Egg Drop Soup

Soups can be such wonderful meals. I enjoy trying different cultural cuisines and I have found that soups are often a great place to start. I like many different types of soup – creamy, thin broth, and somewhere in-between. I also enjoy trying to emulate the soups that I try in my own kitchen, so I appreciate a simple ingredient list and set of instructions. Much like this wonderful Egg Drop Soup recipe. Simple all around, and with only ten minutes total prep and cook time, this recipe is a win-win all around.

If you aren’t familiar with it, egg drop soup is a Chinese soup of wispy beaten eggs in boiled chicken broth. Condiments such as black or white pepper, tofu and finely chopped scallions are commonly added (but totally down to personal preference of the cook). The soup is finished off by adding a thin stream of beaten eggs into the boiling broth in the final moments of cooking. This creates thin, almost silken strands (or flakes, depending on how you pour and whisk or stir the eggs in) of cooked egg that floats in the soup. In the United States, you will find egg drop soup on the menus of many American-Chinese restaurants (it is also called egg flower soup). In Chinese cuisine, egg drop soups tend to have a thinner consistency than their Western counterpart (cornstarch is sometimes used to thicken egg drop soup dishes in American-Chinese cuisine). Depending on the region, this soup may be garnished with tofu, scallion, bean sprouts and/or corn. Also delicious is the variant of egg drop soup from Italy, made of egg and parmesan cheese.

Egg drop soup is a really delicious and reasonably healthy meal. You can choose to use full eggs or just egg whites, if you want to go lighter. You can also do a combination and add two whole eggs as well as two egg whites. The yolk is what is going to give this soup that really egg-y flavor. You also want to take into consideration the chicken stock you use. While you want to find a good quality stock, you can choose chicken stocks with reduced sodium (I find regular chicken stock can seem quite salty – you don’t want salt to overpower the egg).

The tricky part to this dish (and it’s not even that tricky if you’re cooking for yourself rather than to impress) is to whisk the egg into the broth in such a way as to create ‘egg ribbons’. You want to have your eggs well beaten. While you can do this in a bowl, whisking your eggs in a measuring cup will make for easier pouring. Some cooks recommend pouring the eggs over the tongs of a fork, but this has mixed results. Either way, once the broth comes to a boil you need to remove it from the heat and immediately pour in the eggs while using a whisk or fork to stir the broth using circular stirring motions in order to create the classic egg ribbons. But if you’re not worried about long ribbons, just whisk the broth vigorously while pouring in the eggs. The goal is mainly to avoid clumps of egg, so whisk quickly and vigorously.

Ali of the food blog “Gimme Some Oven” has shared this as one of her all-time favorite recipes (and certainly her favorite soup dish). Ali grew up eating this every Saturday when her family visited the local Chinese restaurant and since then has tried this soup in over 200 different restaurants. She has also made this dish at home over 200 times, and has – by the look of her pictures as well as the taste of the soup if you follow her recipe – perfected the classic egg-drop soup. If you’re looking for a light, simple yet delicious soup, this is a must try.

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