Chicken egg drop soup (with green bean noodles)

You know when you spend all day thinking about what you’re going to cook for dinner, only to get home and realise that your planning was futile? This happened to me today, when I planned on using my new blender (!) to make pumpkin-ginger-coconut soup. On my way home, I looked into a couple of shops before realising that both pumpkins and butternut squash are out of season. For some reason, despite London’s current heatwave, I still felt like soup, so I thought for a while and decided on chicken egg-drop soup.

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I have made versions of this soup before, and it is incredibly variable (just like my fried rice). It doesn’t matter what kind of noodles you use, just be sure to follow the packet instructions on how long they take to cook. The recipe is very quick and easy: the only tricky bit is getting the egg right. It’s well worth it though, as it turns out like poached egg and is absolutely delicious!

Serves two

  • 1.5 litres water
  • 1.5 cubes chicken stock
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 inches ginger, peeled and in large slices (or 1 tsp ginger paste)
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 handful dried mushrooms
  • 3 chicken thighs, chopped
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 parcels of green bean vermicelli noodles (any other Asian noodles work too!)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 2tbsp lemon or lime juice

Mix the chicken with flour and soy sauce and fry in 2tbsp oil until it is around 50% cooked. Meanwhile, heat the water with the stock, sesame oil and ginger until it boils, then turn down and leave at a gentle simmer. Add the mushrooms (I used black fungus but shiitake works equally well), carrots and chicken and let simmer for around 5 minutes (I like my carrots slightly crunchy – if you like them soft then add them right at the beginning).

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Next, add the noodles. My green bean vermicelli noodles need to be soaked in hot water, so I did that separately and then added them to the broth, but depending on what noodles you are using, you can add them in whenever the timing suits! Finally, pour in the lemon/lime juice and adjust the salt to taste.

Now for the tricky bit… Beat the eggs in a small bowl and then pour them gently into the broth in a circular form (the liquid should be simmering very gently and be almost still). DO NOT STIR. Wait around 2-3 minutes and then stir gently, making sure you leave large chunks of egg. Delicious!

If you are using fresh ginger, make sure not to eat the pieces whole 🙂

Variations: Add chili, garlic, spinach, any kind of mushrooms, sugar snap peas, peas, prawns, spring onion, leek, celery, sweetcorn… the options are endless! 

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