A Sweet Spiced Soup

July 09, 2012

My friend recently told me about how he makes boiled chicken. Boiled chicken? That sounds like the worst way to consume chicken that I can think of, except for raw. As he continued to describe his chicken dish, my boiled chicken concerns started to fade as I realized that this man knows what he’s talking about. The chicken is cut into pieces, boiled (read infused) with salt and various sweet spices like cloves and cardamom (I use way more than that), chilled, rubbed with oil (or melted butter) and some ground spices and sumac, and finally finished in the oven for crispy skin. Now how is that for boiled chicken?

It turned out delicious, and guess what? The broth, made with pretty much my whole spice collection, was to die for. I often make my own chicken stock, but I’ve never added spices beyond peppercorns and maybe some fennel, with the intention of keeping it generic enough to use for whatever soup that calls for it later on. As with anything generic, there’s the potential to miss out on something specifically amazing.

After having several mugfuls of the sweet delicious broth, which I appreciated even in our crazy summer heat, I decided that the broth was destined for egg drop soup. Now you don’t need to boil a chicken to get to the broth, though I suggest you try it. The key is to add a bunch of sweet spices to your regular stock production – any kind of stock will work. You can even simmer store bought stock with spices and maybe some chopped onion and garlic, I won’t tell you cheated.

egg drop soup

Sweet Spiced Egg Drop Soup with Shiitakes
 
Egg drop soup is often made with a yolk heavy egg mixture for colour and texture. I don’t like having leftover whites so I just use whole eggs, it still works! There’s also no cornstarch here, this version is not thickened like the ones in Chinese restaurants.
Ingredients
  • simmering spices: cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, star anise, peppercorns
  • 2L stock, preferably home made
  • 1 small cooking onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 5 – 10 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 eggs, gently beaten
  • salt, to taste
  • sliced scallions, for garnish
  • sesame oil, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Add spices, onion, and garlic to the stock, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer gently for about 45 minutes (or longer for more flavour).
  2. Add salt to taste.
  3. Add the sliced shiitakes and simmer for another 15 minutes until cooked through.
  4. Drizzle the beaten eggs from a fork. The eggs will cook immediately.
  5. Garnish with scallions and a few drops of sesame oil when serving.

I ♥ Your Comments!

  1. This sounds amazing! Plan on trying it real soon! Thanks for sharing this one.

    • Sofia

      Thanks for visiting, hope you like it!

  2. Laura

    Sofia, your blog has been getting me through a dull work day, and making me incredibly hungry!

    If you ever start a cooking class or write a book, count me in :)

    • Sofia

      Thanks for reading, Laura! When you guys move in to the house and start hosting awesome foodie dinners, I’ll bring over some blog fare =)

  3. Christina

    Sofia, this looks absolutely wonderful! I can’t wait to try this soup. But would you mind posting the “boiled chicken recipe” you spoke about. I am just as anxious to try that and the stock that comes from it. You made it all sound sooo wonderful and it seems like this version of stock will complement your Egg Drop Soup.

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