I’m sharing just one more vegetarian corn soup at Berryer Cooks. My family’s original enthusiasm for the various corn soups I’ve been making diminished when they realized I might be perfectly happy eating corn soup every night of the week this summer!
Chinese Inspired Corn Soup is perfect for when I crave a just-picked corn flavored egg drop soup. It bears little resemblance to the canned creamed corn swimming around in yellow gelatinous MSG chicken broth found in many Chinese restaurants. There are a few restaurants who do justice to the corn soup, and in their hands, it becomes a comforting dish you could imagine a Chinese grandma making for her grandchild. My version pays respect to the source of inspiration and moves it into a more fresh and seasonal place.
I’ve taken the chicken out of the equation and added a sunny ginger corn stock as the base for a bowl of sweet summer corn kernels. The pure flavor of corn shines and eggs stirred in at the end adds the distinctly familiar texture of the traditional corn soup called yumigeng or sumigeng in Chinese.
Once the ingredients are assembled, the soup comes together quickly. The important thing when making this soup is to have all the ingredients ready to go, particularly the corn starch water mixture called a slurry, as well as the beaten eggs.
If you’ve read any of my vegetarian soup posts, you know I usually make a soup specific stock for each recipe. The corn stock for this soup is no exception and offers a no-waste way to extract more flavor from the corn cobs once the kernels are removed. It’s an extra step, but essential to the soup flavor.
This homemade version of a restaurant classic is simple to make and if you’re a corn soup snob (like me!) it will ultimately relegate take-out corn soup to a place of emergency only status.
Chinese Restaurant Inspired Vegetarian Corn Soup
4 cups corn stock
1 Tbs rice wine
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp pure cane sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshy ground black pepper
2 Tbs corn starch (called corn flour in the UK)
3 cups fresh corn kernels, including any corn “milk” you can extract from scraping the corn cob with the back of the knife after the kernels have been removed from about 6 ears of corn. (Each ear of corn averages ½ cup of corn kernels)
2 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup sliced scallions, white and green parts
1 tsp sesame oil
- In small prep bowl, whisk corn starch with 2 Tbs water. Set aside.
- Puree 1 cup corn, set aside.
- Heat corn stock until boiling. Add corn, rice wine, ginger, garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper
- Bring back to a gentle simmer. Add corn starch slurry, stirring constantly just until soup agin boils and thickens slightly. This will not take very long.
- Continue to stir gently and pour beaten egg slowly in a steady stream into simmering soup. The egg will quickly spread throughout the soup and set in strands. Immediately remove soup from heat.
- mix in sesame oil and scallions
- Ladle into soup bowls and serve immediately.
Vegetarian Corn Stock
5 cups filtered water
1 Tbs minced ginger
2 tsp minced garlic
¼ cup rice wine
6 corn cobs, broken in half (corn kernels removed)
1 Tbs dried porcini mushrooms
¾ cup scallion greens, chopped
1 tsp crushed star anise
- Soak porcini mushrooms in ¼ cup water for 10 minutes then rinse briefly to get out any grit.
- In a 3 quart or larger saucepan over medium heat, bring all ingredients to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes.
- Remove from heat and strain over a fine mesh strainer, pressing on solids with back of spoon to extract as much flavor as possible. If necessary, add more water to make 4 cups stock.