Sunday, March 30, 2008

Chicken with Red Dates Soup 红枣鸡汤

I have a grandaunt who lived til she was 96. She was the eldest sister of my paternal grandmother. My father and I were babysat by her, so were my father's siblings and my siblings. So, she was very much involved in our lives.

She cooked our daily meals until.. she was.... 90. Well, she was a healthy woman until that great power disruption of 1997. Imagine her running after us with a cane when she was 85. She could cross a busy road while on the way to church for Mother's day or Easter celebrations. Taking awards for being the oldest person in church for many many years.. **she was born on the same year Kampar Chinese Methodist Church was established, 1903.

She was a disciplinarian, taking over the role from my grandma who was busy making ends meet for the whole family. Everybody will turn up for her big birthday, her own grandchildren (lesser) and us her niece, nephews, grand nieces and grand nephews making up the majority. Her passing away brought much sorrow to our family... most of all to my small ku cheh.. hehehe.

Memories of her remain.. We miss her cooking a lot. She could cook many dishes that none of us could ever recreate.

This soup is one of it. My favourite soup from grandaunt.

Chicken and Red Dates Soup Recipe


  • 400gm chicken (abt 1 quarter bird)
  • 15pcs red dates
  • 1.5L water
  • 1/2 tsp salt.


  1. Boil water.
  2. Remove skin from chicken.
  3. Hit red dates with the side of a cleaver and remove seeds.
  4. Place chicken and red dates into boiling water and simmer for 3 hours.
  5. When ready, season with salt. Pepper is not necessary.


I made this with a slow cooker, 4 hours on high. Heating up slow cooker, put in chicken and pitted red dates, then pour in boiling water.


  1. Hey, you are so great!! I didn't know that you can cook so well!! Well,I like herbal soup. However,I couldn't get the 'sweet' taste for the soup. What to do with the chicken? Marinate it?

  2. No, it's just plain chicken. As per our conversation that day, it's the level of heat that u use for u soups, Slow cooker on high for minimum 3 hours.

    Besides that, quality of ingredients do affect the taste as well. EG: red dates with seeds taste better than those bought with seeds oredi removed.
    Kampung chicken and old hens definately taste better than farm chicken.

  3. I cooked this soup last week with gas stove..very tasty..forgot to take pic. Thks


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