Bird’s nest – facts or fallacies?

The doctors will pooh-pooh all the goodness one purported gets from taking[tag] bird’s nest[/tag]. The immunologist (a specialist in allergies) will warn that bird’s nest can cause allergies and there were cases of anaphylactic shock (breathing difficulties and sometime fatal) when some unaware grandma fed her grandson who is highly allergic to eggs and related proteins.

But, the [tag]Chinese[/tag] are adamant that bird’s nest is good simply because it is very, very expensive, rare and has been handed down for centuries.

Before I proceed with the goodness, pregnant mothers should avoid taking too much bird’s nest because the proteins are too complex and may cause allergies. Breastfeeding mothers, do not take too much of it too. Be aware and don’t let your mother or mother-in-law pampered you in the wrong and dangerous way, though well-meaning. Post-partum mothers and those going for surgeries, also avoid bird’s nest because it will cause bleeding as it thins the blood (I think?). These are advices given by the medical staffs when I was in the hospital.

Previously, I scoffed at eating bird’s nest because of the chore of preparing it. It takes hours to double boil a piece with rock sugar and a few red dates. Moreover, it costs a bomb and each package of about 20 pieces can costs as much as RM1,000 and above.

However, during a trip to Sarawak, I was sold on this idea because the boss of the bird’s nest company has this pinkish, translucent and wrinkles free skin that shines. He also explained and demonstrated how to recognise good bird’s nest from fake ones. Easy – Just leave a few strands of a soaked one in the open. Fake ones will turned mouldy, smelly and grow weird looking fungus. Real ones have bacterial properties and will remain fresh. Ok, I admit that I was probably cheated by some smart-talking bird’s nest taukeh (big boss) but hey, it is nice to pamper ourselves with it once in a while.

Normally, if I can afford it, I prefer the dried ones and double boil it myself. However, my hubby will buy the bottled ones for a quick slurp. I take bird’s nest for breakfast on an empty stomach and it will last me till lunch. Never mind that doctors dismiss this idea and said bird’s nest is nothing but bird’s vomit. It tastes good and feeling good gives good vibes and make healthy body, isn’t it?

Post Author: Lilian

Food, travel, recipes. Chinese Malaysian, blogger, photographer and writer.

6 thoughts on “Bird’s nest – facts or fallacies?


    (August 18, 2006 - 11:21 am)

    No no..not bird vomit but more of bird’s spit 😛

    I tried it once, errr..can only taste the dates and the sweetness of the rock sugar..the birds nest itself…hmmm…dnt know how to describe it


    (August 18, 2006 - 11:27 am)

    my grandmom used to stash a lot of bird’s nest, when she cooked it for us.. i cannot tahan the smell.. dunno why

    but if i bought those bottled bird nest with rock sugar from hypermarket, they taste very good to me


    (August 18, 2006 - 12:04 pm)

    you are too rich. hehe


    (August 18, 2006 - 12:29 pm)

    To me it smells like quail eggs. So popular in HK, you get to have it in bottled of soy bean drink or sugar cane.


    (August 18, 2006 - 2:03 pm)

    i had some at about 11pm one night, and before that i had boiling mamak ‘susu segar’ and i woke up with a baddd stomach – threw up my dinner which was some western meal of grilled chicken.

    now i am wondering whether i threw up because of the birds’ nest which i boiled for 3 hours!


    (August 18, 2006 - 3:44 pm)

    Bird’s nest and shark fin are in the same boat, methinks – Both are tasteless on its own and are super expensive.
    Still,.. prepared well, they both taste so good!
    (At least with bird’s nest, it’s supposed to be good for you AND nothing gets hurt, so it’s great!)


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