (乾貝, Cantonese: gon1bui³; Mandarin: gān bèi ; Hakka:gorn boy), which literally means "dried shell(fish)".Its taste is rich and umami due to its high content of various free amino acids, such as glycine, alanine, and glutamic acid. It is also rich in nucleic acids such as inosinic acid, amino acid byproducts such as taurine, and minerals, such as calcium and zinc.

 MONKEY HEAD MUSHROOM is called hóu tóu gū.in Chinese, in Japanese it is called yamabushitake and in Vietnamese it is called nấm đầu khỉ.  In traditional Chinese medicine this mushroom has long been considered a medicinal mushroom and a study on rats in 2005 showed that some compounds in the mushroom, like threitol, D-arabinitol, and palmitic acid may have antioxidant effects, may regulate blood lipid levels and may reduce blood glucose levels. 

DRIED SHITAKE MUSHROOMS  have a wonderful smoky flavor and a meaty texture. They are one of the most culinarily versatile mushrooms for their economical price.Shiitake are not only a delicious addition to just about any recipe, they are also a healthy one. These mushrooms are not only a source of high quality protein because they contain all essential amino acids, but shiitake also are a good source of minerals and vitamins. Having high fiber and few calories makes these mushrooms a close to perfect food! All these dietary attributes are part of the reason the shiitake mushrooms has long been a symbol of longevity in China. In fact, a growing body of evidence show that the health benefits of eating shiitake do not end at the mushroom's nutritional benefits.

STRAW MUSHROOM gets its name from being cultivated on straw that has been used on a paddy. They are also known as paddy-straw mushrooms and grass mushrooms Straw mushrooms are cold in nature and is especially good for summer, they clears Heat, benefits "Yin" energy and promotes the production of body fluid. They contain protein, fat, iron, zinc, various amino acids and large amount of vitamin C. They have healing function for hypertension patients and those with high blood cholesterol level. They have been used as an auxiliary treatment for cancer and diabetes patients.

WOLFBERRY is the most commonly used English name, while gǒuqǐ (枸杞) is the Chinese name,  has been used in China for thousand of years.  Wolfberry was considered as Yin and its health benefits, include strengthening the eyes, liver and kidney and nourishing the blood. Chinese people have been using wolfberry to make tea, soup, stew and wine or chewed them like raisins.

YUK CHUK akaYu Zhu (Solomon's Seal Rhizome, Polygonatum) nourishes Lung and Stomach Yin, Moistens Dryness, Treats dry cough, dry throat, irritability, and thirst. Also for cough with scanty, sticky sputum or chronic respiratory disorders with a consumptive cough.

The above ingredients are used to make a pot of nutritional soup.


Dried Conch
Dried Scallops
Monkey Head Mushrooms
Dried Straw Mushrooms
Dried Shitake Mushrooms
Yuk Chuk
1 whole chicken - cut into 8 - 10 pieces


Soak the dried conch, dried scallops until they are reconstituted.

Soak all the mushrooms.
Put chicken pieces in a pot and cover with enough water to cover the chicken pieces, bring to the boil and continue to boil until all the scums float to the top.  Turn off heat and discard the scumpy water and wash the chicken pieces with cold water.

Return clean chicken pieces to the pressure cooker, add in the reconstituted conch, scallops, mushrooms, wolfberries, yuk chuk and enough water to cover the ingredients.  Close the lid of pressure cooker and when pressure builds up to 15 lb, reduce heat to maintain pressure for 45 minutes.

Release pressure before opening lid of pressure cooker.

Adding more hot water(according to how many servings you need) to the soup and bring back to the boil.

Using a gravy separator, remove the oil from the soup.

Serve soup while it is hot.


Mary Bergfeld said...

I loved the explanation of the ingredients that you gave at the beginning of the post.

Ube said...

Sounds like a promising soup to ward off flu and cold in this cold season and keep the feet warm! The soup sounds like the precursor of penicillin - lots of healing power.

Pity said...

it looks very healthy and delicious, well done, cheers from london

Little Corner of Mine said...

Lily, can we buy dried conch here? I have seen monkey head mushrooms selling here.

Unknown said...


yes, i bought mine from viet hoa and pacific ocean has it but it is more expensive

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