Chinese seaweed soup, also known as "zi cai dan hua tang"(紫菜蛋花汤) in Mandarin, is a light and nourishing soup commonly found in Chinese cuisine. It is made with seaweed (typically dried), eggs, and chicken stock. It often includes other ingredients for added flavor and texture. Chinese seaweed soup is known for its simplicity and health benefits. The unique part of this soup is that it adds dried seaweed to the soup on top of the regular egg drop soup, which is tastier than the regular egg drop soup!
Dried seaweed (commonly used types include wakame or kombu): The Chinese name is "zi cai," (紫菜）a type of seaweed with very thin ribbons. Chinese "zi cai" (紫菜) is also known as purple laver or nori in English. It is a type of edible seaweed widely used in Chinese cuisine, particularly in soups and salads. You can easily get it from Asian stores.
Chicken stock or vegetable broth (homemade or store-bought): Chicken stock serves as the base of the soup, providing a savory and flavorful foundation.
Whisked eggs: When beaten eggs are added to the hot soup, they create delicate ribbons or small curds, which give the soup a creamy and smooth texture. This adds a luxurious and comforting element to this dish.
Sesame oil: Sesame oil has a rich, nutty flavor that adds depth and complexity to the soup. Adding a few drops of sesame oil can significantly elevate the taste of this soup.
Dried small shrimp: Adding dried shrimp adds another layer of seafood essence to the soup. The combination of seaweed and dried shrimp creates a taste profile that is reminiscent of the sea.:)
Chopped cilantro and green onion slices: Cilantro has a strong and distinctive aroma that can elevate the fragrance of the soup.
Salt and black pepper: to taste.
Optional: light soy sauce( I did not add), tofu, mushroom slices, or other vegetables.
How to make Chinese seaweed soup
Rinse the dried seaweed in cold water to remove any salt or impurities. Soak the seaweed in water for 10-15 minutes until it softens. It helps to remove any salt or impurities. Drain and set aside.
Place the dried seaweed, dried shrimp, sesame oil, chopped cilantro, green onion slices, salt, and pepper in a deep bowl.
Bring the chicken stock(or water) to boil over medium heat in a pot. Slowly pour the whisked egg into the pot. Once the lovely "yellow ribbons" firm up, turn off the heat immediately. Pour the liquid mixture into the bowl over all the ingredients.
Mix the soup well to allow the flavors to blend. Serve the Chinese seaweed soup hot. Season the soup with soy sauce. (optional) Adjust the seasoning according to your preference.
Chinese seaweed soup is often enjoyed as a light and comforting side dish or as part of a larger meal. Feel free to customize the soup by adding other ingredients to suit your preferences.
Store and reheat
Storage: Allow the seaweed soup to cool to room temperature. Transfer the soup to an airtight container or cover the pot with plastic wrap or a lid. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Reheating on the stovetop: Pour the desired amount of seaweed soup into a saucepan or pot. Heat it over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the soup is heated. Be careful not to boil the soup excessively, as it may cause the seaweed to become too soft. You can also reheat this soup in the microwave: Transfer the desired amount of seaweed soup to a microwave-safe bowl. Cover the bowl with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap, leaving a small vent for steam to escape. Microwave on medium power in short intervals, stirring occasionally, until the soup is heated evenly. Enjoy your reheated Chinese seaweed soup!
Chinese seaweed egg drop soup is a delightful culinary experience that tantalizes the taste buds and offers numerous health benefits. Its simple preparation and subtle flavors of seaweed, eggs, and warming broth make it a go-to option for quick and nutritious meals. Beyond its flavorful taste, Chinese seaweed egg drop soup is a nutritional powerhouse. Seaweed provides a wealth of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, promoting overall well-being and supporting a healthy immune system. Adding eggs adds protein and nourishing elements to the dish, making it a satisfying and complete meal option.
This soup is truly a comfort food. So next time, grab your pot and ingredients and enjoy the fusion of simplicity, flavor, and health in every spoonful. Happy cooking!
Easy Chinese Seaweed Egg Drop Soup Recipe (紫菜蛋花汤)
- Rinse the dried seaweed in cold water to remove any salt or impurities. Soak the seaweed in water for 10-15 minutes until it softens. It helps to remove any salt or impurities. Drain and set aside.
- Place the dried seaweed, dried shrimp, sesame oil, chopped cilantro, green onion slices, salt, and pepper in a deep bowl.
- Bring the chicken stock(or water) to boil over medium heat in a pot. Slowly pour the whisked egg into the pot. Once the lovely "yellow ribbons" firm up, turn off the heat immediately.
- Pour the liquid mixture into the bowl over all the ingredients.
- Mix the soup well to allow the flavors to blend.
- Serve the Chinese seaweed soup hot. Season the soup with soy sauce. (optional)