Chinese Egg Drop Soup

4.95 from 38 votes
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Make the restaurant-style Chinese egg drop soup with the minimum ingredients, within 15 minutes, and without any fuss. {Gluten-Free}

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.

Make the restaurant-style Chinese egg drop soup with the minimum ingredients, within 15 minutes, and without any fuss.

Cooking notes

Fresh aromatics is the key

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.

Thicken the soup before adding eggs

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. By thickening the broth first, the eggs won’t think to the bottom when you add them, and form better egg ribbons.

How to create the perfect egg ribbons

Slowly add the beaten eggs by using a fork to slow the flow. DO NOT STIR! Let the eggs sits for a few seconds, then use a pair of chopsticks to break them apart to your liking. Stirring the soup too fast will break apart the eggs into tiny pieces and cloud the soup.

Final touch

Drizzle with a few drops of sesame oil. You will get the most comforting soup with a silky texture and delicious eggs bits.

That’s it.

There is no fuss about making a hearty egg drop soup that tastes even better than the one in a Chinese restaurant.

Chinese Egg Drop Soup Cooking Process

How to alter egg drop soup

There are a few things you can do to make your daily soup taste a bit different.

  1. Add 1 to 2 chopped tomatoes at the beginning. (One of my mom’s favorites – it makes the soup refreshing and changes the taste.)
  2. 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.
  3. Add corn and peas to make it a corn soup (and you can add ground chicken to make it richer).
  4. 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.

Make the restaurant-style Chinese egg drop soup with the minimum ingredients, within 15 minutes, and without any fuss.

More comforting Chinese soup recipes

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.

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Chinese Egg Drop Soup

4.95 from 38 votes
Make the restaurant-style Chinese egg drop soup with the minimum ingredients, within 15 minutes, and without any fuss.
Author: Maggie Zhu
Course: Side, Soup
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: comfort food, takeout
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 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
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder , for the yellow color (Optional)
  • 4 large eggs , beaten (Footnote 1)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

Instructions

  • 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, white pepper, turmeric, sea salt 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.

Notes

  1. If you want the egg ribbons look even better, try to use 2 whole eggs and 2 egg whites. Adding more egg white will make the egg ribbons more consistent. If you have leftover egg whites from baking, now it's a good chance to use them!

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 274kcal, Carbohydrates: 20.9g, Protein: 22.5g, Fat: 12.7g, Cholesterol: 174mg, Sodium: 268mg, Potassium: 385mg, Fiber: 2.5g, Sugar: 3.2g, Vitamin A: 8IU, Vitamin C: 10mg, Calcium: 4mg, Iron: 21mg
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Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. ChannonD says:

    5 stars
    Thank you so very much for this recipe! I want some simple, authentic egg drop soup SOOOOO badly right now! I’ve been living in SoCal for over 5 years now and have yet to find any restaurant serving this version. Worse yet, for me at least, most put canned corn in the soup, which becomes the only flavor I can discern. All the rest add meat and mied vegetables so the price is higher because they cannot afford to sell “cheap” menu items. [Most also sell egg rolls in large batches.] The one place that made a version I enjoyed (cabbage was only addition) was forced out of business when the landlord doubled his rent. Great family, great restaurant. I am so sad for them.

    It’s chilly out this week, so I will be whipping up a bowl in just a little while.

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Channon, I’m glad to hear you like this recipe! Hope your dish turned out well 🙂
      I rarely order egg drop soup in a restaurant, because it’s so quick to cook at home. I guess I was spoiled with my mom’s cooking growing up!
      We do have a corn soup, which is the next kin to egg drop soup, but we use frozen corn and ground meat, which makes the soup quite rich.
      But yes, I love keeping my soup simple the most of the time, as a nice addition to the dinner 🙂

  2. Richard says:

    5 stars
    First time eating and making this dish. Absolutely wonderful. I added diced tomatoes and sliced mushrooms. Will try cabbage next time. One teaspoon of sesame oil is enough as two overpowered it. It’s a keeper.

