Shanghai Chicken SoupFor many Jewish community members, fleeing to safe countries was the
only way to survive World War II. China did not require a visa for
people to pass into the country so many Jewish people chose to enter the
country in hopes of surviving the Holocaust. In all, 20,000 or more Jews made their way into China throughout World War II. The time there was not without trouble. Some local officials took advantage of the immigrants and the German Nazis wanted China to exterminate the entire Jewish population. Only 1,500 of the 20,000 immigrants remain in China today.

Chinese chicken soup is a popular treatment for colds in pregnancy. There are few ingredients but the final flavor is mild enough for use during sickness. Jewish Penicillin recipes like this one may have roots in the immigration of Jews to China.


1 cup julienned chicken breast
5 cups chicken broth
12 lotus seeds, dried
2 to 3 slices of ginger
4 dried black mushrooms (called Nami)
½ cup julienned celery
½ tsp sugar
1 tb julienned ham
Chinese parsley
2 tsp powder of lotus


  1. Bowl water in a small pot.
  2. Add lotus seeds.
  3. Blanch seeds.
  4. Remove from water and snip off the red or brown tip.
  5. Soak dried mushrooms in water for 30 to 40 minutes.
  6. Remove from water and julienne.
  7. Slice celery in ½ inch pieces.
  8. Add broth to a large stock pot and bring to a boil over high heat.
  9. Add ginger and sugar to the pot.
  10. Bring to a boil again and reduce heat so the broth is boiling gently.
  11. Add chicken, mushrooms and lotus seeds to the broth.
  12. Cook for ½ hour and check lotus seeds. These should feel soft.
  13. Add celery and ham to the soup.
  14. In a small bowl, mix a bit of hot soup broth with lotus powder.
  15. Return to pot and mix well.
  16. Serve in warmed bowls topped with Chinese parsley.
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