Advanced Tips on Bird´s Nests

Tips for choosing bird's nest

(1)    Size and volume

The most popular shapes are boat or spoon shape. If swallows build their nests on the corner of two walls, the shape of nest will become triangular. There is no effect on the nutrition value. Wider bird´s nests cups have higher quality. Natural bird´s nests cups are genuine bird´s nests.

(2)    Color and purity

In natural color, without any soil, sand or moss is the best quality of bird´s nests. White bird´s nests are in color of slight "ivory". Yellow bird´s nests are in color of slight "beige" or "golden". Red (blood) bird´s nests are in red. All the bird´s nests will rehydrate and turn into lighter color after soaking in water, the thread of bird´s nests will become transparent. The water after soaking bird´s nests normally remains clear. However, the water after soaking red (blood) bird´s nests will become a little bit yellow. If the bird´s nest is extremely white, which means it may have been bleached, this will greatly reduce the nutrition content and harm the health.

(3)    Density and volume after soaking

If threads are thinner and closer, gaps are few and size is large and thicker, bird´s nest cups will expand more after soaking. Bird´s nest of different grade has different expansion ratios. The weight after soaking is several times of that before soaking. The "degree of expansion" refers to the degree of water absorption. A larger degree means greater expansion and volume.

(4)    Taste and humidity

Differentiate bird´s nests with your nose, there should be a smell of swallow's saliva and stink of blood, and slight aroma of egg white after being cooked. Dry bird nests should be chosen. If they are sticky or soft, the moisture content is high, storage is difficult and mould grows easily.

(5)    Price and trustworthiness

You must "see, smell and touch" the bird´s nests to choose good ones. Price of bird´s nests are judged by their taste, size, thickness, dryness and density. If you do not take a look at the goods, consider grades and quality, but only look at the names and prices as set by the company, it is impossible to pick cheap and nice goods. The best choice is to purchase from trustworthy shops with quality assurance.


Genuine VS Fake,Good quality VS Poor quality

Only natural bird´s nests are genuine bird´s nests. There are illegal acts of painting the nests with egg white or jelly to increase weight. Such bird´s nest will be opaque when placing under spotlight. Genuine bird´s nest shall be translucent. As for someone use "gutta-percha" or "pig's skin" as counterfeit goods, those made of gutta-percha give sour taste and do not appear as threads; those made of pig's skin will produce oil and milky appearance in water when soaked.

To differentiate between good grades and bad grades, in general bird´s nests of better quality and higher grades are of higher nutritional value and greater expansion degree. The outlook is also neater. Those of lower quality are of lower nutritional value and less expansion degree. Outlook is also inferior.


Steps to clean bird's nest

(1)    First, the bird´s nest must be soaked in clean water and during the process; water should be refreshed for once or twice. Do not keep water that has been used (since different types of bird´s nest require different soaking time, time on the package should be strictly followed).
(2)    When bird´s nests are soaked, small hair should be removed by stainless forceps (natural bird´s nest contain minute amount of hair and this is totally normal. Elderly or people with inferior eye sight should place a piece of white cloth on palm to reduce tiredness.)
(3)    Place soaked bird´s nest in double-layered stainless steel filter. Rinse with running water and tear off the nest to remove impurities.


Soaking and stewing time

White Bird´s Nest Soak for around 8 hours  stew for 30 minutes
Bird´s Nest Broken  Soak for around 8 hours  stew for 30 minutes
Bird´s Nest Feet Soak for around 12 hours  stew for 45 minutes
Bird´s Nest Mess Soak for around 4 hours  stew for 30 minutes
Yellow Bird´s Nest Soak for around 8 hours  stew for 45 minutes
Yellow Bird´s Nest Broken Soak for around 8 hours  stew for 45 minutes
Yellow Bird´s Nest Feet  Soak for around 12 hours  stew for 45 minutes
Yellow Bird´s Nest Mess Soak for around 8 hours  stew for 45 minutes
Malaysia Bird´s Nest Cake Soak for around 6 hours  stew for 1.5 hours
Swiftlet Mess Soak for around 4 hours  stew for 45 minutes

* The soaking and stewing time shown above are only for reference. Please follow the soaking and stewing time as specified on the package.

Tip: Many people would soak the bird´s nests overnight. When doing so, remember to shorten the time for stewing to prevent the bird´s nest from melting.


DIY Instant bird's nests

Since bird´s nests are from various countries of origin, species, expansion ratio and treatment effect, plus different grades, pricing and textures, customers can consider the above factors and pick suitable products according to one's own needs. Also, when you prepare bird´s nest on your own, it is pure and hygienic with no additives and preservatives, 100% genuine and cost-effective. Prepare your own instant bird´s nest soup and have it sweet, salty, hot or cold, whichever you like.

