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Bird's Nest Congee I

Soups and Congees

Bird's Nest Congee I
: 2 ounces bird's nest
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Chinese Shaoxing wine
1 teaspoon cornstarch
6 to 8 ounces potatoes slivered, then boiled until soft, and drained
2 ounces chicken breast, minced very finely
4 cups superior stock
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/4 cup Jinhua ham, minced
1. Soak the bird's nest in cold water for two hours, then drain. In a saucepan, bring four cups of water to the boil, turn off the heat, and add the bird's nest. Cover and let stand overnight.
2. Drain the bird's nest using a fine strainer, then sprinkle the salt onto it. Gently squeeze the bird's nest to remove any remaining water.
3. Inspect the bird's nest to make sure it is clean and free of any feathers; should you find sone, use a tweezer to remove and discard them.
4. Put the bird's nest, ginger in a bowl and cover with aluminum foil. Steam overboiling water for thirty to forty-five minutes; remove bowl and stir bird’s nest into a large pot.
5. Add sugar, wine, cornstarch, potatoes, chicken breast, and superior stock and stir vigorously as it is brought to a boil. Beat in the egg white, then remove the pot from the heat and pour into individual serving bowls. Garnish with a teaspoon of ham, and serve.

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