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Celebrating Chinese New Year with Chinese Sweet Corn and Chicken Soup

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To truly experience the wondrous joy of Chinese New Year (this year being the Year of the Horse), one must surround themselves with color, joy, laughter and great food. You don't have to be Chinese to celebrate this festive time of the year and many cities across American will be holding parades to honor the Year of the Horse during the 15-day celebration. Personally, I can't think of a better way of celebrating than with some classic dishes from China (real Chinese food, not Americanized Chinese food).

Aside from a few soups you see on the menu at your local Chinese food eatery, you might think soups are not popular throughout China. The fact of the matter is not only are they popular, they are often a staple of every meal. This soup, Chinese Sweet Corn and Chicken Soup, is one of my favorites. It has a very delicate flavor, a wonderful bouquet and a texture which was meant to envelope your tongue.

With the importing of sweet corn into markets throughout the year, this doesn't need to be a seasonal soup. I would only recommend using sweet corn (either white or yellow) as it is the subtle sweetness of the corn which gives this soup its magical flavor.

Ingredients needed to make Chinese Sweet Corn and Chicken Soup (serves 4):

  • 3 cups corn kernels, sweet variety
  • 1 chicken breast, skinned and boned
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce

Steps:

  1. Into a food processor or blender add the corn and coarsely grind (not pureed but a little chunky).
  2. In a small sauté pan or skillet of boiling water add the chicken breast, cover and cook 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat to cool.
  3. Remove the chicken from the pan and dice the meat. Discard the cooking water.
  4. In a medium saucepan combine the corn, chicken and chicken stock over high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook 5 minutes.
  5. In a small bowl whisk together the cornstarch and water until the cornstarch is dissolved. Whisk this into the soup and continue to whisk until the soup loses its cloudy/creamy color.
  6. Stir in the salt and soy sauce and serve.

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