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Vegetable Egg-Drop Soup

Serves 6 (makes 3 qts.) (serving size: 2 cups)

Total Time
1 hr

"The ingredients here are healthy and simple, and each one contributes to the flavor profile and color contrast," says Chef Martin Yan. The northern Chinese soup is versatile too; omit the chicken to make it vegetarian, or add fresh water chestnuts for more texture.

su-Vegetable Egg-Drop Soup

 1/2 ounce (about 5) dried shiitake mushrooms
 8 ounces boned, skinned chicken breast
 1 tablespoon cornstarch
 1 tablespoon plus 2 tsp. soy sauce
 3/4 teaspoon white pepper, divided
 2 qts. vegetable broth or chicken broth
 8 to 10 thin slices peeled fresh ginger
 2 small carrots, roll-cut into 1-in. pieces
 1 medium onion, diamond-cut into 1-in. pieces
 1 stalk celery, V-shaped-cut into 1-in. pieces
 1 slender zucchini, roll-cut into 1-in. pieces
 1 large tomato, peeled*, diamond-cut into 1-in. pieces
 4 long cilantro sprigs, small sprigs pinched off and stems cut into 1-in. pieces
 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
 1 to 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
 2 large eggs
Step 1

Soak mushrooms in a bowl with 1 1/2 cups warm water until pliable, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove mushrooms, saving liquid. Snip out stems with scissors and discard. Slice mushrooms diagonally 1 in. wide, then diamond cut.

Step 2

Meanwhile, lay chicken flat on a work surface and slap with the side of a Chinese chef's knife to flatten to 1/4 in. Cut into lengthwise strips about 1/2 in. wide, then diamond cut. "I use 1 portion of meat for 3 or 4 portions of vegetables," Yan notes.

Step 3

In a bowl, combine chicken with cornstarch, 1 tbsp. soy sauce, and 1/2 tsp. white pepper. Set aside.

Step 4

Bring broth, mushroom soaking liquid, and ginger to a boil in a large covered pot over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high and add carrots and mushrooms. "Don't throw in everything together or it will be overcooked. In Chinese cooking, you want everything to have crunch."

Step 5

Cook, covered, for 5 minutes, then add onion, celery, and zucchini. Cover, return to a low boil, and cook until onion is tender-crisp, 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 6

Add chicken, tomato, cilantro stems, remaining 1/4 tsp. white pepper and 2 tsp. soy sauce, the salt, and oil to taste. Cook, covered, until chicken is cooked through, 3 minutes more.

Step 7

Using chopsticks or a fork, whisk eggs in a bowl until whites are completely blended but not so much that they foam. "If they foam, they will float on top and be messy," Yan cautions.

Step 8

Turn off heat under soup. Stirring it very slowly with a ladle, gradually pour in eggs. Garnish with cilantro sprigs.

Step 9

*To peel tomato, cut into wedges and slide a sharp knife between peel and flesh.

Nutrition Facts

Servings Serves 6 (makes 3 qts.) (serving size: 2 cups)

Amount Per Serving
Calories 141Calories from Fat 26
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4.1g7%

Saturated Fat 1g5%
Cholesterol 95mg32%
Sodium 1201mg51%
Total Carbohydrate 14g5%

Dietary Fiber 2g8%
Protein 12g24%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.