The male swiftlet will build the nest using its own saliva which solidifies to make a nesting roost during breeding time. The nests take up to 35 days to build and look like a shallow cups which are often found on the side cliffy area or caves. The nests are supposedly rich in nutrients such as calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium.
The most famous culinary application of birds nests is Chinese birds nest soup, however the birds nest can also be used to flavor boiled rice for flavoring desserts and even sweet jellies.
The birds nest soup is made by boiling pieces of dried birds nest with chicken stock and a little cornstarch, the resulting broth is thick hearty soup which is said to taste very pleasant. In Hong Kong, birds nests are such a popular ingredient that demand often outweighs supply.
Have you tried birds nest soup or any other dishes flavored with birds nest?