Egg drop soup is Kakitamajiru in Japanese. It is a very simple clear soup with only a few main ingredients yet, is packed with Umami flavour and tastes so sophisticated. I am going to share a few tips to make this egg drop soup like a pro.
Japanese Egg drop soup ingredients
This egg drop soup recipe calls mainly on bonito flakes for making good flavourful dashi stock. You only need soy sauce to season and I will talk more about the soy sauce I use in a separate paragraph. Then the main ingredients eggs and scallions to garnish. You also need potato starch to make this soup a little thick and so that the beaten eggs will flow evenly in the soup.
Bonito Dashi stock
In my humble opinion, Japanese egg drop soup concentrates the essence of simple but flavourful Japanese cuisine. Because this soup only requires a few ingredients, it is very important to make dashi soup perfectly. You need 4% Bonito flake to water volume. I used 20g of Bonito flake for 500 ml water to make Bonito (Katsuo) Dashi.
How to make perfect Bonito Dashi for Egg drop soup
You need to add bonito flake to the water in a saucepan just before the water boils. When you see tiny air bubbles form at the bottom of the saucepan, add bonito flakes and turn the heat off straight away and wait for a few minutes. If you drop the bonito flake into boiling water, the fish odour may come out. Leaving bonito flakes in the saucepan makes bonito dashi taste mellow.
Usukuchi shoyu (light coloured soy sauce)
Soy sauce is classified into 5 types by JAS ( Japan agricultural standard). Usukuchi soy sauce is light coloured soy sauce and often used in delicately presented Japanese dishes such as Chawanmushi. When the presentation is important because often people eat by their “eyes” and we don’t want to too much brown colour to the dish, Japanese use usukuchi which is lighter in colour. Though lighter in colour does not mean lighter in sodium content. The sodium content is higher than thicker coloured soy sauce. I explained this in depth in 5 Japanese essential condiments and seasonings.
Tips for making perfect Japanese egg drop soup
- The key point is to make dashi perfectly.
- Add potato starch and water mixture before the egg added so that the egg does not sink and also does not float. The egg perfectly distributed into the soup.
- Gently and slowly pour beaten eggs and count 5, then gently and slowly stir the soup. If you stir too early, eggs will make the soup cloudy.
What does Kakitamajiru mean?
Kakitamajiru is one of sumashijiru with eggs. Kaki means to stir and tama refers to tamago (eggs). So basically, Kakitamajiru is clear stirred egg soup. This was the Japanese egg drop soup recipe that I have learnt in home ec lesson when I was in primary school. I vividly remember that I was amazed at how the egg distributed so evenly. It did not sink nor were there big chunks of eggs floating on the surface of the soup. This is because of the potato starch trick!
Japanese egg drop soup - Kakitamajiru
Bonito Flake Dashi Stock *1
- 500 ml water
- 20 g Bonito Flake "Hanakatsuo"
Egg drop soup "Kakitamajiru"
- 1 tsp usukuchi soy sauce
- 1 tsp katakuriko
- 2 tsp water
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp chopped scallions to garnish
Bonito Flake Dashi Stock
- Place 500 ml water in a saucepan over medium heat.
- When small air bubbles form at the bottom of the saucepan, add bonito flakes to the saucepan and turn the heat off immediately.
- Leave the bonito flakes in the hot water for a few minutes.
- Place a kitchen paper towel in a sieve over a jug. Drain the bonito flakes.
- Squeeze more bonito flake dashi stock out with your hands. *2
Egg Drop Soup "Kakitamajiru"
- Place the dashi stock in a saucepan and bring it to simmer.
- Add usukuchi soy sauce.
- In a small bowl mix katakuriko and water.
- Add katakuriko mixture into the saucepan and stir.
- Break two eggs in a small bowl and beat the eggs.
- Pour the eggs into the saucepan gently and count to 5, then stir gently.
- Turn the heat off and garnish with mitsuba, or green shallots. *3