A good girlfriend of mine gave us some dried Top Shells and I was just thinking so hard how I could use it. My mama has a basic soupbase recipe that she adapts to the type of “special occasion” ingredients she has at hand – yes, “special occasion” ingredients means the “a little expensive” and “luxurious” kind.. 🙂

I had no idea how I should prepare it. But Braised Top Shell & Chicken Soup recipe will be the updated and amended one after my 1st try at making this soup which was actually too salty coz: (1) I didn’t soak the top shells overnite to remove the saltiness and (2) I forgot to taste-test it before serving.. 😕

Braised TopShell Soup


  • 2 pcs of whole dried Top Shells
  • 4 pcs of chicken thighs with bones on, skin removed and fat trimmed
  • 1.5 litre water
  • 10 pcs goji berries (kei-chi)
  • 10 pcs whole black peppercorns
  • salt, to taste



    Serves 4
    Prep time 10 mins
    Cook time 90 mins
    Total time overnite+100mins
total time


  1. Prepare top shells by soaking them in warm water; changing water a few times. Then leave to soak in final cooled water overnite.
  2. Make soupbase by cooking chicken thighs in water. Once water’s boiling, cook at low heat for at least 30 mins. Skim off scum and fats.
  3. Put in soaked whole top shells and whole peppercorns. Continue to cook at a low simmer for at least 45 mins, or till top shells are totally soft and re-hydrated.
  4. Add in goji berries and cook soup for a further 5 mins.
  5. Remove chicken from soup and shred meat.
  6. Remove top shells from soup and slice thinly.
  7. Taste test soupbase for saltiness. If too salty add more water, if bland, add some salt, to taste.
  8. Return sliced top shells and shredded chicken to heat up.
  9. Serve immediately.

TopShell dried 2These top shells are huge!!

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