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Richard, so glad to hear the dish worked out for you! Noted about the sesame oil too!
      Happy holiday 🙂

      • Lauryn says:

        I felt like this recipe was really hard to follow. I found myself trying to figure out if I whisk the eggs or if I should turn the heat up on the pot. I’m a pretty decent chef and can follow any recipe I try. I followed the directions and it just didn’t work out. 🙁 so sad.

  3. Stuart says:

    5 stars
    Had this wonderful soup for breakfast just this AM. Lite but filling with an English muffin.

    I’m getting hooked on all your recipes.

    Thanks for the hard work,
    Stuart

  4. Dale thompson says:

    I would like to make soup can I make it if I triple the ingredients? I volunteer at American legion and think this would really go over thanks.

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Dale, yes you can triple or multiple the ingredients any way you like. It’s quite a forgiven recipe so I’m sure it will work out well in bulk. It’s one of those dishes we enjoyed the most in college cafeteria 🙂

  5. Michael Wilson says:

    5 stars
    Made the basic recipe (except turned out I didn’t have any tumeric or white pepper, oh well there on my shopping list) had to adjust the measurements because I’m only cooking for one (me). It turned out great.

    Thank you, I can’t wait to try more of these, next up wonton soup….oh yeah…

    • Maggie says:

      I’m glad to hear you made my recipe and enjoyed it Michael! It is totally OK to skip the turmeric. It is only for the color and does not really add flavors.
      Happy cooking and hope your wonton soup turns out delicious too 🙂

  6. Lucas says:

    4 stars
    I was looking for an Asian side dish to go with some chilled peel and eat shrimp. I know not necessarily traditional but figured Asian would go well. This soup turned out to be a great idea. I used a bit more ginger, added a few peas (frozen), carrots and spinach (fresh). We loved it! Simple and fresh. The sesome oil really ads to the taste. We also added some spicy La-yu chili oil. Yum

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Lucas, I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the dish! Adding some veggies and more ginger sounds delicious and I LOVE the additional chili oil! Sometimes I’d like to spice up my dish too 🙂
      Have a great week ahead!

  7. Shelby says:

    4 stars
    like you say….simple & so tasty! Easy & quick to make. I doubled the recipe, used my own homemade stock, and substituted ginger paste for fresh ginger slices. Definitely will make again.

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Shelby, I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed this soup! My mom used to make it a few times a week, because it’s quick to make!
      Thanks for leaving a comment, and have a great week ahead 🙂

  8. Michelle says:

    So excited to find your website!! I am American born Chinese Singaporean and always thought Chinese food was very challenging to make (so much chopping and very precise technique). Hard to find a blog in English that is authentic Chinese. I love egg drop soup and can’t wait to be able to make it at home! Thank you!

  9. Madelyn says:

    I love this recipe. It taste like from the Chinese restaurant

    • Maggie says:

      Thanks so for leaving a comment and I’m glad to hear you like the recipe Madelyn 🙂

  10. San says:

    This is a great recipe. I could not get my egg to swirl . It did more of a bubble explode. How can I correct this for next time?

  11. Ann says:

    What type of sesame oil did you use? Regular, refined, toasted?

  12. Robbie Kuykendall says:

    Could you make this in a Crock pot? I love EDS snd Id like to take it as a side to my friend’s Chinese New Year , dumpling party.

    Im also thinking about the okra.

  13. Tjasa says:

    It is just perfect!! We all loved it. Such a strong flavour with so simple ingredients. I will place it on our weekly menu. We live in Europe, but we love to explore new flavours….so from now on -> I’m following you… Tnx for sharing ??

  14. SIOUX BALOW says:

    5 stars
    LOVE CHINESE FOOD, AND ESPECIALLY THIS SOUP, AND DO YOU HAVE A GOOD RECEIPE FOR HOT AND SPICY SOUP? HOW ABOUT SHRIMP LO MEIN? THANKS AND I WILL KEEP YOU POSTED.

