Egg drop soup recipe is less of a dish and more of a technique – pretty much any kind of soup you got, you can drop in an egg.
So then, today, we wanted to teach you three different egg-dropping techniques all while showing you three different egg drop soups from across the country.
First, we’ll show you the stream-and-stir method using a classic Cantonese egg drop of corn and chicken; second, we’ll show you the ladling method with a simple homestyle Sichuanese hot and sour, and finally, we’ll cover the whirlpool method using sweet fermented rice, milk, and egg dessert from Lanzhou up in the northwest.
The point here’s to help build you a bit of a base so that any kind of soup you’re feeling, you can turn it into an egg drop.
So. First up, Jirong Sumi Geng.
This guy is a super classic Cantonese dish that you can find pretty much everywhere in Guangdong from high-end banquets to lazy weeknight dinners.
It’s so classic, in fact, that over here you actually can just, like, buy it in canned form – all you need to do is take this stuff home and drop in some egg.
Today we’ll be working from scratch though, which is also easy enough.
So, to a pot, first, just toss in a teaspoon or so of oil and then go in with about a half centimeter’s worth of minced ginger.
Over a medium flame, give that a quick fry till fragrant, about thirty seconds, then go in with two cups of cool water.
If you do happen to have any stock lying around – either boxed or homemade – that’d obviously be best here, but I promise: not mandatory in the least.
Then at this point, add in about 60 grams worth of chicken breast and cover.
Let that all come up to a boil, then down to a simmer, and let that chicken breast cook for about five minutes, or until a chopstick can easily puncture right through it.
Now, we’ll be shredding that, but for this dish, we’ll want to do so by pounding it with the backside of a knife.
We’re not gonna be going too crazy here or anything, but we do want to take this hunk of chicken past shredded into something resembling more stringy, crumbly bits like so.
Back to the soup.
At this point, toss in your corn – this was just a half an ear that we sliced up, or about sixty grams worth, n’ frozen would also be totally fine.
Let that boil in the soup for about three minutes, or until it’s cooked, then add back in the shredded chicken.
Season with a half teaspoon salt, a quarter teaspoon sugar, another quarter teaspoon chicken bouillon powder, and then, we can thicken that up.
Now, today, we are gonna be thickening using a water chestnut starch slurry, but definitely feel free to use any sort of root vegetable starch that you got handy – potato would work great, ditto with tapioca.
If possible, just avoid cornstarch if you can because it doesn’t really hold that well for this kind of soup, but if you’re stuck it can still work in a pinch.
Then once that’s good and thickened, shut off the heat, and we can drop in some egg.
So. For this soup, we’re gonna be doing the stream-and-stir method.
What you’ll want to do is continuously stir your soup while slowly pouring in your beaten egg in a thin stream.
This technique gives you very fine strands of egg bits which wind up really incorporating into the soup in the end.
Finish with a sprinkle of white pepper powder and a drizzle of toasted sesame oil, then… out.
Top that with a bit of chopped cilantro, and with that, your chicken and corn egg drop soup is done.Second soup: Sichuanese hot and sour.
To a pot just toss in about a teaspoon’s worth of lard, preferably, but oil’d also be fine, then over a medium flame toss in the same half centimeter’s worth of minced ginger.
Give that a quick fry, hit it with two cups of water – or stock, if you got it handy – and bring all that up to a boil.
At this point, swap your flame to low and season with a half teaspoon of soy sauce, a half teaspoon salt, and a quarter teaspoon of chicken bouillon powder.
Then just thicken in the same way as before.
A slurry of a tablespoon and a half of starch mixed with three tablespoons of water drizzle that in over a low flame, stirring constantly.
Now, for this one, we’re gonna be doing that ladling method.
For it, what you’ll do is take a spoonful of egg, and sort of flick it over the soup.
Just, I dunno, imagine that you’re Jackson Pollock and you’re going at a soup canvas.
This method produces thin sheets that are a little more substantive than the last method and is both mine and Steph’s favorite way to enjoy an egg drop.
At this point, evenly distribute the egg by gently pulling some of the larger sheets apart and over to the bubbling areas of the soup.
Then once the egg’s all floating, it’s done, and now we can turn this into a properly hot and sour.
So. One tablespoon dark Chinese vinegar, half teaspoon white pepper powder, and these guys are both added at the very end to help preserve their pungency.
Pour that all into a bowl, sprinkle over some chopped scallions, and your Sichuanese hot and sour egg drop soup is also done.
Finally, the milky dessert egg drop from Lanzhou.
This one’ll be mixed with some nuts, so before we do anything we’ll first toast about ten peanuts and an equal number of pumpkin seeds over a medium-low flame.
These guys were basically just what we had on hand, so definitely feel free to use your nuts of choice.
Then once those are halfway toasted, or about three minutes later, toss in a quarter teaspoon of sesame seeds and toast those all together for another three minutes.
Then just peel your peanuts and set those aside.
So. One cup of milk, bring that to a simmer, and toss in a half teaspoon of sugar together with a half teaspoon of baking soda – the soda helps balance the acidity so the milk won’t curd on you.
Then just go in a bit of dried fruit – here we got ten grams of dried apricot, eight raisins, and another eight goji berries stirring them into the hot milk to help soften them up.
At this point, toss in a half cup of laozao fermented rice.
You should be able to find this stuff at most Chinese supermarkets, but just a quick warning that it seems like it’s sometimes translated as ‘rice pudding’.
Either way, just let that all simmer together for about two minutes, and then we can go in with our egg.
So. the Whirlpool method.
To go this route, just get your soup swirling around rapidly kind of like you were gonna be poaching an egg.
But unlike poaching, aim your beaten egg to hit the stream of the whirlpool instead of the vortex, all against the current.
This technique is probably the easiest one of the three and’ll net you longer chunkier strands of egg.
Give that a gentle stir, and once those are floating, it’s good to go.
Just toss in your toasted mixed nuts from before into your serving bowl, pour over your soup, and with that, your milky dessert egg drop is also done.
So, on the English internet, I often see people will thicken egg drop soup.
Now, we thickened these two soups here, but it’s not because they are egg drops.
It’s because that’s the way the dish is, and it’s its own dish.
So if you’re just whipping up a quick soup at home, no need to thicken just drop your eggs in, and call it a day.
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