Easy Chinese Egg Drop Soup Recipe

Egg drop soup
Egg drop soup. Getty Images/Doable
  • 20 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 3 to 4 servings egg drop soup
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Egg drop soup is a really simple boiled chicken broth soup and is considered a Chinese comfort food. Egg drop soup (also called egg flower soup) is known as 蛋花湯 in Chinese.

In its simplest form, the only ingredients needed are the broth itself, eggs and spring onion (also known as green onions or scallions), but you can add extra ingredients as per one of the variations below.

Some people like the broth for egg drop soup to be quite bland so the flavor of the egg can really stand out. But chicken or vegetable stock can be used to cook egg drop soup because it will make the egg drop soup taste so much better.

Many restaurants serve thickened egg drop soup (see How to Thicken Egg Drop Soup below) using corn flour/cornstarch or potato starch. Using potato starch will deliver a clearer soup while corn flour/cornstarch will produce a cloudier-looking, but still delicious, soup.

If you are preparing the soup for someone who is ill, try adding some fresh ginger. Among its many benefits, ginger is believed to be a remedy for treating colds and flu.

What You'll Need

  • For Basic Egg Drop Soup:
  • 4 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 to 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Few drops sesame oil (optional)
  • For Tomato Egg Drop Soup:
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 spring onion, sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon caster (superfine) sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped spring onions (optional)
  • Sesame oil (optional)
  • For Seaweed (Zicai 紫菜) Egg Drop Soup:
  • 4 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 1 sheet of zicai (edible dried seaweed), torn into small pieces
  • 1 slice ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • White pepper to taste
  • Sesame oil (optional)

How to Make It

How to Make Basic Egg Drop Soup

  1. In a wok or saucepan, bring the 4 cups of chicken broth or stock to a boil.
  2. Very slowly, pour in the lightly beaten eggs in a steady stream. To make shreds, stir the egg rapidly in a clockwise direction for 1 minute. To make thin streams or ribbons, gently stir the eggs in a clockwise direction until they form.
  3. Season the soup with white pepper, salt, and sesame oil.
  4. Garnish with spring onion and serve.

    How to Make the Tomato Egg Drop Soup Variation

    1. Heat the oil in a wok or saucepan and stir-fry the spring onion first until the fragrance of the spring onion comes out.
    2. Add chopped tomatoes and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
    3. Add chicken broth or stock into wok and bring it to a boil. Let it boil for 1 to 2 minutes before you add the eggs.
    4. After adding the eggs to the soup, bring it to a boil again and season with sugar and salt.
    5. Garnish this soup with spring onions or a drizzle of sesame oil for seasoning. 

    How to Make the Seaweed (zicai 紫菜) Egg Drop Soup Variation

    1. Add the chicken broth or stock to a saucepan or wok along with the zicai and ginger. Let it come to a boil.
    2. Gently pour in the eggs and stir clockwise until they form thin ribbons and then boil again.
    3. Season the soup with salt and white pepper.
    4. Garnish with chopped spring onion and a drizzle of sesame oil. 

    How to Thicken Egg Drop Soup

    • In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix together 1 to 2 tablespoons corn flour/cornstarch or potato starch with 1/2 cup of water until smooth.
    • Slowly stir the paste into the chicken stock before adding the eggs. Proceed with the rest of the directions.