Chicken Tonic Soup

Chicken Tonic Soup

Chicken tonic Soup

Serve: 4

Cooking Time: 2.5 hours


  • Half chicken 700-800g (unskinned and bone in)
  • Lean pork fillet 400g
  • Ginger 30g
  • Water 1L
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Dried herbs (or use pre-packed soup ingredients available from most Chinese grocery shops)
    • Chinese Angelica root 10g
    • Goji berries15g
    • Codonopsis root 20g
    • Dried Lily buds 20g
    • Dried scallops 8 pcs or red dates 8 pcs

Cooking Method:

  1. Rinse skinless chicken in a pot of boiling water, drain, and remove it quickly to set aside. Same process applies to pork fillet.
  2. Rinse all the dried herbs in cold water, drain, add into the pot with water (1L) and bring to boil.
  3. Add ginger (cut into slices), chicken, and pork fillet into the pot and bring the whole contents to boil.
  4. Reduce heat to the lowest, allow simmer for 2 hours, and check water level from time to time.
  5. Season with salt and serve

This recipe has brought back many fond memories of different generations of women in my family. My grandma came from WWI’s era who was a traditional housewife with little education. Her greatest joy was to see her grandchildren healthy and happy. My mother is an entrepreneur (independent and sharp). She still takes pride for being a tiger mom (虎妈hǔ mā) with high expectations on her children till these days.

I remembered my grandma would often follow the Chinese calendar called Tong Sheng (通胜meaning ‘all-knowing book’) to prepare our food in alignment with the change of seasons.

My mom could play a “bad cop” well. Under her reinforcement, the children got to learn “All nutritious food is yummy food – but not the other way around”! Pls not to be alarmed, this “chicken tonic soup’ is delicious and popular in my family during the winter months to boast haemoglobin levels and promote blood circulation especially for women.

Both my grandma and mom found their intrinsic happiness of looking after the next generations in a rather different way. But their love helps me feel comfortable in my own skin and appreciate different roles and values a woman can contribute to our society. This recipe is to celebrate the power of women!

A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform” – Diane Mariechild

Cher Jones – Director, Institution Relations, Greater China

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.