Bird’s Nest

April 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Shopping


If you are thinking that bird’s nest is something to observe and admire, well, you are in for a surprise. It is actually a type of traditional soup popular in this part of Asia especially among the Chinese population in Sarawak. It is prepared from the nest of Swiftlets- a kind of bird found in Sarawak and is said to contain high nutritious value due to its composition of calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium. The bird’s nests may not seem as attractive as other dishes available, but for those who believe in this exotic delicacies ability to promote long life and good health it’s worth its every cents of value.

There are two types of nests of Swiftlets- the black nest and the white nest. These birds make their nests in caves or on high walls of a bird house. The bird secrets a sticky solution from their salivary glands, which later solidifies to form the nest for their young ones. Once they grow up, the nests are of no use for the birds. To man they are a commodity so valuable that they are known as white gold.

The seaside caves in Sarawak forms the natural habitat of the swiftlets. However, today people have realized the profits of rearing bird’s nest. The nests build in artificial conditions of birdhouses are much cleaner as compared to those found in caves. Most of the cultivation is in the urban area besides the sea. While harvesting, it is important that there are no babies or eggs in the nest.

Unprocessed white bird's nest from birdhouse

Unprocessed white bird's nest from birdhouse

The white nests are more in demand as they are made solely out of the saliva of these birds, while the black nest is mixed with feathers, insects and twigs. As such they require a lot more time and effort to clean. Both these varieties of nests are soaked overnight and then cleaned before consumption.

After harvesting and subsequent cleaning, these nests are bought by restaurants where it is served with chicken broth. Usually the soup is not quite savoury but when mixed with sugar it tastes nice. However, its demand is not due to the flavor but because of its capacity to dissolve phlegm, proper renal functioning, prolong beauty and suppressing cough. The Chinese have been consuming Bird’s Nest soup for four centuries now.

So come and have a taste of Bird’s Nest soup and you would want to have it often. You can have it either sweet or savoury. The preferred one among visitors is the savoury one which is prepared along with mushrooms, chicken breasts at times ham and eggs.

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2 Responses to “Bird’s Nest”
  1. Zoran says:

    Thanks for article. Everytime like to read you.

  2. Sandy Kang says:

    hi there,

    I am glad you enjoyed it. Do come visit Sarawak,


    sandy K

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