You’ll forget all about take-out when you make this easy and authentic Chinese-style egg drop soup!
I seriously love egg drop soup. I love egg drop soup so much that I love the crappy stuff. You know the kind I’m talking about: the kind that sits in vats at low-end Chinese buffets all day long, just… congealing.
But fortunately this isn’t that!
Unlike many Chinese-style egg drop soup recipes, this begins with simmering aromatics to dramatically improve your broth. No plain chicken broth here! So while this isn’t the world’s fastest egg drop soup, it’s still pretty darn quick. You will not regret sacrificing the extra 20 minutes.
This recipe is sort of one of those “by feel” recipes, although I have tried to be as specific as possible with the amounts. When selecting your sprigs of cilantro from the bunch, I find it best to turn it upside down and pick out 8-10 fat stems from the bottom. These may only have 3-6 little cilantro leaf clumps on them, and that’s ok.
The same goes for the ginger. There is no strict amount, exactly. I use about an inch and about the width of my thumb.
Then it’s just a matter or simmering all of the aromatics together to make the broth. Bring the mix to a boil, but lower it immediately to simmer for the rest of the 20 minutes. This will help get the maximum flavor out of these ingredients without destroying them in the high heat of boiling.
The rest of the tips for making the best egg drop soup are related to getting the eggs just right. My first tip is lightly beat the eggs together in a small bowl, instead of going for the full scramble. I like them best when they are slightly incorporated but still have distinct areas of yellows and whites.
Second, be sure to remove your soup from the heat before adding the eggs. If your soup continues to simmer your eggs are going to come out scrambled. I’ve done it, and it’s upsetting.
And the third and final tip is to stir the eggs in only one direction when adding them to the broth, and do it slowly. This creates those long eggy “whisps” that are characteristic of this soup. Whisking like a madman is another way to end up with something more akin to scrambled eggs. The best way to achieve success is to slowly stir your whisk in circles, creating a small “whirlpool” in the middle. Slowly pour the eggs into that whirlpool and continue stirring until just incorporated.
I know many recipes claim to be better than take-out but this one truly is!
Chinese- Style Egg Drop Soup
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 inch ginger, peeled (about the width of your thumb)
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 8-10 sprigs cilantro
- 1 garlic clove, chopped in half
- 3 tsp cornstarch
- 3 tsp water
- 2 eggs
In a medium pot, bring chicken broth, soy sauce, ginger, peppercorns, cilantro and garlic clove to a boil. Immediately bring down heat to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, whisk together the corn starch and water in a small container. Set aside.
In another small bowl, lightly beat the eggs together until just incorporated. You still want to have disctinct areas of whites and yellows. Set this aside as well.
After the broth has simmered, pour it through a strainer into a serving bowl to strain out the aromatics. Toss out the aromatics and pour the broth back into the pot. Return to the heat and bring to a simmer.
Whisk the cornstarch slurry into the broth and let simmer for 5-6 minutes, or until thickened. REMOVE FROM HEAT.
Using your whisk, stir circles in the broth to create a small "whirlpool" in the center. (Only stir in one direction! This is how you create those characteristic eggy "whisps" as opposed to scrambled eggs.) Slowly pour the eggs in the center whirlpool and continue to stir until just incorporated. Serve immediately.
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