Probably the best known of all Chinese dishes, Bird’s Nest Soup is one of the tastiest and most expensive of Oriental dishes. The edible birds’ nests are available at most Chinese food stores.
4 birds’ nests
2 pints chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
4 oz. cooked chicken, finely shredded
4 slices ham, finely chopped
½ teaspoon monosodium glutamate
Soak the birds’ nests for 12 hours in warm water in a medium-sized bowl, changing the water once or twice. Remove any protruding feathers from the nest with tweezers.
Bring the chicken stock to the boil over high heat in a large saucepan. Add the salt and pepper and drop the birds’ nests into the boiling stock. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes.
Stir in the chicken, ham and mono-sodium glutamate. Continue simmering for 1 minute, then remove the pan from the heat.
Pour the soup into a heated tureen and serve at once.