Egg Drop Soup with Crab, Baby Corn, and Peas, this riff on a Chinese restaurant mainstay becomes a light and lovely supper which you can intensify with the addition of Sriracha. I can’t remember the last time I bought a can of baby corn! But it works beautifully when sliced into mini-rounds providing a fun texture and slight crunch to the soup. Typically eaten whole, they are also known as young corn, mini corn, cornlettes, or candle corn.
As always, whenever possible use homemade stock—in this case chicken or shellfish—for the most flavor. If you look at the nutrition label on a box or can of store-bought broth (yes, even the organic ones!), you’ll quickly realize that the industrially-produced version is an empty, processed food. In contrast, homemade broth starts with whole food: meat, fat, bones. Add a few veggies and herbs, and you have a tasty bowl of MSG-free, bioavailable nutrition.
A couple of notable changes: since my container of lump crabmeat came in an 8-ounce package, I used the entire amount. After all, what would I do with two ounces leftover? And at the price of lump crab meat, I certainly wasn’t going to waste it. Additionally, the can of baby corn was 14-ounces and the recipe only calls for four ounces, which seemed measly in MHO. So without exactly measuring, I probably added about a cups worth of slices.
Thickening with just two teaspoons of cornstarch didn’t happen either when I made this recipe. I had to add at least another tablespoon to get even a slight thickness, but you don’t want to go over board because the egg will swell the soup and give it some body.
So go ahead and purchase that can of “cornlettes” and enjoy a light, satisfying meal for lunch or dinner…
- 6 cups lower-salt chicken broth
- 4 oz. canned whole baby corn, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 Tbs. finely grated fresh ginger
- 1 Tbs. soy sauce
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 6 oz. crabmeat, preferably jumbo lump, picked over (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1-1/2 tsp. seasoned rice vinegar
- Freshly ground white pepper
- 3 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced
- Hot sauce, such as Sriracha (optional)
- In a 5-quart pot, bring the broth, baby corn, and ginger to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce and cornstarch; add it to the pot and cook, stirring, until bubbly and thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.
- Pour the eggs into the pot in a slow, steady stream and cook without stirring until egg strands float to the surface, about 1 minute.
- Add the crab, peas, vinegar, and 1/8 tsp. white pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 4 minutes.
- Break up any large pieces of egg, if necessary. Serve the soup garnished with the scallions and a little hot sauce, if you like.