Quick and Easy Egg Drop Soup

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This Chinese egg drop soup from my friend and guest contributor Garrett McCord couldn’t be easier! It takes no more than 20 minutes to make start to finish, and is perfect for a quick, healthy meal. ~Elise

In college one of the dishes I relied on was my own version of egg drop soup. It was simple, tasty, comforting and (most importantly) budget friendly. As I started to make it more and more I began to notice that friends started to drop by for dinner with increasing frequency. This was fine as all I had to do was add a bit more chicken stock and soy sauce and toss in another beaten egg. I could feed my guests cheaply and enjoy their company.

Egg Drop Soup

For years I ate what I thought had been faux egg drop soup cobbled together by a hungry student, however it was only recently I discovered that my recipe was actually quite accurate. With the addition of some cornstarch and the use of white pepper the soup is dead ringer for the one at your favorite Chinese-American restaurant.

Updated from the recipe archive, first posted 2009.

Quick and Easy Egg Drop Soup Recipe

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  • Prep time: 7 minutes
  • Cook time: 13 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

Homemade chicken stock is the best for this. Also, if you can't locate any of the mushroom types indicated in the recipe, crimini (aka: baby bellas) will do just fine. Or, you can just leave them out all together.

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 cups of chicken stock*
  • 1 tablespoon of corn starch
  • Scant 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger**
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce*
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon of white pepper
  • 3/4 cup of enoki mushrooms or sliced shitaki mushrooms

*If cooking gluten-free, use gluten-free stock and gluten-free soy sauce.

**Ginger is what makes the soup hot and spicy. Dial it down to 1/4 teaspoon if you want a more mild soup.

Method

1 Make cornstarch slurry: Reserve 1/2 cup of the stock and mix with the cornstarch until dissolved.

2 Put stock, ginger, soy sauce, onions, mushrooms, white pepper in pot and bring to boil: Place the chicken stock, ginger, soy sauce, green onions, mushrooms and white pepper in a pot and bring to a boil. Add the cornstarch and stock mixture and stir. Reduce heat to a simmer.

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3 Stir in beaten eggs: Slowly pour in the beaten eggs while stirring the soup. The egg will spread out into ribbons. Turn off the heat and garnish with a few more chopped green onions. Serve immediately.

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Garrett McCord

Garrett McCord is a food writer, writing instructor, culinary consultant, freelance food photographer, and recipe developer who shares his enthusiasm for food and the written word through his blog Vanilla Garlic. Garrett's cookbook, co-authored with Stephanie Stiavetti, is Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese

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Egg Drop Soup

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Showing 4 of 73 Comments

  • Fork Lift Operator

    I posted my version of this recipe a while back…and have since tidied it up a bit. So I decided to post my updated version.

    Chinese Egg Drop Soup
    Chinese egg drop soup is a light clear broth soup. All of the ingredients contribute equally to the flavor. Go easy on the scallions, tofu and egg. It’s all about the broth. Light and flavorful is key, a prelude to the main dish.
    Likewise, the sesame oil should compliment, not overwhelm.
    It’s hard to know what exactly authentic egg drop soup is but here’s my recipe for kinda-sorta almost authentic Chinese egg drop soup.
    1 cup real homemade chicken broth plus 1 cup water, or 2 cups of dirty-dishwater store-bought broth.
    1/4 tsp ground white pepper
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 whisked egg. One is normally enough. I normally use jumbo eggs just because that’s what I usually buy, but a large egg should work.
    Scant handful of cubed tofu, quarter inch cubes.
    Scant handful of chopped scallions (the green stalks)
    Spritz of toasted sesame oil.
    Some people may wish to add (sliced) mushrooms but they are not part of “authentic” Chinese egg drop soup. Corn starch, not part of my recipe, is commonly found in the recipes of American restaurants but can be left out.
    Bring the broth, salt and pepper to a boil…in a wok if you have one, or other pan with a large bottom. Taste for pepper and saltiness.
    Stir the broth in a circular motion. Simultaneously lift the spoon out and slowly drizzle in the whisked egg. The idea is to form “strings” of egg in the boiling broth. A turkey baster works well for this but the bowl you whisked in will work just fine. Try not to pour the egg on top of other egg as the broth comes around. The egg will set almost immediately.
    After adding the egg, add the tofu and scallions. Give a quick stir.
    Lastly sprinkle in the toasted sesame oil. You don’t need a lot. It’s an accent, not the main course. Make sure it’s toasted, not plain sesame oil.
    Serve immediately.
    Serves 2

  • Teri

    How do you cut enoki mushrooms for this soup? I’ve never used/had them but would like to try. They are very different looking than the other varieties mentioned…

  • Mark

    It’s hard to know what exactly what authentic egg drop soup is but here’s my recipe for real kinda-sorta Chinese egg drop soup..

    2 cups chicken broth
    1/8 tsp ground white pepper
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 or 2 whisked eggs
    1/4 cup cubed tofu
    1/4 cup chopped scallions (the green parts)
    Optional but highly recommended, sesame oil.

    Bring the broth, salt and pepper to a boil…in a wok if you have one.
    While stirring constantly in a circular motion, slowly drizzle in the egg. The idea is to form “strings” of egg in the boiling broth. A turkey baster works well for this.

    After adding the egg, add the tofu and scallions. Give a quick stir.

    Lastly add the optional sesame oil.

    Serve immediately.

    I sent pix to Elise. Not sure if she can post.

  • Mark

    Italian meatballs, cacio e pepe and egg drop soup are recipes I always seek out to see what others do with them.
    For me, I don’t like corn starch in most anything. I just don’t. A quick search of recipes on the web shows most recipes use cornstarch, but not mushrooms. It may be pedantic but cornstarch is mostly just for thickening…and starching your shirts. Ginger seems to be 50/50. I wouldn’t add mushrooms either but I’m not saying not to. Didn’t see any salt in the recipe but chicken soup, which is really what egg drop is, usually benefits from a touch of saltiness. I like to add sesame oil at the end. To me, that’s a game changer. Everybody makes the dish their own in some way. Sesame oil is my little personalization. Sesame oil does not like heat, so like pepper, for fullest flavor add after the cooking is nearly complete.

    As far technique goes, I would heat the broth first and then add the egg. If done properly the egg will look like angel hair pasta. I think adding the egg with all that other stuff makes it impossible to get nice looking egg droplets. Add the mushrooms and green onion after the egg. I think that’s why your egg drops are all over the place in the photos; not that it impacts flavor at all. I’ve always thought that egg drop soup should be a mostly clear, soup, not cloudy.

    IMHO

    P.S. I look forward to seeing your cacio e pepe recipe.

  • Susan

    My husband woke up CRAVING egg drop soup! After looking through various recipes, I chose yours~ DELICIOUS and simple! We varied just a tinge, tho’, based on what we had in the house: used chicken broth, (2 cans), with a 1/4 cube of chix bullion, sliced some pickled ginger that we had in the frig into julienne strips and “shaved” the remnants of a yellow onion, along with fresh button mushrooms. The flavor was incredible–thank you for posting this! Can’t wait to make it being true to your recipe. Simply delicious! SO SIMPLE adding anything else would ruin it! Just stick to the recipe!! Thanks so much!

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