Friday, March 27, 2009

Soup Again Today to go with some Awards!

Hosted by "Designs by Gollum"

YES!!! We did it!!! We survived on what we have in the house, except for necessities and bills, for 10 whole days! We had no TV, too, so we read, played, sang, danced and did tablescapes! We figured that since we end up buying "wants" groceries every two weeks, due to the fact that we have three young children, this family project saved us over $100.00! (Now the dh is whispering, "let's go for a whole month!" Yikes, I've turned him into a thrifty monster...)
Ok, onto what this day is truly about, the awesome meme of all things edible!

Soup Update:
Some of you inquired as to how I made the Nido Oriental Soup I featured with my TT yesterday. Thank you for showing interest. So I am entering it as my FF for today.

This is a popular soup in my own home now, but I also grew up enjoying it in the Philippines.

"Nido" is another name for Bird's Nest Soup and for any of you who have had the luxury of enjoying this soup (maybe Christine or aka Xinex or the other Filipino bloggers who's visited me?), you know how expensive it is. I have only eaten it once, in the Philippines, and didn't know how expensive it was. When I was only 15, back in the late 80s, my third oldest brother ordered it and we fell in love with the whole thing, nest and all. Yes, the nest is the actual nest cave swiftlets make. Chinese chefs hire climbers to fetch these delicacies once the baby birds have flown off. And you guessed it, it is used as a gelatinous and flavorful base for the soup! (Though in some Chinese restaurants, they fashion thin noodles into a nest, crisp it up, put it in a big serving bowl, then put the soup in it.)

My version is using the Knorr Asian line of soups in the red packets. This Nido soup is milk and cornstarch based, so it is much lighter in color than the authentic Bird's Nest Soup. That means NO swiftlet nest in the powdered mix, so you can relax... ;-D You can find them in most Asian aisles of the bigger grocery stores. If not, head to your local Asian grocer and inquire about it. (Sorry, this is the biggest picture I could find on the web.)
One caveat: Since this is powdered and with cornstarch, many may be allergic, so I recommend watering it down by adding 1 1/2 cups more water and using corn, steamed shrimp and scallops (do not add raw shelfish, as it would overwhelm the soup) to achieve the same but lighter flavor of what I used. Instead of chicken meat, I use the yolk for the same protein value. If you are cholesterol wary, please feel free to use thin strips of chicken breast or thigh meat.

Chandy's Nido Oriental Soup
(single to double batch)
1-2 pkgs. of Knorr Nido Oriental Soup mix
1-2 cup of cold water to dissolve in
minimum 1 whole egg or 1 egg per person
3-6 cups of boiling water
1-2 cup of sweet kernel corn
1/4-1/2 lb. medium shrimp
1/4-1/2 lb. medium scallops (cut in half if big sea variety)
1-2 stalk of green onion

Make sure to follow the directions, but with my caveat if you've never enjoyed much oriental soups before. Just like risottos, this soup has to be mixed a lot, and on medium low.

For ONE packet:
Boil 3 cups of water while you dissolve the soup contents in 1 cup of COLD water. Not ice cold, it would seize the cornstarch and you'd have a globby mess. Same for hot water, so cold water from tap would be best. Once the water in the pot boils, kill heat to MED LOW and slowly stir in the soup. Stirring further dissolves the cornstarch. Bring up to a light boil. Stir again.

For the eggs, as the soup boils, slowly whisk in each whole egg (no shells, please!) :-D This breaks up the white that will beautifully float on top while the yolk slowly gets cooked. Stir only the top half of the soup, so the yolks can get pushed down and cook slowly. The egg whites help thicken the soup and further flavor it.

Add the corn right after as it takes about the same time to soak in the flavor of the soup and the for soup to get the sweetness of the corn. Kill heat to LOW or 1. Stir from the outside coming in slowly on the inside. This keeps the yolk from breaking.

Just before you serve it, ladle each egg yolk into each bowl to stop further cooking. Add the seafood and ladle more soup, about half of the bowl. Both egg and meat will gently rise to the top. Sprinkle with thinly cut green onions, but not too much and only the green part.