  15. Jgage says:

    5 stars
    Yum! The first egg drop recipe I actually love! I used two cups of chicken stock so I did an additional two cups of water and a chicken boullion ! Also added mushrooms cucumber and celery. Very good. Thank you!

  16. Erin says:

    Wondering if anyone has had success using ground ginger vs. fresh ginger in this recipe?

  17. Michelle Neuzil says:

    My Dad wants to make this for my mom but he wants to use ginger powder (he’s 83 and doesn’t want to buy ginger root). How much ginger powder can he use that would be equivalent to a slice of ginger?

  18. Richard says:

    Hi,
    Your recipe for egg drop soup is great. I would add one note: if you prefer the egg to not be small strands and instead some larger pieces, use two chopsticks to prepare the raw eggs. Put the eggs into a bowl and gently stir with the chopsticks, making sure not to mix too much. You should be able to still see some clear egg whites. Slowly pour this egg mixture from the bowl in the boiling soup while stirring the soup with the chop sticks. If the egg pieces are to large, then break them up gently with the chop sticks. The non-uniform egg in the soup makes for interesting textures.

  19. Gordy says:

    The ingredients call for white pepper powder, sea salt, and turmeric, but the instructions do not tell when to add those ingredients. Can you expand on the instructions to tell when to add them?

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Gordy, sorry about that! I just updated the recipe.

  20. Paige Edwards says:

    5 stars
    Oh yum! This is the BEST egg drop soup I’ve EVER had, thank you for sharing it! Adding my eggs was a little awkward, but that will get better with practice.

  21. Angie says:

    5 stars
    Hi Maggie. Just want to say thanks for the recipe. I was looking for any fast soup recipe and came across your website. As I am writing this comment, I am eating the soup I just made from your recipe. I made a mistake because I didn’t scroll down (was in a hurry) and I actually MISSED the instructions!

    So I just improvised “how to do it”. I used two chicken fillet and also put some soy sauce. I missed the white pepper and the sesame oil. Anyway, it turned out really good. It’s not over tasty. I’m cooking this for my husband. And I am not actually a good cook. This is my first soup ever and I love it. A million thanks, Maggie!

  22. Iñigo says:

    5 stars
    Magnificent!!!!!

  23. Cesiah Guerra says:

    I just made this soup. It is so delicious. Thank you for sharing.

  24. Sean says:

    5 stars
    Simple yet delicious! A big hit with young and old in our household…My kids request this soup often! No changes here, the recipe as written is wonderful. Thank you!

  25. Harry says:

    5 stars
    When cooking Udon noodles I use the cooking liquid to make soups in this case I added dried ground vegetable bouillon before cooking the noodles! I’m a garlic lover that’s why also adding three sliced cloves, together with 1 slice of ginger, thinly sliced shiitake and chestnut mushrooms and the white parts of three scallions, simmered it for a few minutes then added the starch mixture and shortly afterwards the eggs! Cooked it for about half a minute before drizzling in the roasted sesame oil! Filled myself a huge bowl then I sprinkled really finely chopped scallions(green part) over the steaming hot broth! Tasted it and because I’m using low salt bouillon and didn’t added any salt I poured in a little mild Shoyu(low salt soy sauce) and the taste experience was extraordinary, really delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  26. Sandra Gregg says:

    5 stars
    The refried rice was a total success. My husband hates rice but he loves this rice!

  27. Jane says:

    5 stars
    Very easy and excellent…my son who doesn’t like it at a restaurant said he Really Liked it…I look forward to making again. Thank You

  28. Beth says:

    5 stars
    The bowl of egg drop soup is pure cozy perfection. Thank you.

    I halved the recipe for two servings and subbed vegetarian chicken broth for regular chicken broth.

  29. Rebeccah says:

    Maggie! I loved this (so did my family). I have been reading through all of your recipes and cannot wait to try them all out. We are an Asian food loving family (like driving an hour to get to Chinatown haha). I am really looking forward to cooking some good Asian food at home instead of going out. Thank you so much for your delicious recipes!!!

