Want to learn how to make make restaurant quality Chinese egg drop soup in only 15 minutes? You can customize the recipe with optional add-ins and toppings to make this recipe truly your own, and most importantly, learn how to get those perfect egg ribbons!
If you follow along with my site, you may have noticed I’ve been a bit MIA for a couple months. All you moms out there, I have mad respect for you. Growing a human is hard work. I’ve been exhausted and even my part time day job has been more than enough to wear me out for the week. And when I do have energy outside of work, I’ve been using it to clean out the nursery and get everything ready for our baby girl, who will be here before I know it.
I just started third trimester which has come with all sorts of fun side effects, like awful acid reflux.
In reading about ways to handle acid reflux while pregnant, one thing was to avoid acidic foods, which is hard for someone like me whose diet consists almost entirely of tomato products and lemon juice. (Don’t believe me? Check out my Lemon Lovers recipe collection!) Before I figured out what I was feeling was reflux, I had two giant bowls of tomato soup for dinner. Let me tell you, the next two days were NOT fun.
Brothy soups, however, are pretty benign, and ginger is supposed to reduce acid reflux too. Meanwhile, I’m supposed to have lots of protein to literally build the baby, so eggs are a frequent recommendation as a good pregnancy food.
What do you get when you combine those three ingredients? Egg drop soup! Lucky for me, it’s unbelievably quick and easy to make, so I can throw together a pot of it despite my pregnancy fatigue, and it happens to be one of my favorite things ever.
Egg drop soup has always been one the items I most look forward to eating at a Chinese buffet or order as takeout. A Chinese buffet probably makes so much money off of me because half of what I eat is egg drop soup, probably the cheapest and easiest thing for them to make.
How to get perfect egg ribbons
Egg drop soup seemed simple enough to make at home but whenever I tried I ended up with wispy, unsatisfying little bits of eggs instead of nice egg ribbons like I’d get in a restaurant.
I kept trying different techniques I had seen for drizzling in the beaten eggs: pouring the eggs through the tines of a fork, pouring the eggs in a circle around the pot instead of stirring the broth, making sure the broth wasn’t boiling so the bubbles wouldn’t interfere with the eggs as they tried to set … I don’t even remember what else. But for years I was disappointed with my egg drops and just figured I could never get my egg ribbons to form how I wanted them to. I guessed it was just a restaurant secret.
Turns out with all those different methods I tried, I was just straying further from the tried, true, and (best of all) EASY way of getting luscious, substantial ribbons of egg.
I tried making this egg drop soup again a couple weeks ago and figured it was worth a shot at a different egg-drizzling method. What was the worst that could happen? I’d get small shards of egg in my soup instead of nice ribbons? That’s what I’d been getting for years anyway.
Once the broth was boiling I added a cornstarch slurry to thicken it up. Then once it was thickened I took it off the heat just long enough for the giant bubbles to subside. I stirred the broth in a circle with a wooden spoon and while the broth was swirling around, just poured in my eggs slowly. If the broth slowed down too much halfway through pouring the eggs, I gave it another stir in a circle to keep the whirlpool going and poured in the rest of the eggs.
And lo and behold, I ended up with the most perfect egg ribbons I’d ever made in an egg drop soup. Nice, wide, long egg drops instead of tiny little bits.
I feel kind of stupid that I hadn’t been able to get it right before now, but at the same time I feel like I’ve won the lottery because now I can have perfect egg drop soup 15 minutes from whenever my little heart desires at any given time. I can always have chicken broth and cornstarch on hand in the pantry and I always have eggs in the fridge. And that’s all you really need.
Flavoring your easy egg drop soup
Honestly, I like my egg drop soup to be pretty darn simple. About the only thing I add is a bit of ground ginger. Anything else on this list tastes good, but isn’t the same at what I’d find at a restaurant, so I end up a little disappointed and wish I had gone without adding it.
That said, these variations do taste great if you’re not trying to replicate what you get from Chinese takeout, and they can add a bit of interest to your soup. You can add any or all of these to your soup depending on what you like!
Add-ins and toppings for egg drop soup
- Ginger (my favorite addition)
- A splash of soy sauce
- Garlic powder
- A drizzle of sesame oil
- Black pepper (I like to add this to my individual bowl of soup, but not to the whole pot)
- Green onions or chives
- Crispy fried wonton strips (my favorite topping! – I like to add a few at a time so they stay nice and crispy)
Play around with the recipe until you find the combo you like! I like to add ground ginger to the broth and just top it with a little black pepper. Super simple! If I had wonton strips I’d add them too, but it’s not something I keep on hand. Hope you love this super easy recipe as much as I do!
Want to make it a full meal? Serve this with:
Like egg drop soup? Try these other easy soup recipes!
- Coconut Curry Soup with Chicken, Carrots, and Kale
- Greek Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo and Kale
- Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Soup
Did you make this recipe?
Tag me in a photo on Instagram @pinchmeimeating and I may feature you in my IG stories! I’d love to see how yours came out!
- 32 oz chicken broth
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 eggs beaten
Optional add-ins – add in as few or as many as you’d like!
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger my favorite add-in!
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- green onions or chives
- black pepper
- crispy wonton strips
- Set aside 1/2 cup chicken broth and mix with cornstarch to create a thin slurry. Heat the rest of the chicken broth in a medium saucepan over high heat with any add-ins you choose to include. I like to keep it pretty simple and only add in ground ginger!
- Once the broth is simmering, quickly stir in the cornstarch slurry. Allow 1-2 minutes for broth to thicken and come to a rolling boil.
- Have your beaten eggs ready to add in. This part needs to be done quickly! Remove broth from heat, immediately stir in a circle with a wooden spoon to create a whirlpool, and slowly pour in the eggs. If the broth whirlpool slows down too much, give it another quick stir in the same direction and add in the rest of the eggs.
- Top with any optional toppings you’d like, and enjoy!