corny eggdrop soup with dried mushrooms

by Chen

Knowing how to make eggdrop soup is the basic of the basic of Chinese cuisine.

Theoretically, anything can be thrown into eggdrop soup. Some common ones are tomato, seaweed, bok choy, cabbage, and other everyday vegetables.

For the eggdrop soup with corns, we usually use the canned sweet corns, boil them in water or chicken broth, then add eggs. It is definitely convenient while the soup is clear and thin and somewhat bland without much distinctive corny taste. Since I was not in a rush today, I modified the method by blending part of the corn kernels first and adding dried mushrooms to strength the flavor a little bit. The soup turned out to be thick like chowder (but without the cream) and had a subtle but pleasing mushroom smell.

corny eggdrop soup with dried mushrooms
Makes 4 servings

4 pieces dried shiitaki mushrooms
2 cups corn kernels, divided (thaw if using frozen ones)
3 cups chicken broth
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 eggs
2 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed gently with the blade of a knife
1/2 tbsp oil
salt and white pepper to taste
sesame oil for drizzling

herbs of your choice for garnish (optional)

Soak the mushrooms in cold water overnight. Drain and reserve 2 tbsp soaking water without the grits on the bottom. Finely chop the mushrooms.

Blend 1 cup corn kernels and all chicken broth together and set aside.

Place garlic cloves and oil in a soup pot over medium-low heat. Cook them together until the garlic is fragrant and about to brown. Discard the garlic. Add the chopped mushrooms and whole corn kernels to the pot and cook until all the liquid dries out. Pour the corn-broth mixture into the pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn the heat to low, cover, and let the soup simmer for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.Season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, cornstarch, and reserved mushroom water with a small pinch of salt. Add the egg mixture to the soup. Stir in one direction until the soup returns to a simmer. Turn off the heat.

Ladle the soup into a bowl and drizzle some sesame oil on it. Serve hot with your favorite herbs if you like.