Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sweetcorn and Egg Soup

After Chandra Dissanayake, my second must-have cookbook author would have to be Madhur Jaffrey. Thanks to her I’ve learnt to make some family favourites, including this Chinese soup which always disappears with second and third helpings. It’s from her World of the East Vegetarian Cooking.

What you’ll need as a minimum quantity:
* 4 cups of vegetable stock ( I make this with stock powder or cubes according to the directions on the package. Then add 2 cloves garlic, a sliver of ginger, half a stick of celery sliced, 1-2 finely sliced cabbage leaves, ¼ teaspoon sugar).
* 2 teaspoons cornflour
* 2 teaspoons sesame oil
* 2 small eggs or 1 large egg
* 1 cup creamed sweetcorn (or corn kernels – slender blended)
* 1/3 to ½ teaspoon salt
* 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper (or black pepper)
* ¾ teaspoon thin soy sauce
* 2 teaspoons finely sliced spring/green onions

What to do:
Mix ¼ cup of the stock (cooled) in a measuring jug along with the cornflour and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. Set aside.
Sliced spring/green onions
Lightly beat the eggs with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and set aside. (I just stir the eggs and oil with a fork). I do this in a separate measuring jug.
Heat the stock (with the optional ingredients). Cook 20-30 minutes. Then add corn, salt, pepper and soy sauce. Simmer.
Then in a thin stream, add the cornflour mixture. (The spout of the measuring jug helps the pouring process). Stir until the soup thickens slightly.  At this point, slender-blend the corn (if not creamed), along with the optional ingredients (I don’t throw them out).
Then Ms Jaffrey recommends taking off fire and pouring the egg in a steady stream to cover the surface of the soup. I take off fire and stir in the eggs (poured in a thin, steady stream from a measuring jug) with an egg whisk (or spoon if too many egg bits stuck in the whisk), then add the sliced spring onions.

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