Add the cooked seafood to warm it only, just before you serve it. The other way I like to do it is lightly steam the seafood, set aside in individual bowls so they sit at the bottom. Then, when the soup is ready, ladle the egg yolk first, then the hot soup into the bowls and enjoy a nice meaty portion!

On steamed rice, you'll have a well balanced meal with the corn, meat, egg and soup.

Variation: If Using chicken, do pulled boiled chicken meat and add half a can of chicken broth to the soup and 2 cups of water to boil.

I do hope you try it; it's a delicate but thick and delicious soup, so whisking will really help with the cornstarch breakdown and further thickening after its cooked. It is very easy to burn it because of the cornstarch and the eggs, so if it happens to you, next time you're in my neck of the woods, I'll serve you a bowl!

Happy "screen" eating! And again, many thanks to our host, Michael Lee. I love Fridays! Ok, ok... I love all the memes! See you at the next blog!

I have only been blogging about my tablescapes since February, but all of you have welcomed me in ways that I can never imagine in a lifetime. Your capacity to share and cheer for each other are unbelievable. And through your award sharing, I've gotten to know your level of generosity. And look, some of you are even getting to know me enough to extend a hand of friendship.
Susan of "A Southern Daydreamer" & Christine of "Christine's Home and Travel Adventures both gave me the same award. How awesome is that!

The Friends Award comes with this message attached:

"These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind of bloggers aim to find and to be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated."

And so to plant more seeds of friendships, I'd like to pass this award on to some of my blog friends:

Leigh of "Tales from Bloggeritaville"- she has a way of making me smile thru her comments.
Shelia of "Note Songs"- because I love being called a "sweetie" or asked to be one
Susan of "Between Naps on the Porch"- for helping me meet all of you!
Cathy of "The Stylish House"- for making me feel like a class act through her comments.
Sheila of "The Quintessential Magpie"- for always leaving a fun comment that makes me want to post more so I can visit more of you!

Someone's blog, one of you awesome ladies, shared this awesome award to all who visited. I apologize for forgetting to attach your name to this award when I generously accepted it. To honor you, I share this with also 5 women whose comments and posts inspire me and leave me smiling...

I'll also start to give these to 5 beautiful bloggers who has helped me feel welcome in this fun circle of amazing women.

Christine of "Christine's Home and Travel Adventures" - for her unbelievable generosity that oozes through her posts.
Susan of "A Southern Daydreamer" - for recognizing something about me, through my posts, that most people I meet, don't.
Sue of "Luxe Lanai" - for leaving such heartwarming and fun comments.
Ann at "Life at Ann's Place" - for finding time to visit
Candy of "Rock Candy" - because all "Candy" are beautiful, lol!

You all deserve an award, so please, please accept the award I made for all of you. I made this award from being in awe of your fabulous attitude about blogging.

Happy Friday to all!


  1. Thanks for the recipe, Chandy! The soup reminds me of my grandma who lived in Pampanga and whenever she went to Manila, she would take all of her children and grandchildren to a Chinese Restaurant and we will always start eating with this soup. It is just so good. I hope they have the Knorr package here. Thank you also for the awards. You are just so kind....Christine

  2. Thanks, Christine. Grandmas are so cool like that! I agree, it is so good!

  3. Good morning, Chandy. My, this soup sounds so good. I've never had it before and, in fact, never heard of Birds Nest Soup. Thanks for sharing the recipe...
    xo bj

  4. I am SO glad you sent us the recipe! Very interesting about that nest thing! I hope I can pull this off. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I am humbeled and appreciative of the honorable award! Thanks Chandy! I just so enjoy dropping by your blog and reading all about your family and traditions. THanks for inviting me along. SO sweet!

  6. makes me wish I were not allergic to shrimp!


  7. BJ; Hello! I'm not surprised, you normally can only have it in high end Chinese restaurants.

    Susan, thank you; I know you will! :-)

    Leigh, you are welcome and thanks for having a fun blog yourself!

    Amy, you can try chicken or even beef...

