Ang Jiu (Foochow Red Wine) Chicken Soup with Mee Sua

A break from the fishy posts (though I’m glad you like the recipes) and here I present the ultimate comfort food: Chicken Soup. Not just your regular Chicken boiled with ginger and mushrooms, but with homemade Foochow Red Wine.

That’s right, the bright hue might be a little confronting but most Sarawakians (or Sitiawan foochows) will tell you this appears regularly on our dining tables. I might have mentioned before that my maternal grandmother makes her own Foochow red wine (with ground red yeast rice and glutinous rice, I might upload a recipe one day when I am motivated enough to make my own). We grew up drinking this soup and will always have it whenever we are back in Bintulu. Since I moved to KL, I will always bring a bottle with me from Bintulu. The soup is not only tasty, it’s also good to mend our health and strength, suitable for mothers in confinement too.

Grandma makes this soup using the double boiler technique which makes the soup extra tasty with more ‘body’ to it. A slow cooker would be another great option. I don’t have either of those, so I added a bit of Ang Zao (Red Wine Residue) to marinate the Chicken so it will infuse more flavours.

I think garnishing with coriander is a Sitiawan thing. I’ve never seen my Grandma use it, neither does any of my Sarawakian friends it seems. I do love coriander so I feel that it’s a pretty good addition.

Ang Jiu Chicken Soup with Mee Sua
Ang Jiu Chicken Soup with Mee Sua

Ang Jiu Chicken Soup (serves 4)

4 Chicken Drumsticks
8 Shiitake Mushrooms, rehydrated
1 tablespoon Ang Zao (Red Wine Residue)
100ml Ang Jiu (Foochow Red Wine)
Several pieces of Ginger
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Mee Sua
Coriander to Garnish (Optional)

Marinate the Chicken drumsticks with Ang Zao for at least 15 minutes.To cook the soup, lightly fry the ginger in sesame oil until fragrant, then add Chicken, Mushrooms and enough water to cover everything and bring to boil. Lower the heat and add half the Ang Jiu, continue to cook for at least 1 and half hours. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add the rest of Ang Jiu. Before serving, you can pass the soup through a sieve to separate the red wine residue for a clearer soup.

Chicken Soup, done!
Chicken Soup, done!

You can always enjoy the soup with other dishes and rice like what we do most of the time. Mee Sua is more of a special occasion thing in our family. As you might know already, it signifies longevity (thus also called longevity noodles) and traditionally consumed during Chinese New Year and Birthdays. Well, Chinese New Year was a couple of months ago, and my birthday is not due for a few months time, but I can still have it whenever my craving strikes.

The best Mee Sua comes from Sarawak or Sitiawan (I think their Mee Sua is slightly thicker from what I’ve seen) and are best when they are handmade. The process is tedious and requires high level of skill. You can check out a video uploaded by House of Annie here.

Mee Sua cooks really fast in boiling water, usually only takes a minute or so. Once cooked, drain the noodles, and serve in a big bowl. Spoon the Chicken soup over and garnish with Coriander. Enjoy while hot! I usually add a teaspoon or so of extra red wine for the extra oomph! The soup is slightly tart but extremely fragrant with the wine, which pairs well with the tender noodles. It’s instant comfort.

To bring this dish to the next level, you can do this:

Yolkporn alert!
Yolkporn alert!

Don’t know about you, but the runny yolk is saying ‘Eat Me Now!’ to me. To make egg like this, you just boil it for 4 minutes (counting it from the moment the water starts to boil but adding the egg when the water is cold, if that even makes sense), peel carefully while submerged in cold water. Perfect! Guess I’ll make you choose again, with egg or without egg? šŸ˜€

Fun fact: My maternal side is actually Teochew. And my Foochow grandma’s usual Chicken Soup would be Ba Ting (the black herbal type) soup which I also don’t mind but haven’t yet tried to cook.

So how do you like your Chicken soup?

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39 thoughts on “Ang Jiu (Foochow Red Wine) Chicken Soup with Mee Sua

    1. Not a fan of pek ting eyok…but I like char bee lau – those tree roots you get at Chinese medical stores…used to cook chicken soup with meng ngee (dried cuttlefish) – plus lots of ginger, red wine and dried shitake. Ooooo…very very nice!

    2. You are so fast! lol. When I cook this all 4 portions are mine. So it’s 2 days of Ang Jiu Chicken Soup +/- Mee Sua. Hence the craving don’t strike that often.

  1. Yummsss….a total comfort bowl of noodle!
    My MIL will get me a bottle of Foo Chow’s red wine wenever we return S’wak.
    Many of my Sarawakians friends dislike coriander. But me on the other hand likes coriander alot.

    1. This is daun sup – Chinese parsley leh, no? Coriander is smaller – daun ketumbar…Kuching people like a lot – they put in the laksa, the popiah, the or chian… Eyewwww!!!! Bed bug smell…

      1. Actually, Coriander (or Cilantro) is also referred as Chinese Parsley. People who don’t like it refers to the ‘soapy smell’ and yes, stink bug too. Haha! I don’t really know the malay names though.

    2. Yeah I find that many Sarawakians don’t like Coriander and Parsley (I used to hate them but grew to like them after living in another country, strange eh?), I got the ingredients to make the wine but I’m still looking for a nice big jar to house it.

  2. i remember the first time i tried this recipe several years ago, at a foochow restaurant in plaza ttdi (it’s closed now, unfortunately). it’s still something i think i haven’t completely appreciated, but i love your addition of the egg, heh šŸ˜€

    1. The wine is definitely an acquired taste. But personally I think it tastes better than Shao Xing. Of course, it also depends on the quality of the Red wine. Some people go one step further by adding some cognac too!

  3. Dear Kelly,

    I have never heard of this soup but it look delicious with the noodles. I usually make chicken soup with lots of tomatoes, carrots, onion, celery with white peppercorns – very comforting especially in winter.

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  5. Kelly, I have been wanting to try this soup because it really looks good but I can’t get the Foochow red wine. So I am waiting for you to get motivated so that I can learn to make the wine from you šŸ™‚

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