Some of my favorite recipes to share are the comfort foods I grew up eating, especially when they’re quick AND easy to whip up with ingredients you likely have on-hand. When we first immigrated to the US, corn egg drop soup was a beloved budget and pantry dish that only took minutes to get on the table. The combo of sweet corn in savory, peppery broth with thin ribbons of egg is oh so simple yet comforting. It was always a favorite amongst the kids (my grandma made it for us with sliced hot dogs, which doesn’t sound so appetizing now, but it was quite the treat back then!). I still find myself craving this soup every so often but try to use better quality ingredients where I can.
And a quick note – we just updated all the recipes on this blog to be printable and rate-able, so if you’ve tried any of them, please take a minute and leave a quick star rating right on the recipe card! I’ve really loved hearing your thoughts on these dishes, as well as any substitutions and modifications made.
Egg allergy note: Since my kids have egg allergies, I just take portions out for them beating in the egg. Nori always gobbles this soup up, and it can easily be pureed a bit to make it even more baby-friendly.
We also love Just Egg brand liquid egg substitute which works really well in almost all recipes that call for egg. Just FYI that while my kids have not had a problem with it, Just Egg is produced in a facility that also processes egg products.
Chinese Corn Egg Drop Soup
- 1 can cream style corn; do not drain* (cream style corn is dairy free)
- 2 cups good broth** 1 can or half a large box of broth
- 1 to 2 eggs beaten in a bowl with a fork
- Salt, black pepper, & white pepper to taste
- 1/3 lb uncooked ground chicken my preference - see quick marinade below, or use any cooked chicken you have, like shredded rotisserie chicken.
- 2 teaspoons corn or tapioca starch***
- Sesame oil, scallions or cilantro for garnish
- Note: In the photos here I had doubled this recipe to make a full pot, but added 2 cups of frozen corn instead of a second can of cream style corn.Pour broth and corn in a pot and heat it up over medium heat until it reaches a low simmer. If using a mix of frozen corn and canned corn like in these photos, I put the frozen corn in first and let it simmer longer before adding in the canned.
- Add in optional chicken. If you're using uncooked ground chicken, add it to the simmering soup and quickly try to break it up into small pieces using a spatula, as it cooks within the pot. It takes about 5 minutes for ground chicken to cook through while the pot is simmering. If you're adding chicken that's already cooked, it will only take a few minutes to heat up.
- Mix in optional starch slurry. Mix starch with a little cold water in a separate bowl until well dissolved. Stir this into the soup.
- Beat eggs with a fork. Then use the fork to gently stir the soup in a circular motion (not too rigorously) while slowly pouring the beaten eggs into the soup to create egg drop "ribbons."
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. I love lots of pepper on this and add more when serving! I also like to add a dash of optional fish sauce to this soup. Finish by garnishing with scallions or cilantro and a drizzle of sesame on top.
Optional ground chicken marinade
- If you're using uncooked ground chicken, do this step in the very beginning. I quickly marinade the ground chicken directly in the tray that it comes in. I do about 1 teaspoon light soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon oyster sauce, 1/4 teaspoon sugar, drizzle of sesame oil. Mix with a spoon and set aside until Step 3 above.
Serving suggestion: in Chinese culture soups are usually served alongside a meal and not as the main dish, but I’ve been making a quick meal out of this served with shortcut scallion pancakes! I usually double this recipe (it freezes well) and make several pancakes in advance, and just reheat the pancakes before eating with a quick pan sear.
Do you have any favorite childhood meals that you still love making?