Make the restaurant-style Chinese egg drop soup with the minimum ingredients, within 15 minutes, and without any fuss.
Soup is an important element on a Chinese family’s dinner table. Back in Beijing when I was living with my parents, my mom would serve soup every day along with steamed rice, stir fried seasonal vegetables and a meat dish. Egg drop soup was always her first choice.
Cooking egg drop soup only takes 15 minutes, but you get a hearty soup that tastes way better than the one in Chinese restaurants.
You don’t need to add tons of spices like star anise and cloves because it overpowers the delicate egg flavor. I was astounded to see some egg drop soup recipes call for 6 to 7 spices. It’s unimaginable. We’re cooking a quick side dish here, not Vietnamese pho.
You only need some fresh green onions and ginger. That’s it. They bring out the sweetness of the egg without the taste being overwhelming.
The key to make the soup more flavorful is to bring the soup to a boil and let it cook with the ginger and green onion for at least 10 minutes to release the flavor. That’s it. You don’t even need to chop the ginger. Just add a whole slice and you can fish it out and discard it before you serve the soup.
When you’re ready to add the rest of the ingredients, turn down the heat to let the broth simmer gently. Whisk in cornstarch slurry to lightly thicken the broth.
Then, slowly add the beaten eggs by using a fork to slow the flow. Let the eggs sits for a few seconds, then use a pair of chopsticks to break them apart to your liking.
Drizzle with a few drops of sesame oil. You will get the most comforting soup with a silky texture and delicious eggs bits.
There is no fuss about making a hearty egg drop soup that tastes even better than the one in a Chinese restaurant.
How to alter egg drop soup
There are a few things you can do to make your daily soup taste a bit different.
- Add 1 to 2 chopped tomatoes at the beginning. (One of my mom’s favorites – it makes the soup refreshing and changes the taste.)
- You can add a handful vegetables, such as bok choy, spinach, mushrooms, or cucumber (sounds weird, but it works). But remember that less is more.
- Add corn and peas to make it a corn soup (and you can add ground chicken to make it richer).
- Add a few soaked dried shrimp at the beginning, to infuse more umami flavor to the soup. My mom uses this method with some chicken bouillon when we don’t have chicken stock at home. If you use chicken stock and dried shrimp, the soup will taste even better.
If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 3 green onions, chopped, white and green parts separated
- 1 slice ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- (Optional) 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder, for the yellow color
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- Combine the chicken broth, the white part of the green onion and ginger in a small pot. Cook over high heat until brought to a boil. Turn to a low heat and let the soup reduce to a simmer.
- Combine cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Whisk until cornstarch is completely dissolved. Swirl into the soup and mix well with a spatula.
- To add eggs, hold a fork (or two chopsticks slightly apart) across the top of a small bowl, drizzle the egg mixture slowly through the gaps into the soup. Let the eggs set for a few seconds, then stir gently to break up the egg to the desired sized pieces.
- Drizzle sesame oil and sprinkle with the green part of the green onion.
- Serve warm.