Seaweed Egg Drop Soup

Seaweed Egg Drop Soup

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 3 to 4 servings
Yield: 3 to 4 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
61 Calories
3g Fat
4g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 61
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 98mg 33%
Sodium 1110mg 48%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 6mg 30%
Calcium 46mg 4%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 167mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Egg drop soup is a staple on the menu at Chinese restaurants across the country and it's surprisingly easy to replicate in your own kitchen. Known for turning eggs into light and fluffy ribbons, Chinese egg drop soup gets its name from a unique cooking technique. As the soup base boils, lightly beaten eggs are "dropped" in and cooked instantaneously, creating the smooth and silky texture you know and love.

A perfect Chinese starter, egg drop soup can be made in many variations, including adding your choice of meat or vegetables. This recipe features edible dried seaweed (or zi cai), which you can find at Asian groceries, and fresh ginger for a boost in flavor. Once you've mastered the base recipe, it's easy to customize the soup with add-ins such as mushrooms, tomatoes, or tofu. You can also easily make this recipe vegetarian by using vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth.

This soup is made in just a few steps: The seaweed, ginger, and chicken broth are boiled together, then the beaten eggs are added and stirred until thin ribbons form, and the soup is brought to a boil again. It is seasoned and garnished and ready to serve.

The next time you're craving this tasty soup, skip ordering from your local Chinese restaurant and give this recipe a try. Serve as a light lunch or dinner, or along with other favorite take-out dishes like beef and broccoli, moo goo gai pan, chicken lo mein, or pork fried rice.


  • 4 cups chicken broth or stock

  • 1 sheet edible dried seaweed, torn into small pieces

  • 1 slice ginger, finely chopped

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped

  • Sesame oil, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Seaweed Egg Drop Soup ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. Add the chicken broth or stock to a saucepan or wok along with the seaweed and ginger. Let it come to a boil.

    Add the chicken broth to a saucepan or wok along with the seaweed and ginger

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. Gently pour in the lightly beaten eggs and stir clockwise until they form thin ribbons; bring to a boil again. Season the soup with salt and pepper.

    Gently pour the eggs into the soup and stir clockwise until they form thin ribbons

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. Garnish the seaweed egg drop soup with chopped spring onions and a drizzle of sesame oil.

    Seaweed Egg Drop Soup

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  5. Enjoy.

Recipe Variations

  • Add 1 teaspoon of dried baby shrimp.
  • Add fresh, frozen, or drained canned corn.
  • Add chopped bok choy.
  • Add fresh mushrooms such as shiitake, oyster, or clamshell mushrooms.

Why Stir the Soup Clockwise?

The method of stirring the soup clockwise while you add the beaten eggs is to create a "whirlpool," causing the broth to move in a swirling motion. This helps to create the ribbons of egg; the classic technique calls for using chopsticks to stir the broth.