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).
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.