Thursday, September 8, 2011

Asian Egg Drop Soup

Recipe modified by You Want Me to Cook? – March 6, 2011
For a commentary-free and printer-friendly version of it, please click here.
Recipe originally published from Food, Tyler Florence (Food 911).

When I go for Chinese food (I can't seem to cook it right yet), I will get Egg Drop Soup.  Of course this is a fairly recent development.  I’m not a food-a-phobe, but it never appealed to me.  Luckily, my husband introduced it to me when we first started dating and now I love it.  Now, I know what you’re thinking… it looks gross.  At least that’s what I thought about it the first time I saw it.  But trust me; you’ll love it, so give it a try.

© You Want Me to Cook?
It looks like exactly what it is – a nice broth soup.  The egg feathered out beautifully and almost looks like noodles.  It also smelled wonderful.  The picture has me holding the spoon in it because I couldn’t wait to try it and was in the process of eating that bite before I realized I hadn’t taken a picture yet.

© Food
Perhaps I’m being catty (or just very proud) but my soup looks more appetizing than Tyler’s soup.  Also, they left their onions whole when the recipe says to chop them.  Even if the recipe didn’t say that, who is going to pick whole onions out of a bowl of soup to eat them?  It just seems awkward to leave them whole because a chunk of onion isn’t the most pleasant thing even when you like onion as much as I do.

for more details about what my ratings mean, go to Gretchen’s Rating System

MessEH – There aren’t many dishes and only a little bit of chopping, so this is relatively low mess.  You can have most of the dishes cleaned up by the time the soup is simmering.

Start-to-Finish Time: AROUND 30 MINUTES – It really was a fast soup to make.  You have to get it simmer so it cooks the egg, but putting it together takes barely any time at all.

Prep Work: SLIGHT BLOOD LOSS – You  just have to chop some onions and beat an egg.  Save yourself the headache and buy the pre-grated/minced/chopped ginger.

Ease of Recipe: THE BASICS – The hardest part of this dish is to not dump in the egg too fast.  Other than that, you just have to pour some stuff into a pan and make it boil.

OverallYUMMY – My husband LOVED it, but I think I added too much pepper.  That is most likely because I’ve never really worked with white pepper that wasn’t specifically measured out and it’s hard to see against the broth.  I would probably make it again if we were having Chinese food and I already had the ingredients.

Recipe Information:
I am not a doctor or dietician.  I make my nutritional assessments with the aid of Spark Recipes - yes, I changed AGAIN!  Don’t judge me!  I run the original recipe and my altered recipe through their calorie counter and then compute the differences I find.  My numbers are to be used as a guideline.  Anyone who is under dietary medical supervision should follow the advice of their medical professional if their opinion differs from mine.  PLEASE!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

Nutritional Information – none

Now if you are using this as a side dish, you will definitely get 4 servings out of the recipe.  However, if you are going to have this as a meal, a cup doesn’t go very far.  You can always do a cup serving and have a nice size salad.

The timing of the recipe is almost spot-on.  Cooking time may vary depending on how long it takes to get the soup to boil, but for the most part, you should be able to get it pretty close to the 25 minutes.  Here’s how my timing worked out:
  • Prep Work:  8 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 19 minutes
  • Total Time: 27 minutes
There was no nutritional information listed for the recipe… and you KNOW how much that irritates me.  So I ran the original recipe through the Spark database and here’s what it came up with:
  • Serving Size 1 cup
  • Calories 73
  • Total Fat 3g (Saturated Fat 2g)
  • Cholesterol 98mg
  • Sodium 1291mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 8g
  • Fiber 0.3g
  • Sugar 1g
  • Protein 5g
I made a couple of changes so I ran it through again.  Here’s the numbers:
  • Serving Size 1 cup
  • Calories 78
  • Total Fat 3g (Saturated Fat 1g)
  • Cholesterol 93mg
  • Sodium 931mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 8g
  • Fiber 0.3g
  • Sugar .2g
  • Protein 6g
So by using some low-sodium and reduced-fat ingredients, I ended up with half of the saturated fat and a third less sodium with practically no sugar.  Not bad for just changing a couple of things.  And it tasted great, so I know these small changes that really made a difference in the nutritional information didn’t affect the taste.

Changes denoted by red text
4 cups prepared no-fat, reduced-sodium chicken broth, plus 2 tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon less sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 green onions, chopped, including ends
Dash salt, to taste
Dash white pepper, to taste

Ingredient Notes:
Chicken Broth
  • The original recipe called for regular chicken stock.  Now I’ve always assumed there was no difference between broth and stock, but I decided to do a little research and Food Network told me that stock is made from bony parts which gives it a fuller feel (uh, what?) and richer flavor, and broth is made more out of meat.  Doesn’t matter – you can substitute broth for stock.
  • I used a 33% less sodium and no-fat chicken broth and you can tell from the numbers that it actually made a difference.
  • I bought a 32-ounce container and figured it would cover the 4 cups or maybe be just slightly short.  I was pleasantly surprised when it yielded the 4 cups AND the 2 tablespoons.
Ginger – I had pre-chopped ginger in my refrigerator, so I used that instead.  Frankly, I can never use up an entire ginger root.

Low Sodium Soy Sauce – Soy sauce is usually extremely high in sodium, so look for a shoyu or one that says low-sodium.

White Pepper – White pepper is less pungent than black pepper, but can use it if you can’t find white pepper or don’t want to purchase it.  Just be careful of over-spicing since you can’t see it as clearly as black pepper.

Equipment Needed:
Cutting Board
Sharp knife
Extra large pot
Large spoon
Glass Measuring cup
Spoon – mixing
Small bowl

Equipment Notes:
Extra Large Pot – The recipe doesn’t specify what size pot to use, but it must be large enough to hold 5 cups of liquid & be able to stir it without splashing over the side.

Glass Measuring cup & Small bowl – A glass measuring cup is best to mix and pour the slurry since you can add it gradually.  Beat the eggs in the bowl and transfer them to the glass measuring cup so you can pour it in gradually as well.

(1)  Bring soup stock, grated ginger and soy sauce to a boil.

(2)  In a glass measuring cup, make a slurry by combining the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of chicken stock. Stir until dissolved.

(3)  Slowly pour in the cornstarch mixture while stirring the stock, until thickened. Reduce heat to a simmer.

(4)  Pour in the eggs slowly while stirring the soup in the same direction. The egg will spread and feather.

(5)  Turn off the heat and add the green onions.

(6)  Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

I made my soup a little too peppery (doggone white pepper) but my husband thought it was delicious.  Still I gobbled it up as soon as it was done.  It really did remind me of what I’ve had when I’ve been out to dinner… now if I can just make a decent Chinese dish, I’ll be all set. 

If I was going to make any changes, I’d add a little less pepper and let my husband add more to his if he needed it.

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