What better way to celebrate the arrival of fall than with a delicious bowl of soup! This Hearty Chinese Egg Drop Soup called my name weeks ago while scrolling through Pinterest, and I could not wait to give it a try. It looked easy enough; a limited number of ingredients, quick cooking time, and the added benefit of the Paleo label (although I ended up making a swap that disqualified this category). If you are like me, Chinese cuisine seems intimidating, but keep reading and I promise to change your mind.
This recipe comes from ChihYu over at I Heart Umami, an online cookbook dedicated to "Asian-inspired paleo cuisine". How could I go wrong with that description? I did make three changes to the recipe in order to accommodate my own needs and wallet, but more on those swaps later. For now, follow along with me here.
Based on the short cooking time, I decided to pre-chop all of the ingredients. The recipe only called for a few scallions, however, I bought an entire bag at the store. I went ahead and chopped the rest while I had the knife and cutting board handy, and stored them in the fridge to throw into other dishes during the week. I learned this "chop once and use many times" strategy a few years ago; my cooking life forever changed - try it.
Fresh ginger adds bold flavor to this recipe. If you are not used to working with the fresh version, don't worry, I know it looks difficult to grate, but it only takes a few seconds. Watch this video to learn how.
By now, you may have noticed the swaps I made in the recipe; ground turkey instead of ground chicken, vegetable stock instead of chicken stock, and soy sauce instead of coconut aminos. The first two swaps, ground turkey and vegetable stock, keep the recipe Kosher based on what I can find at the grocery store. I usually shop at my local Trader Joes, which doesn't stock Kosher ground chicken or chicken stock. The third change, soy sauce instead of coconut aminos, protects my wallet. While I mostly follow a Paleo diet, I decided using a small amount of soy sauce would be fine for me, and even better for my budget (I already had some in the fridge).
On to the cooking!
First, the recipe instructs to sauté the ginger and white parts of the scallion. I used olive oil instead of the suggested ghee, and it worked out just fine. I believe you could use any preferred cooking fat without consequences.
Next, I added the ground turkey and mushrooms, and then the vegetable stock once the meat cooked all the way through and the mushrooms softened. I am always surprised by the color of the Trader Joes vegetable stock, but I swear by this product; it adds huge amounts of flavor.
The final step required a second pair of hands, so there is no photo of the actual egg drop making process, but take my word for it, it's easy. Once the soup started to boil, David slowly poured the gently beaten eggs into the pot while I whisked everything together. Be careful not to over whisk the eggs in the soup, as you do want to maintain some larger "drops".
Just like magic, we ended up with dinner that looked like this...
Egg drop soup always looks intimidating at restaurants, so I am happy to report this recipe will be a new staple in our kitchen this winter. From the time I started chopping until we sat down to eat was under an hour, which means it gets high marks for simplicity from me, plus, ChihYu presented the recipe clearly; no unnecessary steps.
I hoped this recipe would taste like what I order at a restaurant, but kept my expectations low. While it was not 100% the same, the difference in taste did not make it any worse, just different (and probably healthier).
The only change I plan on making is adding some spice (ginger and garlic) directly to the ground turkey. For anyone else who frequently swaps ground turkey for other protein options, you probably agree it always needs more seasoning, as it lacks fat. I would also recommend making a double batch. The recipe makes three servings as promised, but you will want leftovers for lunch the next day, and probably another dinner.
Clarity of Instructions: ✭✭✭✭
Met Expectations: ✭✭✭✭
Each category is ranked from 1-4 stars
Walking enthusiast, kitchen experimenter, sports lover (watching, not playing), and future world traveler.
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