Egg drop soup is associated with Chinese cuisine but, yes, it is also very popular in Japan. What sets Japanese-style egg drop soup apart from its obvious Chinese ancestor? The broth is made with dashi.
In this recipe, dashi is combined with fish stock to make an even more flavorful broth. I had a head of mahi-mahi which I poached. I scooped out the head and let it cool. I strained the broth and stirred in the dashi.
The shiitake I used was fresh. If you have dried, soak them in hot water for a couple of hours then strain the soaking liquid and add it to the broth too. That should make your Japanese-style egg drop soup richer and tastier.
Japanese-style Egg Drop Soup
- 1 fish head (I used mahi-mahi), about 800 grams
- 4 to 6 shiitake mushrooms
- 1 ear sweet corn
- 1/2 cup sweet peas
- 2 cups dashi
- 2 large eggs
- Rinse the fish head and make sure to remove any scales that may still be attached to the skin. Pat dry with a kitchen towel. If the head is in one piece, split it into halves.
- Heat about six cups of water in a wide pot. Sprinkle in about a tablespoonful of salt.
- When the water starts to simmer, turn the heat to low, drop in the fish head halves, side by side, and cover the pot. The temperature of the water will drop to make it ideal for poaching. Keep the heat on the lowest setting.
- After about ten minutes, flip the fish head over and continue poaching for another ten minutes.
- Turn off the heat and let the fish head finish cooking in the residual heat for another 15 minutes.
- Scoop out the fish head and transfer to a plate. Cool.
- Strain the fish stock.
- Cut off the stems of the shiitake and discard. Cut the caps into half-inch pieces.
- Using a box grater or a vegetable peeler (or even just a sharp knife), cut the kernels off the cob.
- Pick the cooled flesh from the fish head; discard the bones.
- Reheat the fish stock in the pot. Sprinkle in a teaspoonful of salt. When simmering, dump in the shiitake, peas and corn. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the corn is done.
- Stir in the fish and dashi. Bring to a simmer. Taste and add more salt, if needed.
- Stir the eggs in a bowl.
- Pour the eggs in a thin stream, using a circular motion, directly over the soup. Turn off the heat. Count five to ten seconds (depending on how wispy or chunky you want the eggs) then stir the soup.
- Give the broth one last taste and stir in more salt if necessary.
- Serve your Japanese-style egg drop soup at once.
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