Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Egg Flower Soup with Crispy Wonton Chips

I have had a strange relationship with Chinese five-spice powder. It is a combination of spiced used throughout much of Chinese cooking. There are some variations, but five-spice powder usually contains star anise, cloves, cinnamon, fennel seeds, ginger root, cassia buds, and/or Szechuan or black pepper. I have a nice bottle of it in my spice drawer, but so far I have been unable to use it successfully. I think each time I have used too much - those spices have very strong, distinct flavors. When I found this recipe, I was eager to try using it again and was very happy with the results. The strong flavors are definitely present, especially in the leftovers, but very delicious.

Egg drop soup and the crispy chips that come with them are two of my favorite items at Chinese restaurants, ever since I was a little child. I am so happy to be able to make these simple, delicious, comforting foods at home - and the homemade flavor makes it much better quality than most restaurants, in my opinion. They are also quite simple.

The recipe for the Egg Flower Soup is from the cookbook 500 Chinese Recipes. This is one of my favorite cookbooks, with delicious recipes for soups, street foods, noodles, rice and vegetables from all over China and the surrounding areas.

Egg Flower Soup
four servings
  • 5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons peeled, minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons cold water, separated
  • garnishes: sliced green onion, chopped red onion, chopped cilantro, hot chilli sauce, Crispy Wonton Chips

Mix the stock, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil and five-spice powder in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for ten minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the cornstarch with two tablespoons water in a small container with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously until well combined. Stir into the broth until well combined.

Combine the eggs two tablespoons of cold water in a measuring cup with a spout. Beat well. Raise the heat on the broth to medium. Use a spoon to stir clockwise while slowly pouring the eggs in the pot. Serve immediately with the garnishes of your choosing.


Crispy Wonton Chips
  • 8-10 wonton wrappers (or more, if you'd like to make enough to last a while)
  • 4-5 tablespoons olive oil
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a small frying pan. Use only enough oil for a 1/2 inch depth in the pan. You can tell when it is hot enough when a wooden chopstick inserted in the oil forms bubbles out the tip. Cut the wonton wrappers in half lengthwise, then cut each into 1/2 inch wide strips. Fry in the olive oil until golden brown, about two minutes per batch, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. Remove with a slotted spoon and let gently drain before eating. These are great on their own or in your favorite soup or salad.


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