About Birdnest

Benefits of Consuming Bird’s Nest

“Edible bird’s nests” are the most expensive animal products consumed by humans. Ihas been a long held Chinese belief that bird’s nests promotes cell growth and tissue repair as well as strengthens the body's systems and provide resistance to diseases. Another long-held Chinese belief is that regular consumption of bird’s nest can help maintain a youthful, radiant, as well as wrinkle-free complexion . For centuries, many have taken bird’s nest soup for healing diseases connected with the respiratory system and rheumatism. Historical records showed that bird’s nests were first reserved for the Tang Emperors starting from about 700 AD. Initially, the bird’s nests were presented to the emperors by the traders who had traveled to Nanyang or South Seas, their lingo for South East Asia.

It is believed that bird's nest can act as a tonic for the lungs and can help keep the function of respiratory system homeostatic. They are also excellent for boosting the blood circulation system for children, patients in recovering stage, women after delivery and the elderly.

A research studying the effects of consuming bird's nest found that it helps stimulate the process of cell formation. In addition, a study conducted in 1963 found indications that the chemical compounds extracted from bird's nests effectively prohibited the process of Haemagglutination which causes the common cold and influenza. The scientists of Thailand Institute of Scientific and Technological Research (TISTR) found that the following chemical compounds contained bird's nest to be: Water 5.11%, Protein 60.9%, Calcium 0.85%, Potassium 0.05% and Phosphorus 0.03%.


Selecting the right Bird’s Nest

Shape and Size: The best birdnest should be in its natural round shaped form resembling the shape of 'cupped hand'. For house nests, the shape can also be in triangular form as they are built at the corners of two adjacent beams. Bigger size nests are usually ranked higher in value. The shape and size of the nests will impact the bite texture of the nests after cooking. The nutritional value of the nests however is not related to their shape and size.

Color and Purity: The best birdnests should be of natural colours with no impurities. The most common types are the Silver Nests that are ivory white in colour, Golden Nests that are clear and yellowish in colour and the Blood Nests that are reddish in colour. Colours vary from Nests to Nests due to their mineral constituents. Real Birdnests when soaked in water for hours, their colour should remain and not fade. The Nest strands should also look transparant after the soaking.

Density and Expansion Factor: The best birdnests should have denser strands and appear gapless. Denser nests have a higher expansion factor after soaking. Good Nests can expand by a factor of 2 to 3 times their original size. Different type of Birdnests will have different expansion factor.

Smell and Flavour: Natural birdnests have a raw smell and the intensity varies across the different types of Nests. Cooked Birdnests should release a fragrant egg aroma.


Cooking Bird’s Nest

House Nests: These nests are sheltered in Birdhouses and they are less heat resistant and 'softer' compared to Cave Nests. Hence, the cooking time needed for House Nests is shorter ranging from 40 minutes to 1 hour. The soaking time of the Nests are also relatively shorter compared to Cave Nests. Typically 2 to 3 hours of soaking will suffice.

Cave Nests: These nests are well weathered under the harsh enviroment in caves. They are more heat resistant and harder compared to House Nests. Hence, the cooking time needed for Cave Nests is longer ranging from 2 to 3 hours. The soaking time of the Cave Nests are also relatively longer. Typically 4 to 5 hours to ensure the Nests are well expanded

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