My souperinspiration: Beauty Collagen Stew
Collagen and beauty hotpots
In a nutshell, collagen is a protein made up of amino acids and found in the human body. Collagen fibers support body tissues and is a major component of the extracellular matrix that supports cells. Collagen and keratin give the skin its strength, waterproofing, and elasticity. However, as we grow older and age, collagen production slows and elastin, the substance that enables skin to snap back into place, has a bit less elasticity. That pretty much explains how skin sags and we get wrinkles. Therefore if we really want to slow down and reverse skin aging, we should care about collagen too.
Almost every country and culture around the world boasts of some kind of restorative, comforting chicken soup. The practice of ingesting collagen to fight the effects of aging has been going on in the homes of Japan for years, but has only recently become a mainstream practice. The craze over skin-smoothing collagen has spread to “bijin nabe”, meaning beauty hotpots, with restaurants serving up collagen in the broth.
On my recent trip to Japan, I had the opportunity to eat at Hanamidori, a mizutaki restaurant in Hakata serving such collagen hotpots. When I set out to create a new Souper Inspirations soup, I wanted to make a souper soul food using our homemade collagen stock that has been simmered for more than 16 hours to extract rich flavours and maximum nutrition. It worked wonderfully well when combined with yamaimo (mountain yam) and sea cucumber. Mountain yam (yamaimo), is a medicinal herb that’s been used for ages by Chinese, Japanese and Koreans. It is suppose to be an anti-aging and skin-beautifying food. Definitely a beauty booster and perfect for maintaining youthful skin and slow down the aging process. And it tastes AWESOME!
Ingredients: marinated chicken, The Soup Spoon Collagen Chicken Soup Stock, chicken balls with yamaimo, sea cucumber, sharksfin melon, shitake mushroom, carrots, zucchini, yamaimo, beancurd, black fungus, barley, sake, mirin, soy sauce, onions, garlic and ginger.
Condiments: toasted white sesame seeds, chopped spring onion and ginger scallion in oil