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Tasty and filling, egg drop soup is a classic Chinese dish that you’ll find on many restaurant menus but that’s also easy (and budget-friendly) to make at home.
Whether you’ve never tried it before or would like to try making a favorite dish in the comfort of your own home, read on to learn more about this delicious soup, including a simple recipe.
Egg drop soup is a simple soup composed of a light broth and wispy strands of egg that form when whisked egg is “dropped” into the simmering broth near the end of the cooking process. It’s lighter than many other popular soups, but the egg makes it filling and satisfying.
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Origins of the Soup
Egg drop soup is probably the most popular and well-known Chinese soup outside of China, and it’s popular in China itself, too. It’s sometimes called egg flower soup, which is a direct translation of its Chinese name. It’s unclear whether it originated in a particular region of China because it’s popular all over the large country; however, a regional variety is Cantonese egg tong sui, which is a sweet version that’s more commonly prepared at home than in restaurants.
You may have also heard of it in other cultural contexts. China doesn’t have a monopoly on egg drop soup: France, Austria, Russia, Spain, Japan, Korea, Laos, Thailand, and Italy also have their own versions of egg drop soup. They all include their own take on the key ingredients and therefore taste a bit different from Chinese egg drop soup.
The following recipe was adapted from one on the Simply Recipes site. Note that some recipes call for slightly different condiments and flavorings, and you can adjust these according to your own preferences. You can also add shredded greens, tofu, seafood, meat, bean sprouts, corn, noodles, or more to the final dish.
Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients
You’ll need the following ingredients:
- 3 large eggs (or more if you’re cooking for several people)
- 4 cups of chicken stock (homemade stock is great but it takes longer to prepare)
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- ½ tsp grated ginger
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 chopped green onions/scallions
- Pinch of pepper
- ¾ cup of sliced shiitake mushrooms or other varieties of mushrooms if you prefer. If using dried shiitake mushrooms, make sure to soak them first to soften them.
Step 2: Make a Cornstarch Base
Mix half a cup of stock with the cornstarch until you have a smooth mixture.
Step 3: Put Ingredients on to Boil
Put the remaining chicken stock, ginger, soy sauce, green onions, mushrooms, and pepper together in a pot and bring to a boil on the stovetop.
Step 4: Add Cornstarch Mixture to Pot
Once the pot of ingredients is bubbling, reduce the heat to a simmer and add the stock and cornstarch mix to the pot.
Step 5: Beat Eggs in a Separate Bowl
Crack the eggs into a separate bowl and beat them together until the whites and yolks have combined.
Step 6: “Drop” the Eggs into the Soup
Rather than literally drop the eggs into the soup, slowly pour them into the soup mixture while it’s simmering. Make sure to keep stirring so the egg separates (if you don’t stir, you might end up with what resembles a floating omelette!) Turn off the heat.
Step 7: Serve With Chopped Green Onions
Ladle the soup into separate bowls for serving and garnish with the chopped green onions on top for extra flavor. Enjoy!
Cook a Chinese Banquet at Home
You can enjoy egg drop soup as a quick snack, a light lunch, or alongside other dishes as part of a larger meal. For a special occasion, you could serve it as a starter followed by other Chinese favorites like fried rice, kung pao chicken, ma po tofu, egg rolls, and more. And if you’d like a variation on the classic, this special egg drop soup recipe uses a tomato-based broth to make a tomato and egg soup. Get cooking!
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