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Chinese Chicken Ginger Soup

Passed down from my grandmother, you can make this super easy traditional soup three ways: slow cooker, Instant Pot, or both! This hearty + healthy soup is awesome if you’re feeling under the weather, need a quick boost, or something good for your gut.

Ingredient Highlights

In addition to protein + healthy fats from the chicken in this recipe, here are some of the benefits of complementary ingredients that make this a power house soup for healing.

Ginger

Ginger:

  • Aids in digestion
  • Has anti-inflammatory + antioxidants
  • Contains vitamins E, B6, Niacin, C, manganese, iron, selenium, and magnesium
Black (Shiitake) Mushrooms

Black (Shiitake) Mushrooms:

  • Contain vitamin C, D + lots of B vitamins
  • Contains phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, iron, potassium + zinc
  • Improves circulation
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Promotes immune function
  • Helps tissue growth + repair
  • Promotes skin health
Dried Jujubes (Red Dates)

Jujubes (Red Dates):

  • More antioxidants!
  • Contain iron, calcium, and phosphorus, which can help regulate circulation + improve bone strength
  • Contain Vitamin C + A
  • Like ginger, jujubes have anti-inflammatory properties + aid digestion 
Goji Berries (Wolfberries)

Goji Berries (Wolfberries):

  • Goji Berries are packed! They contain minerals such as sodium, potassium, calcium, iron, zinc, selenium, vitamin C, carotin, thiamin, riboflavin + betaine
  • Nutrients for your eyes like lutein, lycopene, and zeaxanthin
  • Strong anti-oxidant properties to keep liver, brain, and skin healthy + fight free radicals which are linked to chronic diseases
  • Aid quality sleep
  • Can even increase sperm health (hey, the more you know!)

Chinese Chicken Ginger Soup

Recipe by Nerd Out NutritionDifficulty: Easy
Servings

10+

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

35

minutes

Passed down from my grandmother, you can make this super easy traditional soup three ways: slow cooker, Instant Pot, or both! This hearty + healthy soup is awesome if you’re feeling under the weather, need a quick boost, or something good for your gut.

Ingredients

  • 1 Whole organic chicken (thawed, or if using Instant Pot, frozen)

  • 4-5 Black mushrooms (dried, or sub shiitake)*

  • 1 handful of Jujubes (fresh or dried)*

  • 1-inch Ginger (scrubbed, unpeeled, sliced)*

  • 2-4 cloves garlic (peeled + smashed, optional)

  • 8 cups water*

  • Spices
  • Salt to taste

  • For serving
  • 2-3 tbsp Goji berries, dried

  • Chopped green onion

  • Cilantro, fresh

Directions

  • For the best flavor, soak dried mushrooms in cold water overnight* and remove steams after soaking.
  • Rinse jujubes and goji berries (no need to soak, keep separated), set aside. 
  • Rinse chicken in cold water, place in Instant Pot/slow cooker.
  • Add rehydrated mushrooms, sliced ginger, garlic, and jujubes to Instant Pot/slow cooker.
  • For Slow Cooker:
  • Place on slow cook for 8 hours.
  • Add goji berries about 15 minutes before eating.* 
  • For Instant Pot:
  • Lock lid into place and place steam valve to “seal”.
  • For thawed chicken, cook on “Meat” setting for 35 minutes.
  • For frozen chicken, cook on “Meat” setting for 75 minutes.
  • Once finished, allow to release pressure naturally or manually then add goji berries to soup.*
  • Before eating:
  • Salt to taste.
  • Add garnishes (green onion, cilantro)
  • Instant Pot + Slow Cook Method
  • Cook according to Instant Pot instructions.
  • After cooking, keep warm in Instant Pot.
  • Before bed, add water to “Max” line + 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar.*
  • Place on “Slow Cook” overnight. Make sure in the morning that the Instant Pot is on “Keep Warm” mode throughout the day.
  • If desired, repeat steps 3 + 4 for up to 1 week. This can also be done in the slow cooker to make the soup last longer.

Notes

  • Slow cooking is the best way to cook this soup both flavor wise and nutrient wise, but you can also use your Instant Pot or use the Instant Pot + Slow Cook Method.
  • *Dried Mushrooms: For the best flavor, soak dried mushrooms in cold water overnight. Otherwise, soak for at least 30 min to 1 hr or as long as possible in warm water before cooking. 
  • *Dried Mushrooms: I haven’t used fresh mushrooms to make this soup (pretty sure I’ve only ever used ancient mushrooms older than me that my grandparents had in their pantry!), but if you’re using fresh, I’ve read that 3 oz of dried mushrooms = about 1 lb of fresh. If you use fresh mushrooms, let me know how it goes! 
  • *Dried Jujubes: Also known as red dates, Chinese/Korean dates. These are different than other dates that are used as sweeteners.
  • *Sliced Ginger: I like a bit more than the recipe calls for, but start with 1 inch sliced. If it’s too gingery, add more water to your soup. Also, you can peel the skin if you want (I don’t, just get organic + give it a good scrub, and I’m good). If you do peel it, it’s easiest to use a spoon to “scrape” the skin off–it’s a lot less waste the using a knife.
  • *Water: I have a 6-quart Instant Pot, and when I make this, I fill the water to the “Max” line after adding all of the other ingredients.
  • *Adding Goji Berries: be sure to do this last, right before you eat. The heat will plump them up pretty quickly, but cooking them for too long will make them sour (I actually don’t mind the sourness though). I add more Goji Berries each time I make more soup (after it’s slow cooked overnight).
  • For more ingredient facts check out: https://www.organicfacts.net/ or cronometer.com

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