Black Chicken Herbal Soup with American Ginseng

While slow-cooked soup (or bone broth) is typical in my family’s everyday dinner, this particular soup is not. Double-boiled black chicken soup is seen more as medicinal dish than everyday food.

I haven’t had this for a while until two weeks ago; my brother’s girlfriend just recovered from dengue and we made this nutritious chicken soup for her. “Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food”, a quote commonly attributed to Hippocrates, is what my family practices.


Now, why is the chicken black? What’s so good about it?

Well, it’s a different species of chicken. The Chinese believe that black chicken is more nutritious than regular chicken and sold at a higher price.

According to my friend who sells black chicken, it has higher levels of irons, minerals, vitamins & nutrients than regular chicken.

Black chicken is generally used to make double-boiled soup.


There is a long list of common Chinese herbs. In my fridge alone, I found more than 25 and translated them all to English here. Each of them has specific medicinal values. For this soup, we use:

  • American Ginseng
  • Wolfberries/ goji berries
  • Solomon’s Seal

I would say that the star is American Ginseng. It’s used to strengthen the body by increasing our qi (energy). Sometimes I pop it into my mouth and eat it like that.

On top of that, we also added goji berries and solomon’s seal. They are mainly known to be good for the eyes and help moisten our skin, respectively.


  • Slow-cooker
  • Food carrier pot or ceramic pot for double boiling
  • Pot/Pan/Wok (to blanch chicken)


Black Chicken Herbal Soup with American Ginseng

18th July 2020
: 3 - 4
: 5 min
: 4 hr
: Easy


  • 500 g (~1/2) Black chicken
  • 750 ml (3 cups) Water
  • 30 g American ginseng
  • 12 g Goji berries
  • 12 g Solomon Seal
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sea salt
  • Step 1 BLANCH CHICKEN: Clean chicken, put in a pot of water, and bring to a boil. Blanch for a few minutes. This is when you see scum coming out of the chicken. Remove the chicken and
  • Step 2 PUT ALL THE INGREDIENTS INTO THE INNER POT: Put the chicken, water, and herbs (American ginseng, goji berries, and Solomon’s seal) into the pot. Cover.
  • Step 3 SLOW-COOK: Put the pot into the slow-cooker and the slow-cooker with water until half of the inner pot is submerged. Cook on ‘HIGH’ for 4 hours.
  • Step 4 SEASON: Season with salt and serve hot.


Blanch 500 g chicken in hot water. Place cleaned chicken + 30 g of American ginseng + 12 g of solomon’s seal + 12 g of wolfberries + 3 cups of water into a pot with lid. Put the pot into a slow-cooker. Fill the slow-cooker with water until it covers half the pot. Cook on ‘HIGH’ for 4 hours.


  1. Instapot, electric steamer, or stove. If you don’t have a slow-cooker, you can do it in an Instapot or an electric steamer too.
  2. Use a ceramic inner pot, or any pot that you have with a lid that can be fit into a bigger pot Traditionally, a ceramic inner pot is used to make this soup. Although we have that also, we prefer to use our stainless steel Zebra pot; it’s much more convenient. Even if you can’t finish the soup, you can keep in the fridge and immediately heat it on an induction cooker/stove directly.

Despite this being a ‘medicinal’ soup, it tastes delicious! After learning all about its benefits and realising how easy it is to make it,  I’m thinking of making this monthly since I’ve been overworking recently and need a boost of energy.

If you or a loved one need something delicious to strengthen the body, try this recipe!

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