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Cooking Experiment: Asian-style Spinach Egg Drop Broth

I’m a massive fan of broth and with these cold wintery days, I’m definitely feeling it’s broth season! There’s a weekly market that sells fresh veggies nearby and I recently bought 2 bunches of spinach for a reduced price as they were about to pack up. I didn’t know what to cook with them because they weren’t the usual packs of salad-ready leaves.

So, I thought I would make a broth with them because my mum always used to make some sort of spinach broth (which I hated but am I willing to try again). I googled spinach broth and a post about egg-drop spinach broth came up. Then, I thought of a delicious broth I’d tried at a hot pot restaurant which had dried shrimp, tomatoes, and wolfberries so I thought, let’s do a mash up of spinach & egg-drop soup, with the dried shrimp soup!

I did a quick google to get a bit of an idea of how to make the broth and I came across this ‘Chinese Spinach Soup with Wolfberries & Garlic‘ recipe and this ‘Egg Drop Soup‘ recipe to use as inspiration.

For this cooking mash-up, of course I must rope Juan into attempting this culinary experiment with me! Also, we had the idea of cooking together before so this simple recipe was an easy starting point. I can imagine that the broth will taste delicious, but if it doesn’t, I must drag him down with me >:D.

Ingredients:

Before
Before
  • 3 eggs, whipped
  • 2 medium-large tomatoes, sliced
  • Handful of dried anchovies/dried shrimp
  • 1 bunch/250g of spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 500ml water
  • 1 tbsp wolfberries
  • 1/2 tbsp soya sauce
  • Pinch of salt

I jotted down this ingredients list after combining the 2 recipes so that we could use this as a shopping list. However, Juan is living in a small town in Germany where things are sold seasonally and there’s also not that many ‘exotic’ foods in regular supermarkets so he wasn’t able to pick up any dried anchovies/shrimp or wolfberries. Since he couldn’t get any (and because I was too lazy to go to the Chinese shop), we decided to omit the dried anchovies/shrimp and the wolfberries. Those are arguably the 2 key ingredients but NEVERMIND.

Instructions:

1. Wash the spinach. My mum advised me to soak the spinach in salt water because it wasn’t one of the supermarket packs which are ready-to-eat. (My mum said when they used to buy spinach in Hong Kong, they always had to do this in case some of the blood sucking insects were still on the spinach. Thank goodness I took my mum’s advice though because the spinach actually had SO MANY tiny little black bugs hidden around the leaves. I had to practically give each individual leaf and stem a massage in salt water to get rid of all the bugs! D: It was disgusting. Juan managed to find frozen spinach so he did not have to go through this struggle.)

2. At this point, you would usually add the dried anchovies/shrimp but obviously we had to skip this step. Add the spinach into the water and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to medium and add the sliced tomatoes.

3. Add the wolfberries (that is, if you *ahem* had them) and garlic (the recipe called for 2 cloves of garlic but because we are massive fans of garlic and possibly vampire hunters, we went for 3).

4. Add the soya sauce and salt to taste. As you can tell by now, we didn’t follow the ingredients very well. Since I didn’t have any dried shrimp/anchovies, I used some fish sauce which is apparently made from anchovies.

5. Slowly pour the whipped egg into the broth whilst stirring the broth to create ‘ribbons’ of egg.

6. Eat your experiment over skype together and rate your cooking!

Ratings:

Now for the fun part, rating our cooking…

Appearance

Juan: 6/10

Pinki: 6/10 – At one point, my egg drop ‘ribbons’ were looking really beautiful but I think my mistake was letting the broth boil again, at which point, the silky egg ribbons turned into scrambled eggs -.-“

Taste

Juan: 8/10

Pinki: 7/10 – I felt that it tasted very healthy, but I think the missing wolfberries and dried shrimp left it a little bland. I had to add a lot more salt and soya sauce to get it tasting like how I imagined it to taste.

Ease of cooking

Juan: 9/10

Pinki: With regular spinach: 9/10, with the bunches of spinach I had to scrub: 6/10 – I spent over half an hour washing those leaves individually D:

Final comments

Juan: Very east and tasty recipe. Only the ingredients could be a bit difficult to find, but great fun and fast to cook 🙂 I liked it!

Pinki: I felt so healthy after having this broth. I definitely want to try this again but with ALL the required ingredients! Also, I think I overcooked the broth so next time I won’t let it boil over so crazily!

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