Fresh corn simmered in chicken broth is highlighted by a subtle hint of ginger and sherry that balances the delicate sweetness of the corn and crab. It’s an elegant take on Egg Drop Soup, with cloud-like strands of egg floating in the broth. This soup would make a great starter for a special dinner. If you want to indulge, buy fresh crab meat, otherwise use canned. At $19 a pound even in Alaska, I don’t care about presentation so I went with the canned. The crab fell to pieces but it still tasted wonderful.
To get the best results, use fresh corn on the cob. If there’s none available, substitute frozen corn on the cob. You might need to double the number of corn cobs if you’re using frozen, as they’re often half the size of the fresh ones. If you have food intolerances, store-bought chicken broth seldom works, as it usually has onions and garlic. Either make your own and freeze it, or substitute bottled clam broth. Sometimes I cook a bunch of frozen chicken tenderloins in water and save the cooking liquid. There’s no need to defrost the chicken. For the most flavor, use the least amount of water needed to cover the chicken. It’s a quick way to make a few cups of broth, along with ready to eat protein for salads and lunches during the week.
Chinese Crab and Fresh Corn Soup
Serves 4, adapted from “Quick Cook Fish”
3 ears of corn, shucked and cleaned
5 cups (1200 ml) chicken stock or bottled clam juice
1 tablespoon (15 ml) dry sherry
2 teaspoons (10 ml) minced fresh ginger root
2 teaspoons (10 ml) cornstarch
1 tablespoon (15 ml) water
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) crab meat or 2 cans (6 ounces or 170 grams each) crab
1 egg, beaten
2 green onions, green part only, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
Use a sharp knife to cut the kernels from the corn cobs. Put the kernels and the cobs into a large saucepan, along with the stock. Simmer for 10 minutes and remove the corn cobs. Remove half of the kernels and blend them with a cup or two of the broth until creamy. Return the mixture to the pan and stir.
Mix the sherry, soy sauce, ginger, water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add the contents to the pan and stir. Add the crab meat and simmer until the soup is slightly thickened and heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Stir the soup with a large spoon and slowly pour the egg into it in one long stream, to form strands of egg. Divide the soup into 4 bowls and scatter the chopped green onions over the top of each bowl before serving.