3.06.2013

Middle School Memories

I hadn’t planned on writing today but my dinner ended up being so quick and so comforting that I wanted to share it. I made egg flower soup, in Chinese restaurants a similar version is often called egg drop soup but this is slightly different. The base of this recipe is one I’ve been making since I was about thirteen, I learned it from my middle school home ec. teacher, Mrs. Ikkanda. It was one of my favorite classes because it involved cooking and that has always come naturally to me, it's just always been about the food with me. My most vivid memory from that class was the way she showed us to drizzle the egg into the hot broth to give it the strand like appearance then a few classes later she warned us about tempering our cold egg into the hot mixture that would become chocolate pudding, saying she didn’t want to see any egg flower puddings. The memory still makes me laugh, and I still think of her when I make pudding from scratch.  

The basic recipe as I recall it was essentially a can of chicken broth, a few whisked eggs, and scallions. I haven’t deterred too much from the recipe over the years since its basic three ingredient method has always been simple and adored, but tonight inspiration struck and this hybrid has been my best rendition of it yet. I added a leek that’s been sitting in my fridge, patiently waiting to be turned into something yummy, some white miso to enrich and finished it with sesame oil. There's just an indescribable quality about leeks that is so fantastic, it added depth to the soup and also an elegance that I can't quite pin. The soup was simple, filling and warmed the soul on a dreary day. 


Mrs. Ikkanda’s Egg Flower Soup 2.0 
2 meal size servings or 4 appetizer servings 

Ingredients
1 leek sliced, white and pale green part only 
3 eggs, beaten 
3ish TBSP white miso
1 can of chicken broth plus two cups of water
Toasted sesame oil
Scallions to garnish (optional)

Method:
In a pot sauté leeks in about one tablespoon sesame oil on medium heat until wilted, about five minutes. Add chicken broth and water and bring to a simmer, cover and cook 10 minutes or until leeks are soft. Bring broth up to a boil and slowly drizzle in eggs, gently stir in long circular motions with chopsticks or a fork until egg “flowers” set up, you're looking for long stands of eggs rather than small scrambled egg curds. Take soup off heat. 

Add miso to a small bowl and ladle some broth into it, mix with the back of a spoon or a small whisk until dissolved and add back into pot. Keep warm on a low flame but do not boil again, it will cause the miso to become grainy.

Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with scallions finish with a light drizzle of toasted sesame seed oil. For those who like a little spice, I stirred a few spoonfuls of Sambal into my bowl and it was heavenly. 

I apologize for the half eaten bowl, it didn't occur to me to take a picture of it until I after I had already gotten most of the way through it. Let's just call it my artistic vision.

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