What’s something that’s both a dessert and a medicinal tonic? Is there even such a thing? Well, yes! Enter edible bird’s nests (yan wo) – a traditional chinese medicine (TCM) concoction that is known for its healing properties and benefits for the skin and overall health. With something that makes you look good, feel good, and tastes good, there’s no reason not to love. But here’s the catch – they don’t come cheap, so you’d want to spend your dollars on quality ones only. Need recommendations? Read on for our roundup of the best bird’s nest brands for both bottled and dry options in Singapore. Psst, we’ve also included a guide on how to cook bird’s nests!
What is bird’s nest?
Sweet with a jelly-like texture and egg-white aroma, bird’s nests are almost divine as a dessert. But what exactly are they? Bird’s nests aren’t made of twigs and leaves (obviously), but the solidified saliva of swiftlets. These nests are made by male swiftlets for their wives to lay eggs. If it sounds a tad off-putting that you’re actually drinking spit, read on for the myriad of benefits that make bird’s nests worth drinking!
What are the benefits of bird’s nest?
Bird’s nest is hailed to be one of the best tonics for all ages – whether it’s for your sister who just gave birth, your child who’s still developing, or your grandparents in their silver years. Not sure what exactly it does for the body? Here are some of the main benefits of bird’s nest that you should know when drinking it.
|Bird’s nest nutritional content||Health benefits||Best for|
|Glycoprotein||Boosts overall immunity||General health for all ages|
|Proteins with Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF)||Promotes collagen production, maintaining a youthful complexion||Beauty purposes|
|Amino acids||Increases cell regeneration||Those recovering|
|Sialic acid||Enhances cognitive performance, promotes brain development||Children|
|Calcium||Improves bone health||Elderly|
How to choose dry bird’s nests?
Not all bird’s nests are harvested equal, which is why you’ll see dry bird’s nests going at different price points. Here’s some of the key differentiators that determine how ‘premium’ a bird’s nest is.
Size, shape, and texture
The first and most straightforward factor to look for is size. The bigger, the better. You should also look out for bowl or cup-shaped bird’s nests with fine and firm texture. When it is bowl-shaped, it means that the bird’s nest has been intact from harvest to sale, and every strand has been preserved properly. However if you’re on a budget, you can also opt for triangle shaped ones or mesh cakes that are made of broken pieces of bird’s nest.
When it comes to how to cook bird’s nests, many people think that the process is tedious because you have to clean it thoroughly and pick feathers out with tweezers. But it doesn’t have to be. Premium quality nests don’t require that much cleaning, and are usually at least 95% made of edible saliva.
Another key differentiator for dry bird’s nests is its colour. For the best bird’s nest, look out for one that is ivory white, which is pure and does not come with minerals absorbed from caves. White bird’s nests are suitable for everyone. There’s also red and golden bird’s nests that are more rare and hence command a higher price. The colour comes from mineral absorption from caves. With rich mineral content, red and golden bird’s nests are good for elderly, pregnant ladies, and recovering patients.
Best bottled bird’s nest brands in Singapore
1. New Moon
New Moon is a household brand that’s no stranger to Singaporeans. Apart from offering the best abalones in Singapore, you can trust them when it comes to bottled bird’s nests too. The New Moon Bird’s Nest with White Fungus and Rock Sugar (available on New Moon Official Store) is one of their bestsellers for good reason. It’s made from superior grade bird’s nest that’s prepared with a traditional simmering process to preserve the nutrients. Therefore, you can be well assured that you’ll be reaping all the benefits you can get! We also love that they’ve paired it with white fungus which is rich in fibre and collagen for an extra boost.
Another highly recommended option is the New Moon Bird’s Nest with Collagen Strips (available on New Moon Official Store) that’s perfect for those who are drinking it to achieve a more radiant complexion. It’s prepared with hydrolyzed marine collagen peptides that’s easy to absorb! If you’re looking for Mother’s Day gift ideas, these New Moon Bird’s Nests should be on your list!
It’s a no-brainer to include Kinohimitsu in our list of the best bird’s nest brands in Singapore. They offer a deluge of flavours that are made with meticulously sourced ingredients for immaculate quality. That’s not all, though – they’re delicious too! The most popular variation is the Kinohimitsu Bird Nest with Red Dates and Wolfberries (available on Kinohimitsu Official Store) which are ingredients that are especially good for women. This is because red dates promote blood circulation while wolfberries are high in iron. These help to ease period cramps and nourish the blood so you’ll have an easier time when great aunt flo visits.
