Once the eggs are hatched and the young birds are able to fly, the nests are abandoned by the birds. If the nests are not harvested by humans, scavengers like lizards and ants will consume the nests.
In this recipe, ginseng is added to boost the immune system, while rock sugar is added for sweetness. A pandan leaf is added for fragrance.
As a guide, one piece of bird nest can make one or two servings (small bowl).
Ingredients (5 servings)
5 pieces (each is about 5 grams) of bird nest
A few pieces of ginseng
1 tablespoon of rock sugar
5 bowls of water
Soak the bird nest in water for 3 hours or overnight.
Check the bird nest for loose feathers and take them out.
Double boil the bird nest with ginseng and pandan leaf in low heat for 2 hours.
Add rock sugar at the last 15 minutes
Caution: bird nest may not be suitable for everybody.
Here is a short video showing how to cook bird nest soup.