Zach and I have a lot to celebrate!
As of 11:50am yesterday, Zach and I have a new baby nephew, Ivan James (welcome to the world, baby Ivan!). We’ve also been blessed with what we have been calling a “surprise weekend”- two whole days off of work due to this crazy blizzard we are having. What is it about monumental life events and being cooped up inside during a snowstorm that makes you want Chinese take-out? …just me? Regardless, the craving hit both of us HARD last night.
But, no matter how badly we wanted Chinese take-out, we simply could not have it last night. On account of this whole “state of emergency” thing. On account of the blizzard with hurricane-force winds. I mean, I guess that’s legit.
So, I brought Chinese take-out to us with an amazingly easy recipe for egg drop soup!
Holy moly. This is TASTY. It’s much more delicious than take-out, and healthier, too. Did you know that most Chinese restaurants add yellow food coloring to their egg drop soup to give it that rich yellow color? (Do you also know that artificial dyes are considered toxic and can have many negative side effects? Europe has actually banned many of them from their foods!) And that there is probably MSG in the egg drop soup from your favorite take-out place?
If you can make your favorite restaurant foods at home, they are almost always guaranteed to be healthier, since you are in control of what ingredients you choose to add and not add. And this soup is no exception. (On that note, you should try making Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana at home.)
Did I mention this soup takes only 15 minutes to make?! And, it uses many ingredients you already have at home.
First, bring some chicken broth (or vegetable broth, for a vegetarian option) to a boil with some seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic powder, and some ginger. I used fresh ginger, but you can also use powdered ginger). Then, mix a little of the hot broth with some cornstarch and set aside- this will help give the soup that thick texture of restaurant-style egg drop soup.
Now, the fun part. The dropping of the eggs, for which the soup is named!
Just beat some eggs (I used 5, but you can use fewer if you like), stir the soup to create a minor swirl, then slowly pour them into the soup. The eggs will be drawn into the swirl of the hot soup, cooking them immediately and creating those beautiful egg ribbons you see in egg drop soup. It’s like a magic trick! You will want to use something like a Pyrex measuring cup for this process- the spout on the end makes pouring the eggs slowly possible. If you use a regular bowl, you may run into problems attempting to pour the eggs slowly and consistently without making a huge mess.
At this point, I added a few optional, but highly recommended, ingredients, in addition to the cornstarch slurry I made earlier. Frozen corn gives the soup a hint of sweetness and more oomph to the texture, and scallions give it a subtle onion flavor and a slight crunch. You can also add frozen peas if you want. But the BEST addition here is just a little bit of toasted sesame oil. It gives the soup a rich, toasty, slightly smoky flavor. If you haven’t had it before, it will be that thing that when you eat it, you will think, “THAT’S that flavor that I always taste at restaurants but never know what it is!” Know what I mean?
After heating for just a couple more minutes, the soup will have thickened and all the ingredients will have heated through. Done! So easy!
Here’s one thing that may take you off-guard: the soup will not be a rich, deep yellow (since you are not adding food coloring). It will still taste delicious- actually, better!- but there is a trick if you want the soup to be yellower more naturally. Use 3 whole eggs + 3 egg yolks instead of 5 whole eggs. The yolks will color the soup more deeply. I prefer using 5 whole eggs because I never know what to do with the leftovers when I separate eggs, and I hate wasting food.
So there you go! Easy, 15 minute egg drop soup from the comfort of your own home.
15 Minute Egg Drop Soup (better than take-out!)
- Heat chicken stock, ginger, garlic powder, and salt/pepper in a large pot on the stove until just boiling.
- Turn heat down to low.
- In a separate cup or container, mix together about a cup of the hot broth with the cornstarch until smooth. Set aside.
- In a measuring cup, beat the eggs.
- Stir the hot broth to create a slow swirl. While the broth is swirling, SLOWLY add the eggs.
- Add the corn, scallions, and reserved cornstarch/broth mixture. Heat for 2-3 more minutes until thickened.
- Before serving, stir in toasted sesame oil.