Bird Nest Soup – a delicacy around the world and very popular in Hong Kong. It's a very expensive luxury in Chinese cooking, and the Chinese have been enjoying bird nest soup for hundreds of years. Just what exactly is "Bird Nest Soup"?
|Photo by Lip Kee, Flickr.com|
Bird Nest Soup really is made from the nests of birds - the swiftlet bird (Aerodramus).
A swiftlet is only about 4-1/2 inches long. The swiftlet lives in Southeast Asia and makes its little nests on cliffs. It makes these nests with its sticky saliva, dabbing the rocks with its tongue and moving back and forth, applying saliva in sticky strands as it dries quickly. It can take up to two months to build a little nest, which is just big enough to fit two eggs. After the baby birds leave the nest, people go in and collect the nests, and use them to create the delicacy.
|Photo by SJ Photography, Flickr.com -|
Dried bird nests waiting to be cleaned and cooked up.
The dried nests can cost from $2,000 - $10,000 USD for one kilogram. Hong Kong imports about 100 tons of these each year! Dried nests are soaked in water and simmered for several hours to soften. The cooks meticulously remove feathers and bits of sticks and other debris, simmer the nests some more and serve up the soup, sometimes with a little sugar added. Yum!
Bird Nest soup is often served for special occasions, like weddings or funerals. They say it’s also good for your skin, digestion and immune system!
Well, I did try it. It didn't taste bad - just can’t get past the thought of it though. Bird saliva soup. Nope. Just not going to be one of my favorites around here. Make room for dumplings!!
|Photo by SJ Photography, Flickr.com White swiftlet bird nests |
up in the eaves of this building.