There are different methods to serve bird´s nest. Stew the bird´s nest in advance and you can easily prepare different cuisine with it. The steps are pretty easy – only 3 of them:

1.    Soak the bird´s nest thoroughly*, rinse them clean and leave dry.
2.    Put bird nest into the stewing bowl and pour hot water until it covers the entire bird´s nest. Cover the stewing bowl and stew over hot water for 30 minutes. This is your instant bird´s nest (Do not add any flavorings. Add them when served.)
3.    When the bird´s nest cools down, wrap it with plastic wrappers and store in refrigerator. Freshly prepared stewed bird´s nest can be kept for 1 week at most.
*Please follow the soaking and stewing time as stated on the package.
To prepare your own Rock Sugar Syrup

Put rock sugar in the pot and add equivalent amount of hot water. Stir from time to time with chopsticks and slowly stew until all sugar has melted in the water. When it cooled down, pour it into a bottle and close the lid. Place in refrigerator. Add according to one's own preference to stewed bird´s nest when served.

1.    The rock sugar is formed by allowing a supersaturated solution of white sugar and water to crystallize, thus producing crystals of higher purity and hygiene level. According to Chinese medicine practitioners, rock sugar replenishes and enriches vital energy and caters the stomach and lungs. Brown sugar, on the other hand, is not clear and easily induces heat. White sugar arouses phlegm. Thus, when stewing nourishing food items such as bird´s nest, the best choice would be rock sugar.
2.    Use a clean spoon every time when eating to ensure hygiene. When served hot, make sure you reheat the instant bird´s nest before you add the rock sugar syrup. Do not reheat by microwave, since the extremely high temperature would cause nutrients in bird´s nest to lose.


Pick a way of serving according to your body's nature: sweet, salty, hot, cold

Sweetness mainly belongs to Spleen Meridan and is mild in nature. It is neither hot nor cold and provides comforting and nourishing effect. Eating appropriate amount of sweet food would regulate body properties. Bird´s nest tastes better when served sweet.

Salty way of serving usually means adding salt. Salt is cold in nature, salty in taste and functions to remove heat from body, cool down the blood and detoxify. Salty taste belongs to Kidney Meridan. Eating appropriate amount of salty food would nourish the kidneys and this is especially suitable for diabetic patients.

Hot means warmth and is Yang in nature. It is active, flowing and open. If one normally shows symptoms of coldness, one shall have the bird´s nest served hot.

Cold means coldness and is Yin in nature. It is stationary and closed. If one normally shows hot and heaty symptoms, one shall have the bird´s nest served cold.

This is why you need to pick a way of serving according to your body's nature: sweet, salty, hot or cold.
If the bird´s nest is served sweet, only add the rock sugar 15 minutes before stewing completed so as to keep the bird´s nest as it is. When served salty, only add salt before serving. If you add salt when stewing starts, salt will disintegrate the bird´s nest, make it shrink and turn it crispy.


Way to store bird's nest

Bird´s nest is the precious saliva secreted by swallows. Just as for other food, it has to be properly stored. The ideal way is to place it in a completely sealed box and in the refrigerator. Ask our shop staff for details. If the bird´s nest absorbs moisture, you can place it in front of the air conditioner and blow dry. Do not put it in the oven or place it under the sun for drying.


Correct way to soak and stew bird's nest

To stew bird´s nest, you need a stewing bowl and a pot that can place the entire bowl (ceramic pot or stainless steel pot are fine). Place the soaked and cleaned bird´s nest into the stewing bowl, add suitable amount of hot water (around 80°C), cover well and place the entire stewing bowl into the pot. Pour boiling water to half of the height of the stewing bowl and simmer.

Water level in the stewing bowl
The level of other ingredients and boiled water (or other nutrients) added to the stewing bowl shall not exceed 70% of the stewing bowl. This is because during the process of stewing, all ingredients being heated will expand and increase the water level. If the water level before heating is too high, it may lead to overflow and wastage.

Control the degree of heating
The mitogenic stimulation factor in bird´s nests stays active around 80°C, thus boiling would lead to reduced effect. Bird´s nests should stewing over water in low heat. This keeps the temperature around 80°C and thus prevent damaging proteins in the bird´s nest and reserve the aroma and nutrients. Thus, when stewing bird´s nest, hot water should be used both inside and outside the stewing bowl and it should be stewed. If time is not allowed, it is the safest and most convenient way to use electronic stewing pot and set it to low stewing.