This 20-minute corn and egg drop soup taste like your favorite Chinese restaurant-style soup but this (maybe) is even better.
Soups are very popular this time of the year. Especially when you feel cold even though you were cocooned in your thick, insulated overcoat. However, corn and egg drop soup is not only meant to be enjoyed in this cold and freezing winter.
The ease of cooking, the low cost (it will not empty your wallet), and its delight will definitely make this soup not only for today or tomorrow but will also be there any time of the year. It is warming and comforting whenever you need one. Actually, I purposely make more than 6 cups for me to enjoy any leftovers for the next day to start my day.Jump to Recipe
What is Egg Drop Soup?
It comes from how the soup is made, dropping a raw egg into a hot soup- Thus the name! Actually, it's not rocket science to figure it out.
But in Chinese tradition, it literally means "egg flower soup". When you drop the eggs and start stirring, the circular motion helps the eggs to bloom and creates large and small swirls in the soup, a flower-like pattern.
Why make this Corn and Egg Drop Soup at home?
Did you ever wonder why that bright yellow egg soup in the restaurant taste so good? You must be aware of food coloring and you must have heard about MSG.
Yes, artificial food coloring and monosodium glutamate (MSG) are mostly added in the restaurant especially to make this soup. You might not even realize you have had these additives in some of the food you already consumed. Otherwise, if you want to try and gain knowledge of what MSG is all about, maybe have a try, It is available on Amazon and in any Asian grocery store.
I'm not against food coloring and MSG, as a matter of fact, when I was a young cook, literally at 7 or 8 years old (no kidding), I was already cooking simple food - steamed rice and vegetable stirfry adding MSG. As I'm typing this post, I'm trying to remember how I knew about MSG? Because all I remember was how our parents kept telling me, "DO NOT USE VETSIN aka MSG". Still, I sneaked in once in a while, oooh well, I was just a kid.
Although, some restaurants are limiting the use of MSG and artificial flavoring. But If you want to avoid these processed food coloring and chemically-laden umami flavors, the best bet is to make the soup at home. You can make your own broth or stock, or use store-bought organic chicken stock, any brand you trust, or even use water and or vegetable stock, and the ease of making is definitely worth making at home.
How to make a homemade corn and egg drop soup?
There are many ways on how to make an egg drop soup and my version might let you forget about the recipes you have been hiding in your recipe collection box. What makes a good egg drop soup is not all about techniques but understanding what you put in it also matters.
▶︎ I want to share with you one of my secrets, I guess not anymore. Every year, when the corn is at peak season, I buy a lot. After the fresh corn was assaulted in a strip-and-search frenzy at the farmer's market, I finally got the corn kernels out from the cobs and freeze them. If you haven't done freezing your own corn and you love corn as I do, maybe put it on your "to-do list" this coming corn season. It is sweeter and more flavorful but store-bought frozen corn will work just fine.
▶︎CHICKEN STOCK - While it is preferable to use homemade chicken stock or vegetable stock as a base, we don't have all the luxury to make one at home. Even though I freeze a good amount of homemade chicken stock, I myself kept a stash of store-bought chicken stock - from a brand that I like in my pantry.
▶︎TURMERIC is used to get that restaurant-style bright yellow color. Aside from being natural, it is hailed by many because of its known "Anti" properties, such as anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant to name a few.
▶︎SALT makes the flavor pop and adding just a pinch makes things start to get excitingly tasty - this is the power of salt.
Learning how to season food effectively is one of the cornerstones of good cooking.
▶︎Cornstarch is used as a thickening agent. Traditionally, egg drop soup should be very light, but because "we are we", the amount of cornstarch added depends on how thick you want to be. You can add more or add less. To me, I prefer the traditional one with just a little mouthfeel and the eggs will do all the job.
▶︎PEPPERCORNS - Have you ever noticed when you go to a restaurant, there is always a black pepper shaker beside you? and I'm sure the same thing applies to your own dining table. But it's funny why this white pepper, which is considered as one of the most used ingredients in any Asian and European cuisine feels like it is very elusive.
➢Black and white peppercorns come in the same plant and are harvested at the same time except that black peppercorns are dried as soon as they are picked, which makes the skin black and super wrinkly. The taste is spicy and stings the more you add but not necessarily hot.
➢On the other hand, white peppercorns are soaked before they are dried so that the outer layer comes off making the outer surface smooth and white. The taste is brighter, sharper and more herbaceous than black pepper. White pepper adds a pleasant touch of spiciness to light dishes such as corn and egg drop soup.
▶︎Finally, TOASTED SESAME OIL is what gives that Ah-ha moment of this corn and egg drop soup. Aside from its science back health benefits, a deep, rich and nutty flavor gives your egg drop soup an instant upgrade.
To sum it up
It's all been said, an Easy recipe. Bring the stock to boil, add the salt, add turmeric to color, followed by corn for a touch of sweetness and texture, and then swirl the eggs. Finish with white pepper for a pleasant touch of spiciness and sesame oil for a bold flavor which both are added at the end. A thinly sliced scallion before serving adds another layer of flavor which is also a must-have for any Asian dishes.
The best corn and egg drop soup
- Medium stock pot
- 5 cups Chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 1 cup Corn kernels, frozen or fresh
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 2 tablespoons Corn starch + 3 tablespoons of water
- 4 large Eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon Sesame oil
- ¼ teaspoon White pepper, ground
- 1 stem Scallion, chopped
- Place the chicken stock into the pot and bring to a boil.
- Add the corn, turmeric and salt. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes.
- Next, make the slurry - Corn starch and cold water - Make sure the corn starch and water are mixed because the corn starch settles at the bottom so quickly. Continuously stir the soup as you drizzle the slurry, otherwise, you will end up with a lumpy soup. The consistency of the soup depends on your liking. So, start with half of the corn starch mixture, let it simmer for a bit and if you think it's not thick enough, then continue adding the rest of the mixture. Continue cooking while constantly stirring until the mixture has come to a boil and thickened according to your likeness, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Finally, The eggs - Using a ladle, stir the soup in a circular motion as you slowly drizzle the egg until you add them all. Add the sesame oil and white pepper to finish.
- Ladle the soup in the bowl, throw in some of the chopped scallions and enjoy!
- Just beat the eggs lightly, really. It is the egg whites that create that flower effect.
- Don't swirl the soup too fast while drizzling the eggs, just go slow but continuously to get the longer ribbon strands.