Do you try and remember the first things you learned to cook? My memory is a bit hazy, but here’s my list so far:
- Rice, because some Filipino kids are forced to cook as soon as they can lift a pot.
- Eggs, sunny-side up.
- Hot dogs, cut with a butter knife to resemble octopi.
And of course, this crab and corn soup. From a packet, mind you, in its full natural and artificial flavoring glory. In case you were wondering, the neon-red crab product highlighted on the packaging falls under the synthetic category. It could’ve been anything from fish-flavored bathmat bits to dessicated denture adhesive and I wouldn’t have cared. Stirring with a blackened wooden spoon in one hand and an egg in the other, I felt like a rockstar grade-schooler while preparing instant soup.
I had almost forgotten about this soup so I was glad to find this recipe in my favorite Chinese cookbook. It eschews the cornstarch to keep it light, and more importantly, it’s all natural, as long as you stay away from krab.
recipe adapted from Eileen Yin-fei Lo’s The Chinese Kitchen
Chinese Crab and Corn Soup
makes 6 to 8 servings
4 cups (about 1 1/4 pounds) corn kernels, fresh or frozen
6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/4 pound crabmeat
5 large egg whites or 3 whole eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions
- A blender
- A heavy pot
- Change the amount of corn that is pureed with the chicken stock to get the desired consistency. I used about a quarter of the corn kernels for a thinner soup.
- Place about half of the corn kernels and 1 cup of the stock in a blender. Pulse to a coarse puree.
- In a heavy pot, heat the remaining 5 cups of chicken stock with the grated ginger, ground pepper, and salt. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Add the whole corn kernels and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Increase the heat to high and immediately add the pureed corn. Bring to a boil and cook for about 3 minutes while stirring.
- Add the crabmeat and return to a boil.
- Pour a thin stream of beaten egg in a spiral pattern over the soup and stir well. Turn off the heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Sprinkle with the sliced scallions and serve immediately.