Another highly-raved option is the Kinohimitsu Ginseng Bird Nest Gift Set (available on Kinohimitsu Official Store) which is a great gift for parents and grandparents! Ginseng is known for health benefits like improving memory, invigorating qi, as well as anti-ageing effects. That’s why we love this Kinohimitsu Bird Nest as it’s jam-packed with goodies for the body!
BRAND’S is a household name in Singapore that needs no further introduction. Most of us have tried the BRAND’S chicken essence at least once in our lives, especially during our schooling days in hopes that it’ll score you an A. But when exams become a thing of the past, it’s time to try the BRAND’S Bird’s Nest Less Sugar (available on BRAND’S OFFICIAL STORE) to nourish your health. It is one of the best bottled bird’s nests in Singapore that uses bird’s nests harvested from caves in the Southeast Asian region. The BRAND’S Bird Nest is also formulated without artificial flavouring or preservatives, and kept fresh with their Triple Safety Cap. For a healthier alternative that doesn’t compromise on taste, try the BRAND’S Bird Nest Sugar Free (available on BRAND’S OFFICIAL STORE) for guilt-free enjoyment!
4. Dragon Brand
We can’t write a list about the best bottled bird’s nest brands in Singapore without mentioning Dragon Brand Bird’s Nest. Having been around since 1957, they have become a household name that has garnered a loyal customer base. According to bird’s nest connoisseurs out there, Dragon Brand bird’s nests stand out against its competitors in terms of both taste and texture.
The Dragon Brand Superior Jin Si Guan Yan Bird’s Nest (available on Dragon Brand Bird’s Nest Official Store) is one of their most popular products. It is prepared with quality bird’s nest which gives it its distinct taste, paired with refined rock sugar. If you’re looking for an everyday bird’s nest drink, the Dragon Brand Bird’s Nest Beverage (available on Dragon Brand Bird’s Nest Official Store) is a wallet-friendly option that still contains a good amount of bird’s nest!
5. Eu Yan Sang
Another frontrunner for the best bird’s nest brands in Singapore is none other than Eu Yan Sang. With over 140 years of experience in TCM under their belt, they’re definitely one of the most trusted names for bird’s nest tonics. That’s why many recommend the Eu Yan Sang Superior Bird’s Nest With Rock Sugar (available on Eu Yan Sang Official Store) that is made with superior quality cave bird’s nest with complete strands. All ingredients are natural, and this Eu Yan Sang Bird’s Nest is also formulated with 25% less sugar for those who are conscious about sugar intake.
For expectant mums and new mums who require pre or post-natal nourishment, opt for the Eu Yan Sang Premium Concentrated Bird’s Nest (available on Eu Yan Sang Official Store) which packs a punch in nutrients. These are also great for those recovering from an illness or injury.
Looking for a baby shower present for your friend who’s expecting or something for your in-laws? Cue the Trulife Premium Bird’s Nest Sugar Free Gift Pack (available on Trulife SG Official Store) that’s beautifully packaged for gifting purposes! Its content is as presentable as its packaging, boasting a rich texture thanks to the high quantity of premium grade bird’s nests. This Trulife Bird’s Nest is also prepared without artificial colouring, preservations, and sugar, which makes it a great choice for elderly relatives. If you’re not ready to narrow down on one flavour yet, get the Trulife Premium Mix Bird’s Nest (available on Trulife SG Official Store) which contains all their flavours. This includes the one with ginseng, rock sugar, collagen, as well as a sugar free option!
7. The Purest Co
If you’re particular about finding out exactly how much bird’s nest is in each bottle, look no further than the bottled bird’s nests from The Purest Co. They are one of the only brands that specify their grammage (9 grams in each concentrated bottle), and the brand places high emphasis on the quality of their ingredients. In addition, The Purest Co bird’s nests are made with their unique homemade recipes, with each bottle is produced from small batch cooking to ensure that they’re the freshest when delivered. That’s why they are one of the best bird’s nest brands in Singapore.
For a taste of all their signature flavours, get The Purest Co Bird’s Nest Mini Treats (available The Purest Co Official Store). This includes American ginseng, rosebuds, and the classic rock sugar. Prefer a purer taste without additional ingredients? The Purest Co Bird’s Nest with No Sugar (available on The Purest Co Official Store) won’t disappoint! They are made from ethically harvested bird’s nests from abandoned nests, and meticulously prepared with their homemade recipe.
