Homemade egg drop soup is deliciously comforting and ready in just 15 minutes! It’s an easy dish with restaurant-quality flavors and perfectly bloomed “egg flowers” in every bite.
My family LOVES Chinese takeout, but it’s not something I let them enjoy regularly. Instead, I make their favorites, including Szechuan chicken, Hunan chicken, and my father’s famous egg drop soup recipe.
Growing up, Dad made it ALL the time because he spent much of his teen years in a Chinese restaurant and I love making it at home because it tastes exactly like what you’d find at any Chinese restaurant.
Table of Contents
- What is egg drop soup?
- Ingredients needed
- How to make egg drop soup
- Recipe tips and variations
- Storage instructions
- Frequently asked questions
- More copycat takeout recipes
- Egg Drop Soup
What is egg drop soup?
Egg drop soup (AKA egg flower soup) is a crowd-pleasing Chinese dish made with chicken stock, sesame oil, soy sauce, cornstarch, and eggs. It’s called egg drop soup because you essentially “drop” the eggs into the soup stock!
The “dropping” technique is what makes this recipe special. First, the eggs are slightly beaten, then poured into a swirling vortex of simmering stock. This method leaves you with strands of cooked eggs that resemble bloomed flower petals.
Here are some reasons why you’ll love this recipe:
- It’s easy, hearty, and delicious. It’s a no-frills soup with close-to-authentic flavors. Best of all, it’s easy to make with a short list of budget-friendly ingredients!
- It’s good for you! Egg drop soup is an inherently low-calorie, high-protein, and keto-friendly dish. Plus, with chicken stock as the soup base, you reap the benefits of all that collagen.
- A 15-minute recipe. Like hot and sour soup, this recipe results in restaurant-quality egg drop soup in less time than it would take to order takeout!
There aren’t many places to hide here, which is why using the freshest ingredients is key. This is what you need:
- Chicken stock. Homemade chicken stock will elevate the luxurious savory flavors here, but store-bought will work just as well. If you don’t want to use chicken broth, beef broth or vegetable broth will also work.
- Sesame oil. This adds a distinctively rich and nutty flavor.
- Soy sauce. It adds a hint of umami flavor. You can use tamari instead of soy sauce if you would prefer to make gluten-free egg drop soup.
- Salt and white pepper. To season the soup.
- Cornstarch. Combining corn starch with water creates a slurry that thickens the soup as it simmers.
- Eggs. Use the freshest eggs that you can get your hands on.
- Scallions. To finish the dish with a fresh pop of flavor.
- More garnish ideas. Green onions, sliced ginger,
How to make egg drop soup
What I love about this recipe is how deceptively easy it is. It may look impressive, but don’t be fooled!
Step 1 – Simmer and season the broth. Start by heating the chicken stock in a pot over medium-high heat until it boils. Reduce to low and mix in sesame oil, soy sauce, salt, and pepper.
Step 2 – Thicken with a cornstarch slurry. Whisk the cornstarch with some water in a bowl while you wait. Once the seasoned stock starts boiling, stir in the slurry.
Step 3 – Drop in the eggs. Swirl the soup in a circular motion with a ladle to make a vortex (the same method you’d use if you were poaching an egg). Slowly pour the beaten eggs into the middle of the vortex while you continue to stir. This is how you end up with wisps of eggs.
Step 4 – Simmer, then serve. Let the soup continue to cook until the eggs are set. Take the pot off of the heat, then ladle the soup into bowls and top with scallions. Enjoy!
Recipe tips and variations
- Don’t rush the stock once you add the seasonings. Letting everything bubble together before adding the cornstarch will leave you with deeper layers of flavor.
- The speed at which you stir will determine the size of the egg wisps (AKA the beautiful egg ribbons). The faster you stir, the smaller the wisps. Stir slowly, and you’ll end up with larger pieces of egg.
- Only slightly beat the eggs. You can stir the whites and yolks together, but you should still be able to see stains of the whites.
- Maintain a thin, consistent stream as you “drop” the eggs into the soup so they set as soon as they hit the hot stock.
- Authentic egg drop soup is known to have a distinct, vibrant yellow color. If yours isn’t as yellow as you’d like, stir in ½ teaspoon of turmeric to replicate that same gorgeous color.
- Add some sliced grape tomatoes for a tomato egg drop soup.
- Make this soup heartier by adding in some not traditional ingredients like broccoli, sliced pork, rice, or bok choy.
To store. Let the leftovers cool before storing them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
To reheat. Gently reheat the leftover soup in a saucepan over medium-low heat to avoid overcooking the eggs. You can also reheat it in the microwave in 15-second increments, stirring in between.
Frequently asked questions
If prepared properly, egg drop soup should be thick with a rich and creamy mouthfeel. It shouldn’t, however, be so thick that it’s practically gelatinous. A soup that’s too thick likely means you used too much cornstarch or the swirl-and-pour technique was done incorrectly.
Yes, you can make egg drop soup with egg whites instead of whole eggs. Separate the yolks from the whites and put them to use in my chocolate creme brulee recipes instead.
Technically, yes, but I wouldn’t recommend it. You’ll have to use twice as much flour to achieve the same thickening effect and it tends to make the soup cloudy and less visually appetizing. If you don’t want to use cornstarch, use arrowroot powder.
More copycat takeout recipes
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Serving: 1servingCalories: 103kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 7gFat: 5gSodium: 1469mgPotassium: 111mgFiber: 0.2gVitamin A: 221IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 34mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 7g
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