San-xian (three-delicacies) soup

It is interesting to note that the Chinese character xian (delicious) is a compound word made up of yu (fish) and yang (sheep) – the Chinese seem to have discovered long ago that the combination of fish and meat produces a perfect balance of flavours. This soup has gone one stage further by adding a third delicacy – chicken. What more can you ask for?

1/4 lb (100 g) peeled prawns (or scallops, crab meat, oyster, etc)
1/4 lb (100 g) honey-roast ham
1/4 lb (100 g) chicken breast meat, skinned and boned
1 1/2 pints (850 ml) good stock
1 tsp salt
1 spring onion, finely chopped
fresh coriander leaves or parsley to garnish


Ideally you should use uncooked prawns; if you can’t get them use ready-cooked prawns and add them to the soup very last – even after the salt.

Thinly slice the ham and chicken meat into small pieces. If the prawns are large, then cut them into 2 or 3 pieces each.

Bring the stock to the boil, add the chicken, ham and prawns, bring back to the boil once more, add salt, and simmer for about 1 minute at the very most, then add the spring onions. Serve hot with garnish.

© Deh-Ta Hsiung and reproduced with his kind permission.