8. Nano Japan
A good skincare routine is not complete without incorporating collagen in your diet to fight signs of ageing. If you’re looking for an effective collagen drink, we recommend the Nano Bird’s Nest Collagen (available on NANO JAPAN OFFICIAL STORE) that incorporates edible bird’s nest extract rich in sialic acid with collagen peptides and honey for a naturally sweet taste! In addition, it contains GABA, an ingredient known for calming effects. While Nano Japan is not a brand that’s known for bird’s nests, the Nano Bird’s Nest Collagen is one of the best bird’s nest drinks that beauty junkies will love!
Best dry bird’s nest brands in Singapore
9. Pristine Farm
While most brands only offer bottled bird’s nests, Pristine Farm has got you covered with everything from dry bird’s nests options to freshly cooked ones. The Pristine Farm Dry Bird’s Nest (available on PristineFarm.sg Official Store) comes in a variety of types you can choose from. In order of quality, this includes the superior golden bowl, long strand golden, premium oval, premium oval crack, and premium crumbs. These are all harvested from their own farms in Indonesia, and are processed using the dry pick method which preserves the most nutrition. Not sure how to prepare the Pristine Farm bird’s nests? We’ve included a guide on how to cook bird’s nests at the end of this article!
10. Royal Origin
If you’re going to shell out for a piece of dry bird nest, you’ve got to make sure you’re buying from a reputable brand to avoid fakes. Having been in the bird’s nest trade since 1964, Royal Origin is one of the best brands in Singapore that you can trust. Their Dry Bird Nest (available on ROYAL ORIGIN Premium Bird Nest) is available in a few grades. For the best quality, get the bowl shaped one that has the longest strand of nest obtained. If you prefer a softer texture that requires shorter cooking time, you can opt for the mesh shaped one that can be prepared within half an hour. As one of the best bird’s nest brands in Singapore, all dry bird’s nests from Royal Origin are naturally processed without any chemicals, and do not contain any edible glue or coating!
Yuxiangyan is a homegrown brand with swiftlet nesting houses and factories that produce premium grade bird’s nests. The Yuxiangyan Jin Si Yan Premium Dried Bird’s Nest (available on Yuxiangyan Official Store) is made of clean strands arranged in a comb cup. For a slightly more affordable option, the Yuxiangyan Yan Tiao Premium Dried Bird’s Nest (available on Yuxiangyan Official Store) is of solid quality as well. Yuxiangyan bird’s nests are harvested without chemicals, fragrances, and colouring, preserving the nutrients in the bird’s nest. Another crowd-favourite is their freshly cooked options like the Yuxiangyan Fresh Cooked Rock Sugar Bird’s Nest (available on Yuxiangyan Official Store)! All in all, they’re a one-stop solution for all your bird’s nest needs.
How to cook bird’s nest?
With dry bird’s nests easily over $100, you probably won’t want to screw up the preparation and risk losing its nutrients. But fret not, the steps on how to cook bird’s nests are relatively simple. The most important part is to double boil it, which you can do easily with a double boiler or a slow cooker!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes – 2 hours for double boiler, 6 – 8 hours for slow cooker
- 1 pc dry bird’s nest
- 1 bowl water
- 3 pcs rock sugar (can be adjusted)
- 4 tbsp wolfberry (optional)
- 5 pcs red dates (optional)
- Soak bird’s nest pieces in cold water for at least 6 hours or overnight until it has expanded. For better absorption, you can cut the thicker ends of the bird’s nest.
- Drain the bird’s nest and pour away the water
- Add bird’s nest and ingredients of choice such as wolfberries or red dates (both available on Shopee Supermarket) with 1 rice bowl of water into the double boiler or slow cooker. To cook it without a double boiler, add the ingredients into a bowl and place the bowl into a large pot filled with enough water to submerge half the bowl.
- Double boil for half to one hour or slow cook for six hours. Do note that this timing may differ according to the quality of your bird’s nest.
- Stir to ensure that it is cooked to desired texture, and add in rock sugar while it is still hot.
- Serve or refrigerate to enjoy it chilled – and that’s how to cook bird’s nests!
Boost your health with the best bird nests in Singapore
From the best bottled bird’s nests to the best dry bird’s nests in Singapore, nourish your bodies to the pink of health with this traditional tonic! For greater savings, don’t miss out on our 9.9 Super Shopping Day where amazing deals await! For more recommendations on health supplements, check out our list of the best probiotics in Singapore and the best chaga mushroom products!