Bird’s Nest Soup

September 27, 2009

This was written fairly soon after my father arrived at Changi and appears among a number of notes about local Chinese culture, including references to such miscellaneous topics as ablution ceremonies, feuding, green tea (easily recognized by its “peculiar smell” and “said to give much energy”) and Chinese cigarettes.  The cigarettes were said to be “good for the teeth” though he was doubtful about that given that “most Chinese” seemed to have poor teeth.

Later in the notes there would be a much more detailed recipe.

Bird’s Nest Soup

This is a great delicacy amongst the Chinese but is very expensive.  Buying by bulk, the birds’ nests cost as much as 12 dollars a kattie (1 1/4 lbs). The nests themselves are very small & are made entirely of the birds’ saliva. Before they are served as food the Chinese keep them in a certain way for a certain time to “season” them.  The nests are said to be a good ‘pick-me-up’ for enemics (sic).  They are great blood restorers.

(Book C, page 116)

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