  30. O’Neal says:

    5 stars
    This is wonderful soup! I make it every day for breakfast as part of a digestive healing program recommended by my accupuncturist. It is a valued part of my improving well being. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  31. Mariam says:

    5 stars
    I made this soup last night and it was so easy to make and delicious! Didn’t change a thing except adding vermicelli noodles to the soup at the end.

  32. Isabel says:

    5 stars
    It’s one of those dishes that are delicate and simply delicious. Fast and easy to make and great for my cold. My brother loved it. Definitively, a go-to staple side dish when making Chinese food. I’ve seen other websites with more reviews, but this is my favorite version. I think I added some garlic without realizing, though, I guess it didn’t hurt. I don’t use ginger very often, so I used ginger powder. Any recommended amount?

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Isabel, I’m glad to hear you liked the recipe! I think garlic definitely works in this soup. If you want to substitute ginger with ginger powder, I will start with 1/4 teaspoon. If you really like the gingery taste, I would go up to 1/2 teaspoon. Hope that helps! 🙂

  33. Lisa says:

    5 stars
    Simple, easy to follow recipe. I added the shrimp and used half the sesame (mine is on the strong side). Definitely pleased everyone! Thanks for the great recipe!

  34. Beverly says:

    5 stars
    Despite my absolute love of food I have to admit, had never tried egg drop soup but your picture was so beautiful I just had to try this. So delicious! I had some shrimp in my freezer that I wanted to use up so great opportunity. The only thing I did different was boiled the shrimp shells in the chicken broth which added the most amazing flavour. Strained them out prior to adding the actual shrimp and egg. It was amazing! I can hardly wait to impress my friends with this when we can all get back together. Thanks for this winning recipe.

  35. Susan L Barbano says:

    5 stars
    I have never left a review on all the websites I visit. I have been trying to cook Chinese food for years since college. I truly believe it is the one food we truly can’t make as well at home. I tried many recipes and some times it turns out. This is the best Chinese food website I have ever seen. Good job.

    If you just want the review on Egg Drop Soup it was so easy and turned out great. The only thing I changed was adding wontons I made to the soup. I used to get Egg Drop soup with won tons in NY.

    I am going to try everything. Next is Sweet and Sour pork. Thank you!

  36. Danielle says:

    5 stars
    Just made this tonight for dinner along with your eggplant with garlic sauce. SO good!! Excellent step by step directions and your footnotes were very helpful too. Shared the link to this site with my extended family who all wanted the recipe!! Thank you so much! I’ll def be back to see what other recipes I can make again!! The only change I made to your recipe was to swap chives for the scallions which I didn’t have on hand. Will absolutely make this again!

  37. Marina says:

    5 stars
    Absolutely mouthwatering and perfect !
    Such an easy recipe to follow and so beautiful to look at that one is truly in a hurry to have it !
    Your recipe is well organised and completely hits the spot with cooks that don’t want to labour kver the stove !
    Thank you

  38. Cheryl says:

    5 stars
    I’m so excited, I just signed up for your email cooking class. I have a very well stocked Chinese pantry (live near an H-Mart) because I just love Chinese food! I actually stumbled across your site looking for black sesame ice cream. I’m obsessed with anything black sesame flavored. I’m going to try your black sesame soup later this week. I also ordered a Moon cake mould. Looking forward to making those with my kids. I’ve made mochi several times with my kids and am looking forward to making black sesame mochi ice cream! Love your site already. Soup was delicious! Thank you for doing these classes! Staying home and staying safe, your blog helps break up the monotony!

  39. Monica says:

    I also like chopped water chestnuts.

  40. Jon ed says:

    Have just eaten a bowl of egg drop soup using your recipe and it was delicious …I have actually tried several of your recipes and thoroughly enjoyed every one , so much so I have just ordered on of your books ….regards Jon-ed

  41. red says:

    5 stars
    I do not say this lightly, but you are the reason chickens exist. Eggs are good for us, and we’re eating more thanks to your recipes! Walk in beauty

  42. Darren Nettrouer says:

    5 stars
    This is the recipe I have been looking for. My family loved it. The consensus was to cut back on the sesame oil a little but otherwise very very good. We will probably add water chestnuts next time. Maybe some tofu.

