How To Create Thick And Silky Egg Ribbons For Better Egg Drop Soup

Few meals feel as comforting as a silky egg drop soup on a cold, rainy day. Whether you appreciate its light texture or its savory flavor, almost no one can deny the visual flair that this classic dish has. But while the recipe for egg drop soup has remained relatively simple over decades, few home cooks have mastered the art of whisking elegant egg ribbons. If you find yourself constantly ending up with a mushy pile of scrambled eggs in your broth instead of some delicate egg wisps, cornstarch might be the key ingredient you're missing.

By incorporating a dash of cornstarch into your whisked eggs, you are essentially protecting its proteins from the high heat of the broth. Eggs turn notoriously gummy under high heat, hence why many chefs also like to add some cornstarch into their scrambled egg or omelet mix. The added cornstarch will also give your egg ribbons more weight, dispersing them throughout the entire soup instead of just the top.

Stir in your eggs slowly for beautifully large egg ribbons

Egg drop soups are all about technique. While cornstarch will certainly aid your quest for silky egg ribbons, it won't be of much help if you have no clue how to pour beaten eggs into a broth correctly.

Before you even begin to incorporate the eggs into the soup, crank down the heat of your broth. The force of a roaring hot liquid will break apart your delicate ribbons as they cook, creating tiny little wisps that aren't as palatable or visually stunning. Once your broth has reached boiling point, shut off the heat and begin to slowly drizzle the beaten eggs into the pot. This way, the soup will not only be hot enough to cook the ribbons but not so hot as to scramble the egg.

Patience also goes a long way as you begin to stir your eggs into the broth. Forceful, quick motions will only unnecessarily break apart your delicate ribbons or even lead to emulsification, so use a pair of chopsticks or a small utensil to add a little bit of motion to your broth. Just a few gentle swirls should be enough to evenly disperse the egg ribbons throughout the entire soup.

Mix up your egg drop soup with extra ingredients

Many home cooks mistake egg drop soup as solely an appetizer or accompanying side dish. In reality, this recipe can easily work as the leading entree, provided that you fortify the eggy broth with added ingredients. Vegetables and tofu are tasty, filling ingredients that make great additions to an egg drop soup, but feel free to drop in some extra meat or shellfish if you want to pack extra protein into this dish.

Fillings aren't the only thing you can use to modify egg drop soup either. Spices like ginger and garnishes such as sesame oil can elevate the flavor of your broth with hints of flavor and umami. You can also mix up the liquid aspect of this dish and try out a beef or even a seafood broth over the traditional chicken. You can even incorporate egg ribbons into a variety of soups from around the world, so don't feel pigeonholed into only following the original recipe for egg drop soup. A Portuguese garlic and cilantro soup with poached eggs and croutons could be the perfect match for some silky egg ribbons.