All you need is 15 minutes and a few ingredients to bring a Chinese takeout favorite home with this quick and easy Egg Drop Soup. While typically meatless, feel free to add chicken (or shrimp or tofu) for a heartier meal.
What is Egg Drop Soup?
Egg drop soup is a popular Chinese takeout dish. This renowned favorite is also known as Egg Flower Soup. True to its name, beaten egg is swirled into hot broth right before serving, creating delicate noodle-like ribbons appearing to look like flower petals.
It’s a light chicken broth-based soup, made with shallots and mushrooms, and a few seasonings. While usually meatless, you can also add cooked chicken, shrimp, or tofu to make it a heartier meal.
Since the ingredients list is small, it’s essential to use the highest quality and freshest ingredients possible. This is especially true in the case of the chicken broth, as it lends the majority of the flavor to the soup.
Is Egg Drop Soup Healthy?
Yes! Egg drop soup is ideal for a first course or even the main course as a low-calorie, high protein dish. With a chicken stock base, there are less than 100 calories in each cup with the eggs adding plenty of protein.
Egg drop soup is also said to be a great alternative to chicken noodle soup, as the warm broth helps your under-the-weather symptoms in the same way.
Egg Drop Soup Ingredients
Wondering what is in egg drop soup? The ingredient list is surprisingly short.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Eggs – You can’t make egg drop soup without eggs, of course!
- Chicken broth – Using a high quality, low-sodium chicken broth is critical for the best flavor.
- Cornstarch (and water) – Whisked together to create a slurry and needed to thicken the broth.
- Scallions – For a subtle, onion and peppery flavor.
- Cremini mushrooms – We prefer these over button mushrooms, since they have more flavor.
- Soy sauce – Adds the umami flavor you’d expect from a Chinese dish.
- Sesame oil – Another Chinese food staple. Rich, nutty, with a distinct toasted sesame aroma and punch of flavor.
- Seasonings – A pinch each of salt, ground ginger, garlic powder, granulated sugar, and white pepper season the soup.
- Yellow food coloring (optional) – This is completely optional, but does give the soup the traditional yellow color.
How to Make Egg Drop Soup
Making homemade egg drop soup is surprisingly easy – it comes together in under 15 minutes.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for complete details and don’t miss the video below.)
- Create the slurry. Whisk together the cornstarch and water until completely dissolved.
- Beat the eggs. Whisk the eggs in a measuring cup until thoroughly beaten.
- Prepare the soup broth. In a pot over medium-high heat, whisk together the chicken stock, scallions, mushrooms, soy sauce, sesame oil, and seasonings. Heat until simmering. Add the food coloring. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Stir in the cornstarch slurry and return to a simmer.
- Add the eggs. Remove the soup from heat. Stir in a circular motion to create a whirlpool. Slowly pour in the eggs as you continue to stir.
- Serve. Ladle into bowls, top with additional scallions, and enjoy!
Tips & Variations
If you’re new to making this soup, don’t worry – these few simple tips are all you need to keep in mind.
- Remove the broth from heat before adding the eggs. Be sure to turn off the heat before you begin pouring in the eggs, so that you get thin egg ribbons versus chunks of scrambled eggs.
- Adjust the size of the egg ribbons to your preference. The speed at which you stir the soup when adding the egg will determine whether you get large egg ribbons or small ones.
- Add other ingredients as desired. While this is a simple vegetarian version, you can also stir in cooked chicken, shrimp, or tofu. Add these ingredients and heat through before the eggs.
- Use vegetable broth. You can substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock if you need it vegetarian, keeping in mind that will obviously change the flavor and color.
- Make it spicy. Sriracha hot sauce can be stirred in for an added kick.
- Omit the food coloring. The yellow food coloring is what gives the soup that authentic hue, but it’s totally optional. Omitting it will not effect the taste of the soup.
Egg drop soup is typically eaten as a side dish or appetizer to other Chinese takeout dishes. I like to serve it as a first course to chicken stir fry, beef and broccoli, or moo shu pork. Or pair it with crab rangoon or honey walnut shrimp. Wonton strips as a topping add a nice crunch.
With the addition of shrimp, chicken, or tofu, you can also serve this soup as a simple main course.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
- How to store leftovers. Leftover egg drop soup can be stored for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge. It should not be frozen.
- How to reheat leftovers. Leftover egg drop soup is best when reheated on the stovetop, stirring ocassionally. If you need to microwave it, do so in 15-second intervals to avoid over-cooking the eggs.
More Soup Recipes:
- Chicken and Rice Soup
- Stuffed Pepper Soup
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- Avgolemono Soup
- Matzo Ball Soup
- French Onion Soup
Egg Drop Soup
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 large eggs
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (highest quality)
- 3 whole scallions (ends trimmed and discarded, diced, reserving some for garnish)
- 3 ounces cremini mushrooms (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 drop yellow food coloring (optional)
- In a small bowl, create a slurry by whisking together the cornstarch and water until completely dissolved.
- Place eggs in a small measuring cup with a spout and whisk until beaten.
- In a medium pot, whisk together the chicken stock, scallions, mushrooms, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, ground ginger, garlic powder, sugar, and white pepper. Warm over medium-high until simmering. Add in the yellow food coloring. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
- Give the cornstarch slurry a couple stirs to make sure it's well mixed, then slowly pour into the soup while constantly stirring to avoid clumps.
- Bring the soup back up to a simmer, then remove from the heat.
- Using a fork, stir the broth in a circular motion to create sort of a whirlpool. Slowly pour the beaten eggs into the soup while you continue to stir, in order to create long ribbons.
- Ladle into bowls, top with a few scallions, and enjoy!