When I was growing up, we didn’t eat out often, probably because there were too many of us and there was always so much food at home. When we did go out, it was usually for pizza (or calzone) or Chinese food. We also ate a lot of fried rice at home. In fact, it was only a few years ago that I realized that not all American households keep soy sauce on hand at all times, but my parents’ refrigerator was (and is) never without it. Mine never has been either. When I got my first apartment, and therefore my first kitchen, I bought soy sauce as a staple–the same way I bought salt, pepper, flour, sugar, and pasta.
Back to Chinese restaurants–I always ordered egg drop soup. In the years since, I have eaten and enjoyed many other Chinese soups, but at home I usually make egg drop, because, for a soup that tastes so good, it is surprisingly easy to make.
One important thing: there are very few ingredients in this soup, so use the best ones you can.
Egg Drop Soup Recipe
- 6 cups chicken stock preferably homemade
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dry sherry
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- 2 eggs beaten together with about 2 teaspoons of water
- 1-2 scallions chopped, for garnish (optional)
Bring the stock to a boil; reduce to a steady simmer.
Add the sugar, salt, sherry, and soy sauce. (I mix them together when the stock is heating up and add them all at once, but adding them separately won't hurt.)
Dissolve the cornstarch in the cold water and add to the soup. Keep it going at a healthy simmer until the soup thickens a bit. (It will only thicken a little bit--don't expect chowder.)
Lower the heat to the lowest setting; slowly drizzle in the beaten egg and stir constantly.
The egg cooks completely almost instantly. Give the soup a good stir or two, and it's done.
Ladle into individual bowls and garnish with scallions if desired.