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Bird’s Nest Soup

Double-boiler set-up

Double-boiler set-up

Bird's Nest Soup with Rock Sugar Recipe

We use an electric slow-cooker as the double-boiler. For best results, use boiling water as it takes a long time for the water in a slow-cooker water to heat up.


  • 1-2 pieces bird’s nest (yan wo/燕窝)
  • 2 rice bowl hot water
  • 10 slices American ginseng (花旗參) optional
  • 3 tbsp rock sugar to taste


  1. Soak bird’s nest pieces in a bowl of cold water for 1/2 to 1 hour, until softened. Pluck out any feathers or debris using kitchen tweezers. Rinse and drain. To prevent wastage, run soaking water through a fine sieve to catch the small bits of bird’s nest.
  2. Add soaked bird’s nest , hot water and ginseng slices in an inner stewing pot. Cover with lid.
  3. Place stewing pot inside a larger pot such as a slow cooker. Double-boil for about half to one hour. When the bird’s nest is cooked to desired texture, stir in rock sugar to taste and cover for about 5 minutes to allow the sugar to dissolve fully. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Noob Cook Tips

We use an electric slow-cooker as the double-boiler. For best results, use boiling water for both the inner and outer pot. The water in the other pot should cover at least 3/4 of the height of the inner pot. The stewing time begins counting when the water in the outer pot starts to bubble (for my slow cooker, it takes about 45 minutes).

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22 comments on “Bird’s Nest Soup”

  1. why do we need to add hot water to the inner pot? cant we use tap water? or drinking water?

    is it ok to store cooked bird nest in vacuum flask and consume the next day?

    i know about the double boil method, but if were to cook for large families, hard to find big inner pot and outer pot. any advise? thanks.

    • It takes a pretty long time for boil the water in a slow cooker, so using hot water will speed things up.

      If you wish to consume next day, I recommend chilling it in the fridge.

  2. After I bring the water in the outer pot to boil, do i bring down the fire to build a small simmer? I’m afraid that the water will overboil…

    • No need to bring down the temperature, it is unlikely to overboil or spill over. In fact since we are only stewing for half to one hour, you do need the heat going.

  3. May I know the cook time require if using a electric pressure cooker? Do I use the steam function?

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