Ironically, one of the food things I miss the most about living in America is delicious, buffet-style Asian food. It’s something that France, with its high population of Asian citizens, just can’t seem to get a handle on. In France, Asian food can be found on nearly every street corner. Sushi restaurants and Chinese or Vietamian traiteurs are nearly as popular as bakeries. But the quality just isn’t there. The take-away shops make everything in advance and microwave it as they see fit. Crisp spring rolls become soggy, unappetizing. And don’t even get me started on all of the news reports I’ve seen about industrialised production in the city, pointing out the small apartments cramped with people making food in very unsanitary conditions…
I was in the midst of a protein-rich diet-ish week, and running out of ideas. I needed something fresh and new, or else I knew that I wasn’t going to make it more than a few days. I had a culinary epiphany: Egg. Drop. Soup! A savory and spicy soup, incredibly easy to make and chocked full of eggs, chicken, onions, ginger… This was going to be my diet nirvana!
This soup was incredibly easy to make. Poaching the chicken in the fragrant stock left it tender and flavorful. Putting the roughly chopped ginger in a tea bag saved me the pain of grating it, and infused into the soup day after day, making it even better on day three than on the first. It is also incredibly healthy and economical. What’s not to love?
Egg drop soup with chicken and ginger
2-3 chicken breasts, cut into smallish pieces
3-4 quarts of chicken or vegetable stock
1 2 inch piece of ginger, roughly chopped (or grated if not using tea bag)
1 tea bag
1 t freshly ground black pepper
1 t piment d’espelette or cayenne pepper
4 eggs, lightly beaten
Add your stock or water and bouillon cube to a large dutch oven or whatever you generally use to make soup. Add half of the scallions, chopped into small pieces, the ginger, pepper and piment. Bring this mixture to a slow boil and let the stock simmer for about 25 minutes. Add the chicken, keep soup at a slow boil or simmer, stirring occasionally. Once the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes, add the remaining scallions. Next, slowly stir in the lightly beaten eggs, while stirring in a steady, clockwise (or counter-clockwise motion) until all is incorporated. Serve immediately!