back to school + egg drop rice cake soup with seaweed

by Chen

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The last breakfast at home during this three-week winter break. Another quarter will start in less than 24 hours.

It’s not hard to tell whether I’m cooking in the well-equipped kitchen at home (Bay Area) or in my tiny studio (LA) by looking at what I make. Given the access to all the essential gears (stand mixer, bigger oven, pots and pans of different types and sizes, etc), I bake like crazy–check this, this, and this. Also, I tend to deal more with the ingredients that could hardly be found in the nearby supermarkets of my studio–sticky rice cake, for example.

Rice cake is as common in Southern China as pasta in Italy but might be more versatile. In addition to being added into soups, it can be steamed or deep-fried then served with regular sugar as a simple dessert or snack. For the stir-fry, people can either make it savory by adding meat and vegetables or sweeten the dish by making a glaze (the most popular one consists of sugar and sweet tea olive). Our family’s second-to-none choice is rice cake soup with whatever vegetables in hand. Besides breakfast, it is a solid dinner-stand-by and can be served at any time.

egg drop rice cake soup with seaweed
May substitute any vegetables you like for the seaweed.

Makes 2 generous or 4 small servings

1 tsp neutral cooking oil
1 scallion, green and white part separate and thinly sliced
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
12 oz pre-sliced rice cakes
1/4 cup dried seaweed, soaked until softened then drained
1 egg, beaten
salt and white pepper

Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat and add the white part of the scallion. Once you smell the fragrance of the scallion (do NOT let it brown), add the stock and seaweed. Cover and cook until the seaweed is tender. Uncover and add the rice cake and cook just until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the beaten egg and the green part of the scallion. As soon as the egg is set, which only takes a few seconds, remove the soup from the heat. Serve immediately.

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