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Tomato and egg flower soup

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Rod Franklin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Tomato and egg flower soup
    Posted: 14 April 2012 at 14:30
This is a simple, soulful soup that speaks volumes with very few ingredients. Light and delicate;it can hardly be called a meal, but it can certainly be a very important part of one.

This is also my test thread with pictures. This should make the mods happy.Smile It made me happy! Here goes:

1 quart of water
2 eggs, beaten well
4 roma tomatoes or equivalent in another variety, peeled, de-seeded and chopped
1" piece of ginger, skinned and chopped fine
2 green onions, sliced thinly on the bias
Salt
Fish sauce
Sesame oil

The goods:Fish sauce and salt missing.

Put the water on to boil.

Beat the eggs really well with some salt to season the eggs and a little more to season the broth.
 
Very lightly slice a cross into the flower end of your tomatoes.


Once the water is boiling place the tomato in the water stem side down and let it cook for maybe 10 seconds.


Using a slotted spoon, flip the tomato over and let it boil for maybe 10 seconds more, then take it out of the water and onto the cutting board. Turn the heat under the pot down to where the water will barely simmer.


Peel it and de-seed it.


Chop the tomato. Finely dice the ginger. Slice the green onion thinly on a severe bias.


The water should be just barely simmering at this point; like this:


With a fork, get the water spinning in the pot just a little faster than slowly. I hope that made sense. While stirring to maintain this constant speed and always in the same direction, as slowly as possible dribble the eggs into the water till they are all in there. Try not to pour eggs on the fork and pour the eggs into varying places in the pot. Maintain the same speed with the fork and always the same direction for at least another minute after all the eggs are in there so the eggs set. If you allow it to slow down or stop stirring too soon the eggs will clump together. If the water is boiling too hard the eggs will curdle. If you stir too fast the eggs will curdle.  No pictures, as I could not manage it. I tried to take pictures and you can see the result. Clumpy eggs.

Add the ginger and the green onion and the tomato and maybe 1 teaspoon of fish sauce to adjust the seasoning. You DO NOT want to taste the fish sauce, so be careful!




And finally drizzle the sesame oil in to finish.


This stuff is good. It's clean. It has only what needs to be in it.

A note about the pictures and the condition of the egg flowers. This is the first and only time I've tried to make one serving of this soup. So you can see by the pictures that everything is cut in half, even though the recipe is for twice as much.

Don't try to make one serving of this, unless maybe you are making it in a wok or a small, narrow pot. Egg flowers made in a thickened soup or even in a good broth are much easier to make. In plain water you have to play by the rules. In this case two cups of water only resulted in maybe one inch of water in the pot. Too shallow, as the eggs would hit the bottom of the pot before they could possibly make the vertical to horizontal transition to swim freely while they set up. Also, I tried to pour eggs, stir the pot and take a picture at the same time. Not good. Things slowed down and the clumps formed. There is no way back from there. So, make the full recipe and you'll be OK.

This soup and a chicken fried steak will make a great meal. Wink






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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 April 2012 at 14:48
just got back from a little spring fishing (no luck) and am on my way out of town for a grocery run, but had to say WOW! great job with the recipe preparation and pix! will write more later - now that you've taken the plunge, i hope you catch the bug!
 
good job!Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 April 2012 at 02:19
I think it looks great just the way it came out!

Thanks for posting a great tutorialThumbs Up
Go ahead...play with your food!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ChrisFlanders Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 April 2012 at 08:08

Quote Rod; "This is also my test thread with pictures. This should make the mods happy. It made me happy! ..."

Well your pictures made me happy too, and we already want more; they look perfect, Rod.

Nice and light tasty soup I presume, with oriental inspiration and flavours. Something to try out, and it looks pretty. I might change the fish sauce though by plunging in a cube of Knorr chickenstock when the salt police and other food extremists aren't watching; don't tell anyone.

What about that round chopping board, Ron, that looks like something really nice?

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Rod Franklin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 April 2012 at 19:46
The chopping board came from an Asian restaurant supply store. It's a solid disk cut off the end of a log. I oil it regularly with mineral oil. I don't know what kind of wood it is. I like it and it looks good.
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Rod Franklin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 April 2012 at 12:06
Chris, try the soup with just salt and water and MSG if you don't want to make it with fish sauce. I've tried to make it with chicken this and chicken that, and it's always been a mistake. I like the fish sauce as it can make a subtle undefinable richness happen without being fishy, and of course it's salty too. The broth should not seem salty when you make it though. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 January 2014 at 16:05
Well, I made this again. This time I didn't try to take pictures while I was stirring in the eggs. Notice that it's quite possible to obtain very nice egg threads in just water, without the need to add thickeners. Thickeners make producing egg threads simple and non-Chinese seem to like thick Chinese soups and expect that, but I believe it's much more realistic to have un-thickened dishes with much less sauce and much more rice.
 

A little bit more about this great soup. I saw it on TV way back when and I taped it on VHS. The tape is long gone but I wrote it all down. The long forgotten host was traveling the Chinese country side where he ended up in the very modest home of a rural Chinese family. These folks kindly invited him and his crew in for what could only have been a very extravagant feast for this obviously poor family. The show host did a fine job of making the recipe ingredients and processes clear to the viewer. There were probably ten courses, including several vegetable, pork, chicken and fish dishes, all cooked over a wood fire. I still have the recipes for some of the other things served that day. Every thing I tried to reproduce from this show were extraordinary.

This soup is essentially based on a ginger tea broth, thus the instruction above to not try to make it a chicken soup. If this was meant to be chicken soup then I'm sure the woman who made it for the visiting Americans would have made it a chicken soup and she did not.

The woman in charge of that rural kitchen knew her stuff and I suspect the host was led there via word of mouth referrals from inquiries made of the locals.

 
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