Photos and Words by Rochelle Li
Growing up, my family and I always frequented Chinese restaurants. We also moved a lot, but in each place we called home, my family had a go-to restaurant where we’d get our favorite Chinese-American dishes such as Peking duck, Twin Lobsters, Yang Chow fried rice and fried squid with salt and pepper. But out of all these dishes, there has been one thing my sister and I would always order: chicken corn soup.
When I got to college and started cooking for myself, this soup became one of my staple recipes. It is actually a lot simpler than you might imagine. The trick to getting the tastiest soup is making a really rich broth. While you can certainly use chicken stock as base for this recipe, I strongly recommend that you make the broth from scratch instead.
The key to great broth is to use meat with bones in it. A whole chicken carcass after you’ve butchered a chicken produces the best and richest kind of broth. But if you’re not comfortable tackling the task of butchering a whole chicken, two chicken thighs and a breast, all with bones attached, are all you need. There’s just something about the sweetness of the corn, the thickness of broth and the subtle seasonings of soy sauce and white pepper that make this dish the perfect opening stage to a wonderful dinner. Here’s a simple recipe to make this traditional Chinese-American dish at home. I hope you enjoy one of my childhood favorites!
Chinese Chicken Corn Soup
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
1 chicken breast and 2 chicken thighs (with bones)
3-4 cups of water
1 can of creamed corn
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp. corn starch
1 sprig of green onion, finely chopped (optional)
A pinch of white pepper (optional)
Directions: 1. Place the chicken in a pot and add enough water to cover the chicken. 2. Bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to a low-medium heat and let the water simmer for about an hour. Skim the top of the soup to keep the broth clear. 3. Remove the chicken after an hour and place aside to cool. 4. In a small bowl, beat an egg. 5. Bring the broth to a boil. Add the beaten beat and cream of corn to the broth. 6. Add soy sauce and white pepper. 7. Shred the chicken and add to the soup. 8. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch with a little water (1-2 tbl.) to dissolve the starch. Bring the soup back to a boil, and once bubbling, slowly pour and stir in the starch mixture to thicken the soup. 9. Pour soup into a bowl and garnish with green onion.