Saturday January 14, 2012
Chicken soup for the soul
By EDMUND NGO
Photos by LEW YONG KAN
NOTHING is better suited to jump start a weary workday than a hearty bowl of piping hot herbal soup for the fatigue soul.
One of the best place to savour it is none other than at Yei Lock Restaurant along Jalan Raja Permaisuri Bainun.
As you walk into the restaurant, you can smell the fragrant herbal aroma lingering in the air and see S.H. Khoo serving bowls after bowls of herbal soup.
Khoo holding a tray of (clockwise from top) tender chicken drumstick and the herbal soup, dry wanton noodles and a side serving of sour and spicy pork ribs.
To top it off, the 64-year-old paired the soup with springy wanton noodles and sweet char siew.
“The chicken drumstick herbal soup recipe was passed down in my family and I spent months perfecting it.
“I had only started selling the dishes 10 years ago and before that I made a wide range of nyonya kuih
,” she said.
However, she said making the traditional kuih
was a tedious job, so she decided instead to cook herbal soup and serve it with wanton noodles.
“The inspiration to pair the soup and the wanton noodles together just came to me one day and after positive feedback from my friends I decided to set up the stall,” she said.
Customers can choose the best-selling chicken drumstick herbal soup, or opt for the pepper pork stomach special soup on weekends.
Each sip of the soup is filled with delicious chicken and herbal essence and the combination with the wanton noodles make a perfect breakfast.
Khoo said the cooking process takes more than two hours by boiling the soup in a stainless steel pot with the traditional Chinese herbs and chicken.
The tender chicken drumstick seen here and the herbal soup filled with its essence.
“The longer it is boiled, the more flavour is extracted, while the herbs would give you nourishment and vitality for the day,” she said.
There are also side dishes that compliments the soup, such as chicken curry, chicken legs with mushroom or pork ribs.
Starting her business from 7am in the morning, most of Khoo’s soups are snapped up slightly after lunch time.
The ingredients for the next day would then be prepared with the help of her husband.