Nagaimo (Mountain Yam) Chicken Soup - 淮山鸡汤

It is not often that I see edible tuber-llike plants with digestive enzymes such as amylase and diastase that convert starch to sugar and digest carbohydrates. Nagaimo is one of them, also know as Chinese Mountain Yam (山药 Shan Yao, or 淮山 Huai Shan. There is plenty of nutrients in Nagaimo and you should really check them out. When in season, they can be found in Asian Supermarket - Ranch 99, and Japanese Supermarkets - Nijiya and Mitsuwa, in California, USA.

I have done a stir-fry at home before and while I was staying at my friend's place, we also stir-fried these wild yams but it does not seem popular with guys (our husbands) - they do not enjoy the slimy texture! They complained it was weird.

However, when I make soup out of these yams one day know what, hubby did not say anything (a good sign).  He just finished the soup. The sliminess seems to have "dissolved"(disappeared) and  became really subtle when cooked in a soup. Oh, maybe hubby thought he was drinking Chicken and Potato Soup? NO. They are not the same. The "sliminess" in potatoes is starch but the "sliminess" in these yams is definitely NOT starch but mucilaginous property of proteins.


Nagaimo (Mountain Yam) Chicken Soup - 淮山鸡汤 
Ingredients: 2-3 chicken carcasses (bones), parboiled; 1 Nagaimo (picture above), peeled and cut into circular chunks; 1 medium-size carrot, peeled and cut into circular chunks; 2-cm knob ginger, slightly crushed; salt to taste; half a pack of willow mushrooms is optional here (Note: use of willow or bunashimeigji-type of mushrooms preferred since fresh shitake has a much stronger taste and may overpower the soup which I really want to taste the yams)

Directions: Place parboiled chicken bones in a pot, with the yam, carrot and ginger. Add water, enough to just immerse the chicken. Turn on heat and boil. When boiling, turn to lower heat and simmer for about 20-30 minutes till yam and carrots turn tender. You can add some mushrooms at this point. Salt to taste, then turn off heat, cover the pot (Note: the remaining heat of the soup will cook the mushrooms and make them tender)

Healthy soup

This soup is real easy to make, nourishing to the body and naturally delicious.

This soup goes to SouperSundays at Kahakai Kitchen.

What is your favorite soup? It does not have to be a comfort soup, though most of the time it ends up being a comfort soup.

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