remember at the beginning of the year when i said i would make more asian dishes, try different techniques and ingredients? yeah, sorry about that. there was no way to tell that i would be kitchen burned out, or that i would meet someone who would take over the cooking duties while i got over myself. i'm still not completely over my funk, but my cravings for asian food have been strong as of late. as a result, i present this soup that has two key elements that i love: soft boiled eggs and tomato soup.
Spicy Tomato Egg Drop Soup
adapted from the complete vietnamese cookbook by Ghillie Basan
2 TBLS ground nut or veggie oil
1 medium red onion, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 thai chilies, seeded and finely sliced
1 oz galangal, shredded
6 large, ripe tomatoes, skinned, seeded and finely chopped
1 TBL sugar
2 TBL nuoc mam
4 lime leaves
3 ¾ cups chicken stock
1 TBL wine vinegar
sea salt and ground black pepper
for the garnish
chili oil, for drizzling
1 small bunch fresh coriander, finely chopped
1 small bunch mint leaves, finely chopped
heat the oil in a wok or heavy pan. stir in the onions, garlic, chillies, and galangal and cook until golden and fragrant. add the tomatoes with the sugar, nuoc mam and lime leaves. stir until it resembles a sauce. pour in the stock and bring to a boil. reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. season.
the soup is very tasty without the eggs and could be served as a spicy tomato soup on its own.
just before serving, bring a wide pan of water to a boil. add the vinegar and half a teaspoon of salt. break the eggs into individual cups or small bowls.
stir the water rapidly to create a swirl and drop an egg into the center of the swirl. follow immediately with the others, or poach two at a time and keep the water boiling to throw the whites up over the yolks. turn off the heat, cover the pan and leave to poach until firm enough to lift. poached eggs are traditional but could use lightly fried eggs instead.
using a slotted spoon, lift the eggs out of the water & slip them into the hot soup. drizzle a bit of the chili oil over the eggs, sprinkle with the coriander and mint, and serve.
This is my entry for Delicious Vietnam, a monthly blogging event to celebrate Vietnamese cuisine created by Anh of Food Lovers Journey and Hong & Kim of the Ravenous Couple. Jing of My Fusion Kitchen was this month's host.