[Photograph: Diana Kuan]

Diana Kuan's egg drop soup in The Chinese Takeout Cookbook is a simple affair. Her broth is flavored with just a bit of ginger, rice wine, white pepper, and sugar; bolstered with meaty dried shiitakes; and thickened (just barely) with a cornstarch slurry. The broth's simplicity allows the just-set sunny egg to shine. Turning off the heat while stirring in the egg keeps its texture tender and light.

Why I picked this recipe: There's something magical about that moment when you stir beaten egg into hot soup.

What worked: Simple and well-balanced, this is a shining example of the form.

What didn't: No problems here.

Suggested tweaks: Kuan suggests adding additional meat and/or vegetables to the soup to bulk it up for a main course. I think a soup with spinach or bok choy and some cubes of tofu would be particularly nice (and good for spring).

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Chinese Takeout Cookbook to give away this week.

About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer and personal chef living in Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American, Berkeleyside NOSH, and blogs at cookingwolves.wordpress.com.


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