Saturday, 28 January 2017

Quick Chinese Chicken and Sweetcorn Soup

This tasty soup is so simple to make, it is quicker to rustle it up yourself than pop to your nearest takeaway and bring one back!

Plus when you make it yourself, you know what's in it - and I like to make my version a little more filling and flavourful than the versions I've had in some Chinese eateries, which can err on the side of insipid at times. It's also a great way to use up roast chicken leftovers (although you might need to adjust the calories, if you're counting!).

We had this for our Chinese New Year starter (followed by my favourite of beef in black bean sauce) - the added bonus of making it at home being that I knew it was safe for my daughter to eat as I could guarantee it was gluten free - which won't make a difference to most people, as it's mostly a case of just making sure you use gluten free soy sauce (or tamari) instead. And before anyone says anything, my apologies to anyone of Chinese descent for the authenticity of this soup... it's very popular in the UK!

Serves four people from 195 calories a portion. (A quarter portion weighs around 350g, so you could make them smaller to serve more, e.g. six portions of 235g and reduce the calories to 130 if you like!).


[Calories in square brackets]
  • 110g cooked skinless chicken breast, very finely diced/shredded (or use a 130g whole raw chicken breast, see notes below to poach) [142]
  • 2 x 198g tins sweetcorn (drained weight 165g, keep the liquid!) [254]
  • 2 large eggs [170]
  • 900ml chicken stock (e.g. Knorr is gluten free) [45]
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed [6]
  • 1 inch ginger, grated [4]
  • 1/2 a 15ml tbsp oil [62]
  • 2 spring onions (scallions) [7]
  • 2-3 tbsp / 20-30g cornflour (check GF if necessary) [72-108]
  • Light soy sauce / tamari (ensure GF if necessary) to taste - e.g. I use 2 tbsp [16]
  • Tiny pinch of salt

1. If using a raw chicken breast see notes. Beat eggs with a pinch of salt and set aside. Clean/rinse spring onions of grit, cut down the middle, then finely slice, reserving a few pieces for garnish.

2. Drain the juices from both tins of sweetcorn into a mini blender or similar, and add the kernels from one of the tins. Blitz to a chunky puree and reserve.

3. Gently sautee the garlic and ginger in the oil for a few minutes over a low heat, without colouring it, then add the chicken stock. Bring to the boil, and simmer for a couple of minutes.

Mix 2 tbsp of the cornflour with 50ml of cold water until no lumps remain, then add to the stock, stirring until it thickens.

5. Add the diced / shredded chicken, sweetcorn puree and kernels, and spring onions and bring back to a gentle simmer, then pour in the beaten egg in a thin stream, in a circular motion, stirring in gently with chopsticks, or a large fork.

6. If you want the soup any thicker, then mix the remaining tbsp of cornflour with 25ml of water until smooth and add to the soup, stirring until it thickens. When you are happy with the consistency, add light soy sauce (or tamari), to taste - I add two tbsps.

7. Serve garnished with a little shredded spring onion and enjoy!


If using a raw chicken breast, complete stage 1 and 2, then for stage 3 gently sautee the garlic and ginger in the oil for a few minutes, over a low heat without colouring, then add 900ml cold water and the stock cubes / cold chicken stock, and the raw chicken breast. Bring up to the boil, then turn right down to a gentle simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes until the chicken breast is cooked through. Remove the chicken breast, and finely dice / shred when it is cool enough to handle, and continue from stage 4.

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