Discover more from The Bittman Project
This Chinese Restaurant Soup Hack Is A Weeknight Wonder
I know from extensive research that fast, easy, satisfying weeknight recipes are among your favorites, so when I come across a really good one I try to remember to share it here. Sometimes it slips my mind, but this one is too good to forget.
It's a Shrimp and Egg Drop Soup with Wonton Ribbons that could not be more perfect for this time of year: warm, comforting, and filling without being heavy. It also takes only 20 minutes to make, and is a poster-recipe for two of my favorite fast-cooking techniques.
The first is putting together a really flavorful stock on the fly. Since making shrimp stock isn't something that all of us would be psyched to do on
weeknights, the way to crank up flavor in a hurry is to simmer anchovies, aromatics (scallions, garlic, ginger), and lemon juice in water along with peeled shrimp. The result is a well-rounded seafood broth that takes minimal time and effort (for any anchovy skeptics, I promise this doesn't taste "fishy").
The second shortcut is cutting wonton skins into thick ribbons that, when you drop them into bubbling broth, masquerade as fresh noodles (which is essentially what they are). This gives the soup some extra body, as do the eggs that are gently scrambled into the broth at the end. It's basically a one pot meal as is, but it's also easy to up the vegetable quotient by throwing in a handful of greens (spinach and bok choy are both good) and letting them wilt before you stream in the eggs.
It's worth noting that the technique of softly scrambling eggs into hot stock is also how you make the Italian soup Stracciatella, and can be used to add oomph to any brothy soup that you like. It's a good trick: fast and easy, just the way we like it.
Alas, this is not a photo of the final dish; I was too hungry when I made it the other day and forgot to snap a pic. Sorry! This shot showing the technique for slowly streaming the eggs into the hot broth will have to do (just imagine some shrimp and wonton noodles swimming around in there and you'll get the idea).
Talk To Me, Goose!
Questions, comments, brilliant suggestions? Just want to share the recipe for your grandma's potato salad, or your mom's meatloaf, or your uncle Drew's three-day 100-percent rye loaf (yes, please)? Don't hesitate to reach out anytime.