  43. JAMIE says:

    I forgot to take a picture, but the soup came out wonderful! My mistake in previous attempts was adding the egg before adding the cornstarch. Thanks for the great tips! My hubby wants me to make sweet and sour soup next. The stuff we’ve been getting at our local takeout place has been very disappointing lately.

  44. Heather says:

    Delicious! Better than your basic Chinese restaurant’s. Easy on the sesame oil unless you really really love it. I used 1/4 tsp and could taste it well enough. I’ve tried a few of her recipes in the last couple of weeks and they’re all simple and tasty.

  45. Sandra Pegues says:

    5 stars
    I love egg drop soup! Thanks for sharing your recipe. I will be making this soon.

  46. Denise says:

    5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe! Made it last night and the family agreed it was the best egg drop soup they ever had. Given I have no experience in Chinese cooking I attribute to the recipe which I followed exactly.

  47. Wayne Wright says:

    Maggie, I have always wanted to learn to cook Chinese food, even if it is Americanized. This morning I bought some essential ingredients and a wok, and with your guidance I am on my way! Wayne

  48. Stuart says:

    5 stars
    I’ve been making a version of this for years and it always got eaten. But Chef Zhu’s version raises the bar to a new level. Made this recipe and received rave reviews from all. This is the real deal!
    And thanks for the Five Day Class.

    • Maggie says:

      Thanks for the positive review! And glad to hear you like the 5-day course 🙂 Have a nice week ahead.

  49. Monique says:

    5 stars
    The flavors are delicate and just delicious. We can’t even buy the take out version anymore because this is just so much better. Thanks for the awesome recipes!

  50. Hector Margeson says:

    I tried this recipe and added shredded chicken. My wife said it was delicious.
    I think so too.
    Hector

  51. Terry Dec says:

    5 stars
    Delicious and really fast recipe, and with a little chipotle, it was amazing. I whish you the best. Thanks.

  52. Sean T. LaMarche says:

    5 stars
    A delicious recipe I turn to whenever my family and I want egg drop soup! The Best!

  53. Ronnie says:

    5 stars
    Love your recipes and style of foid! Thanks for sharing.

  54. Ching po says:

    I like the technique of making the egg ribbon! I am reluctant to use turmeric, any alternative?

    • Maggie says:

      You can skip the turmeric all together. It’s actually not a key ingredients and only used here to add the yellow color.

  55. John Ramirez says:

    5 stars
    So good and so easy. I added some chopped up poached chicken breast and tofu to add a little more protein. It is delicious. I will definitely be keeping this recipe. Thanks, Maggie!!

  56. Peggy says:

    5 stars
    So easy to make. Absolutely delicious. I made beautiful egg ribbons as never before! Added shrimp at the end. Buy really good toasted sesame oil for the drizzle😜 I love this site!

  57. Josh Kingdom says:

    5 stars
    I’ve been living in Poland for 16 years and nowhere can you find egg drop soup. This recipe was bang on! Thank you sooooo much!

  58. Warra says:

    Keen to try this, does it work with vegetable stock instead of chicken stock? Is there any other recommendations for taste if making it vegetarian?

    • Maggie Zhu says:

      I actually prefer using vegetable bouillon with a combination of mushroom powder to make it vegetarian. I found most vegetable broth are very sweet and have a heavy carrot taste. If you use a veggie broth, you need to add certain amount of soy sauce, salt (or mushroom powder) to balance it. And it still won’t taste like egg drop soup. Another option is using a combination of a small amount of miso paste and a bit vegetable bouillon. The goal is not to make a miso soup but making a delicious soup base.

  59. Cam says:

    5 stars
    My favorite soup!! And it tastes like what I would get from a Chinese lady several years ago.

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