Better-Than-Takeout Egg Drop Soup

I absolutely love Egg Drop Soup. When I was a little kid playing on the soccer team, my mom used to yell out the name of a local Chinese restaurant (one of the nice sit-down places too) in the hopes that I would score a goal. If I did, we would go there for dinner and I would down bowl after bowl of egg drop soup. I’m not sure what it was about it, but as a kid I remembered liking three things: Egg Drop Soup, cocktail shrimp, and pickles.

Thinking back, that’s a lot of salty snacks! 20180122_181838

Either way, Egg Drop Soup has continued to be somewhat of a joking point between me and my family. When we went to Gettysburg, we found a good Chinese buffet place (wish I could remember the name of it now – I’d go back in a heartbeat!) and I downed over 12 bowls of Egg Drop Soup. No dessert, no entree…just soup for me!

So suffice it to say, I really like Egg Drop Soup, which means I know good Egg Drop Soup from the not-so-good varieties. I remember the first time I got Chinese takeout as a freshman in college and the broth was 9 parts water, 1 part egg white. It was barely even yellow! On a scale of 1-10, that was definitely a 1.

Fortunately, not long after, I was able to find another Chinese restaurant close to campus. Their egg drop soup was rich, thick, and flavorful. It was a golden yellow, topped with scallions and cilantro, and while a couple of times it was hit or miss, I’d say that overall it was a 9 in my book.

I think that the key to a good Egg Drop Soup is the consistency. It can’t be runny, but you don’t want it so thick that you feel like you’re eating a stew. There’s a very delicate balance, especially when you consider how much egg white you want to add to the mixture. As with any soup, making it right is a lot harder than it sounds.

Fortunately I was the guinea pig for many of my husband’s “experiments” and we’ve developed a way to make delicious Egg Drop Soup in about fifteen minutes – probably less than half the time it takes to get takeout delivered!

Cookware:
-One large pot for making soup
-Two small bowls (for mixing) 20180123_181852

Measurements based on 4 cups of chicken broth, if you want more or less, make sure to adjust your ingredients accordingly!
-4 cups Chicken broth (if you use chicken base/boullion, you can control the strength of the broth)
-4 eggs
-1 Tbsp Soy sauce/Tamari
-2 Tbsp Cornstarch (use less if you want a thinner soup)
-1 tsp Pepper (use white if you don’t want black flecks, though I like them!)
-1 tsp Ground ginger
-3 Tbsp Cold water
-Salt (to taste)
-Chives (I prefer fresh!) and green onion for garnish

Steps:

  1. Pour the broth into your pot and set it to boil at a medium-high heat.
  2. While the broth is heating up, mix your cornstarch, pepper, ginger, soy sauce, and cold water together in a small bowl.
  3. In yet another bowl, whisk your eggs together.
  4. Once the brother is boiling, stir in the cornstarch mixture SLOWLY and then reduce to a low-medium heat. You want to pour it in slowly to make sure it gets incorporated well.
  5. “Spoon” your eggs into the soup with a fork, or pour in a thin stream over a fork, to make sure that you don’t get “chunks” of eggs. This is the key to getting the classic Egg Drop Soup spiralized ribbons.
  6. Once the egg ribbons are firm, pour into a bowl and serve with garnishes.
  7. Eat up!!
Husband’s note on technique: One method I have used involves separating the eggs and initially incorporating the egg yolks into the broth, then making the ribbons out of egg white later. This method results in a very thick, creamy broth base, but it takes much longer since it cannot reach a rolling boil or it will break. It will have to be cooked at low heat and not allowed to exceed 190F.

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