Mustard Green Chicken Soup is one of our traditional Taiwanese New year dishes. The long stalks from the vegetable represents “long life” and it’s simply a great dish for Chinese New Year. Because the long stalk represents “long life”, in Taiwan mustard green vegetable is also known as “long life vegetable” (長年菜).
The Mustard Green vegetable is also known as “Brassica Juncea”. It’s a kind of mustard plant that not only Chinese people use in their food but also Indian people use it. It has a very unique taste that has a kind of light horseradish-mustard flavour. Chinese and Taiwanese people use this vegetable in many different kinds of dishes. You can stir-fry it, make soup or even preserve it with salt and stir-fry it with some mince or bean curd. It’s really delicious! Another thing worth mentioning about Mustard Green is it’s not only delicious but it’s also super healthy!
Mustard Green contains high levels of Vitamin K, C and A as well as being a good source of folic acid. Mustard Green also provides a rich source of anti-oxidants and flavonoids which can help the body prevent prostate, breast, colon and ovarian cancers.
Regular consumption of mustard greens in the diet is know to prevent arthritis, osteroporosis, iron deficiency, anaemia and is believed to help protect people from cardiovascular diseases, asthma and colon and prostate cancers.
Soup is a really important part of Chinese cuisine. Chinese and Taiwanese soups are completed different to western soups. In Chinese cooking, Chinese people use many different ingredients for soup but the soups are seasonal and also medicinal. If I’m sick sick with flu for example, I like to add a bit of ginger in my soup.
A lot of Chinese people will also put different kinds of Chinese medicine in their soup to maintain their bodies and improve their health. As you can tell, it’s very different with Chinese cooking. A good soup can be healthy, filling, enrich your body and good for your tummy, improve your stamina and strengthen your health.
So this mustard green chicken soup not only has a great meaning but is really great for your health. It’s a really superb dish to start your New Year with.
Normally, you can see this vegetable in Asian/Chinese supermarkets along the fresh grocery aisle or fridge. The season for this dish is winter to early spring.
- 1 whole chicken (cut into pieces)
- 1 1/2 pounds/800 g. mustard greens (cut into 1 to 2 inches/3 to 5 cm lengthways)
- 3 piece ginger
- Salt to taste
- Ground white pepper to taste
- 8 1/2 to 10 cups water to cover (about 2 to 2 1/2 liters)
- Blanch the chicken and rinse under cold water to give it a quick wash. This procedure gets rid of any unpleasantness from the chicken.
- Put the chicken into a stockpot and add ginger. Add water until the contents of the stockpot are covered.
- Boil it first then simmer for 1.5 hours.
- Check the chicken meat is soft and put the mustard green into the soup to cook along with the chicken until the mustard green is cooked and the stalk is soft. Season the soup and it’s ready to serve.