  8. Hello Chandy...

    Just wanted to stop by to say thank you for taking a peek at my "Brume de Rose" tablescape and for your sweet comments! I sure do appreciate them!

    Well my friend, I have had to "catch-up" on your last post and this present one. I just have to tell you that I loved your family project, "Being Self Reliant"...what fun and I can see that it sure called for some creative thinking! Your Contemporary Asian tablescape is beautiful and I love the Tara Gres dishware by Roscher...and the pretty green mats coordinated perfectly with the gray of the dishes! I loved it!

    Mmmm...yummy! The Bird's Nest soup looks fabulous, my friend! Thank you so much for including the recipe...I'm going to try it!

    Have a fabulous Friday and weekend!

  9. Hello! thanks for commenting on my 2nd time around post. That soup looks so good-I might have to go to an Asian store and buy me some.

  10. Chandy...I remember that "Nido" Mom used to make it when I was growing up. Which reminds me, I better call Mom!

    Bon week-end!

  11. Hi Chandy! The white steamed buns are "puto". Don't forget to give me your travel link for tomorrow whenever you are ready....Christine

  12. MBW: You should!

    Marie: Mine was our maid, but it was so good, it didn't matter who made it, lol!

    Christine: Oh, that's right! Did you make it, wow! Will do that!

  13. Chari, it's always great to "read" from you! I'm glad you didn't mind reading through all of that. I was flattered that some asked for the recipe... Have a great day, my friend!

  14. Wonderful girl...this sound so YUMMY! thanks for sharing...and Congrats on your awards///hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

  15. My goodness.Tlak about catch me unaware.You could blow me over right now wit a feather.
    If you aren't just the nicest lady.Wow.I am just speechless.All i can think of is just Thank you.And it is beautiful.Now----you can even design awards beautifully...ann

  16. That sounds wonderful! And I do love soup. Thanks for the recipe. Linda

  17. Gloria: Enjoy!

    Ann: You are so funny!

    Linda: Oh, good! This is one to try!

  18. Your soup looks really good! It is raining here and has been for days. It is perfect soup weather! I have heard of "birds nest soup" before but I never knew that authentically it had a "real birds nest" in it! That is amazing! I am anxious to try this recipe and see what my family thinks! They like to try new things! Have a wonderful weekend!


  19. Chandy, this is an interesting recipe. I think they have those soup packets at our grocery store because we have an extensive asian section in our grocery store. Be on standby when I make this in case I need your help. ~ Robyn

  20. Karyn, thank you and I was first amazed about the nest thing, too! I hope they like it!

    Robyn; I'll be here... :-)

  21. I enjoyed the story of the bird's nest soup. Your recipe is great!

  22. Gollum; thanks! I love making it!

  23. Happy Foodie Friday Chandy! I was so busy making notes about the recipe you shared (because I want to try it, it sounds so delicious)...that I almost missed you awards.... Congrats and thank you so much! I am going to post them soon! You are so sweet! It is amazing the connections that we make online, sometimes instantly! Have a great weekend ~ Susan

  24. Susan, you are welcome! Thank you as well. And I hope you try the soup! Make sure to let me know how you liked it.

  25. Chandy...thanks for the award...sooo nice of you to think of me! :-) This soup sounds facinating! I've heard of it but never knew the history behind wonder it is expensive! Wow...wonder how anyone ever thought to make it to start with...using part of a nest! Your's looks really yummy! Susan

  26. Great post! Very interesting and your soup looks very good!

  27. Susan (Between); you are welcome! Chinese chefs are very resourceful and often use items for medicinal purposes.

    Kathleen, thank you so much!

  28. Hi -- I think your 10 days of self-reliance is a fantastic exercise in discipline for your children. Wonderful!

    And ummm... that soup looks fantastic! I hope I get up the courage to attempt it. Delicious!

  29. mann i love bird's nest soup too even IF its made from spit!!! <333

    i eat it like once every monthish and used to bought from website sometimes, my mom went back to hong kong and bought a full suitcase of it cause its cheaper there XD


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