I am not a fan of stocking up, not even dried ingredients that can keep well for months. When I need the Eight Treasures herbal soup ingredients, I still prefer to visit the traditional medicinal halls to get the ingredients when it’s time to prepare it. I usually don’t give a second thought about getting my herbs wrapped with their traditional pink wrapping paper, as long as it is not plastic. But since I had a tenugui with me on this particular day, I thought why not use it instead.
I passed the tenugui to the boss and asked for my “Eight Treasures” (八珍) to be packed without using his paper wrapper, his customers in the shop started to chuckle.
“Boss, from now on must provide hankerchieves as free gift with your herbs!” they jokingly commented.
Anyway, I don’t know how, but the tenugui seemed to open up a conversation with the usually reserved boss. As he started chatting while stacking my herbs super neatly on the tenugui, he also gave me few tips to prepare the soup:
// always rinse the herbs briefly to remove dirt,
// place the herbs and water in a pot, and bring to boil together,
// turn down heat, always reduce to simmer for better result, for this soup about 1.5 – 2 hours,
// for additional nutrition, add 1 fresh chicken egg to cook with the soup, must rinse the shell under running water to clean
// sieve the herbs, drink the soup and consume the egg, that has absorbed the “essence” from the herbs,
// to the seived herbs, add just enough water to cover them, and cook for second time to yield a slightly diluted version, in order not to waste it.
I was apprehensive about leaving the shell to cook in the soup so I added de-shelled hardboiled egg on my first try.
Then I read this post where the author cooked the egg first, then add to the cooking soup with shell intact but cracked.
I tried with the cracked eggshell method on my second try and served it with mee sua.
Feeling more adventurous, I found this post where the author rinsed the shell, soaked in brine for 15 minutes, before proceeding to cook it in the soup.
Let me update this post when I cook this soup again.