Sunday, July 14, 2013

Egg drop soup

I love fast, easy, three-ingredient things.

Since we're going on a ten-day road trip next week, I haven't been buying a lot of groceries. The fridge will be empty when we leave, but until, it's slim pickings. I still have quite a lot of eggs, though, and egg drop soup is faster and easier than a souffle.

Basically all you need is good broth, eggs, and cornstarch. You can fancy it up with soy sauce, fish sauce, ginger, scallions, all kinds of stuff as laid out in this article in The Kitchn, reprinted below:

(I used only homemade broth, eggs, cornstarch, and a little soy and fish sauce. And it only took like four minutes from start to finish.)
4 cups (32 oz) chicken or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 to 4 large eggs
Salt or soy sauce

Flavoring Extras - Use one or all
1/2" fresh ginger, peeled and cut into rounds
1 stem lemongrass, bruised
1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
2 star anise
6-8 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons miso

Soup Extras - Use one or all
1/2 block (7-8 oz) extra-firm tofu, cut into bite-sized pieces
8 oz mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 bunch baby bok choy, thinly sliced
4 spring onions, thinly sliced

Pour the stock into a saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Put the smaller flavoring extras you're using into a tea ball or spice bag. Add all your flavoring extras to the saucepan with the stock. Turn down the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Scoop out all the flavoring extras with a slotted spoon. Taste and add salt or soy sauce as needed.

Add any soup extras to the stock and simmer for five minutes. Save some scallions for sprinkling on top of the soup at the end.

Scoop out 1/4 cup or so of the stock and whisk it with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in a small bowl. Whisk this back into the stock and let it simmer for a minute or two until the broth no longer tastes starchy.

Whisk together the eggs in a small bowl with the remaining teaspoon of cornstarch. Make sure your soup is at a bare simmer. Holding a fork over the bowl (see photo), pour the eggs slowly through the tines. Whisk the broth gently with your other hand as you pour. Let the soup stand for a few seconds to finish cooking the eggs.

Serve immediately, topped with thinly sliced scallions.

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