Regarding soothing, comforting food, few dishes can beat a steaming bowl of chicken and sweetcorn soup. It's a definite winter warmer, a tantalising twist on the traditional chicken soup or chicken broth we are used to eating in Europe and the US.
This is sweetcorn soup, Chinese chicken style, with tons of Asian flavor running through it. The best part is that this Chinese chicken and sweetcorn soup only takes twenty minutes to prepare.
Unlike the slow-cooked chicken soup that takes hours to cook in a crockpot, this Chinese soup recipe is fast and straightforward – so forget about ordering a Chinese takeaway!
With this recipe, you can make your very own Chinese fakeaway in the comfort of your own kitchen in just a matter of minutes. Moreover, you can use leftovers from a chicken or a smoked turkey in your fridge to make this delicious soup.
Why you'll love this chicken and sweetcorn soup recipe
- Soothing and tasty with so many wonderful flavors.
- Easy to prepare, and it only takes 20 minutes.
- Makes a great alternative to traditional British soups.
- Full of fresh ingredients to give you a boost.
There are a few essential pieces of kitchen equipment you'll need before you get started:
- Large saucepan – get yourself a sturdy saucepan to make your Chinese chicken soup
- Kitchen knife and chopping board – essential for preparing your ingredients
- Food processor – a soup maker’s best friend. You could also use a hand blender
- Soup ladle – every kitchen should have one of these
- Soup bowls – serve up your soup in style
How to make chicken and sweetcorn soup
Gently fry the garlic and ginger in a bit of oil.
Tip in the sweetcorn and stir fry with the soy sauce for another few minutes.
Pour in the chicken stock and let it simmer.
Add the shredded chicken. Make a cornstarch slurry and drizzle it into the soup while stirring constantly. The soup will thicken.
When the soup is bubbling, drizzle in the whisked egg and gently stir so that ribbons form. Serve immediately, garnished with scallions.
When adding the egg, stir the soup constantly to create delicate egg ribbons.
What to serve with chicken and sweetcorn soup
You could also make something a little different. Instead of going for a plain loaf, pesto stuffed bread brings a whole different flavour angle that works well with most soups.
The best toppings for this Chinese chicken and sweetcorn soup are the classic Asian toppings. These include a few bean sprouts and fresh coriander or parsley leaves.
Feel free to cut fresh red chilies and sprinkle them over for a kick. You can also add fresh chives, even more, spring onions, or fresh mushrooms for an earthier flavor.
Finally, I love to add a splash of lemon or lime juice for a bit of acidity. Again, make this Chinese soup your own and add your favorite soup toppings!
A South African Chenin Blanc would be the perfect wine pairing for this soothing soup.
Variations to this recipe
If the chicken soup lacks filling, even though it has lots of protein, you can still add egg noodles. Consider using the noodles as I did in this Asian recipe.
Alternatively, you can also use rice noodles, which are a bit thinner and more appropriate for this Chinese soup. In authentic Chinese cuisine, most soups are made with noodles.
Add a diced chili pepper or a few dashes of hot sauce for a spicy kick.
Replace chicken with shrimp or a seafood mix for a different flavor.
Include diced carrots, peas, or bamboo shoots for additional textures and flavors. You can also use green vegetables such as bok choy, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, or similar.
I also like including mustards because they pair excellently with the chicken stock. Feel free to throw in your favorite vegetables.
Add a small amount of cream or coconut milk towards the end of cooking for a creamier texture. I recommend blending the cream, chicken stock, and sweetcorn together with a blender before adding any other ingredients.
Some people also like to make a version with unscented coconut milk. However, this makes it more of a Thai chicken soup.
Make it healthier
This soup is already light in calories and quite nutritional. However, if you're extra cautious about calories, you can adapt this soup to make it even healthier.
First, to make this soup more filling but light, add courgetti instead of noodles. Courgetti is a great low-carb alternative to noodles and is delicious when added to soups. You can also consider using a light soy sauce instead of the standard kind.
Most importantly, to cut down on the sugar content of the dish, limit the amount of sweetcorn used. You can also choose not to include the sweetcorn at all.
Ensure the soy sauce is gluten-free, or substitute it with tamari.
Frozen or canned corn can be used instead of fresh sweetcorn kernels.
Sesame oil can be substituted with another vegetable oil, although it will slightly change the flavor profile.
- Use homemade chicken stock. The flavour will be deeper and more authentic and you'll end up with a beautiful taste.
- Use toasted sesame oil for a touch of authenticity.
- Don't cook the soup on too high a heat. The key is patience. Let the soup cook away on a simmer, allowing the flavors to develop slowly.
- Try to use fresh garlic and ginger and organic chicken breasts. Quality ingredients will produce a better-tasting soup.
- Ensure the cornflour is fully dissolved in water before adding to the soup to avoid lumps.
What's in chicken and sweetcorn soup?
However, you won't ruin the soup's integrity if you don't have these at home. Ultimately, what gives this Chinese soup its nutritional value and originality is the addition of egg. Known as an egg drop soup, it uses eggs to bring that delicious creamy consistency and rich flavor.
So, follow the recipe below to make an authentic Chinese chicken and sweetcorn soup. It will taste as if it's been made in China!
What's the best chicken for chicken and sweetcorn soup?
The best soup recipes don't need gourmet ingredients for them to taste out of this world. My secret to making the best Chinese chicken soup is the main ingredient – chicken!
First, as with any chicken recipe, I recommend you brine your chicken beforehand. This way, you'll get the juiciest, most tender meat. The last thing you want is stringy chicken, even if you serve it in soup. So, check out my guide on brining chicken.
Then there's smoked chicken. Have you ever eaten smoked chicken in a salad or a sandwich? It makes all the difference when it comes to adding that rich taste. The same goes for this Chinese chicken and sweetcorn soup.
You can make a whole smoked chicken for dinner and serve it the night before. Then, use any leftovers from the chicken to make this soup.
Smoked chicken is for more than just dinner. You can also make smoked chicken breasts or thighs, pull the meat off, and use it. This way, that unique smoky flavor will permeate the soup, inspiring you to experiment with different flavors and textures.
It will pair very well with the freshness of the spring onions and the sweetness of the corn.
Do you put eggs in chicken and sweetcorn soup?
Yes! It's known as an egg drop soup. Adding an egg makes the soup thick and delicious, bringing a silkier consistency and richer flavour. It's a very common practice in Chinese cuisine.
How do you store Chinese chicken and sweetcorn soup?
How do you reheat this soup?
Reheat gently over low heat to avoid overcooking the eggs and chicken. Add a little water or stock to adjust consistency if the soup has thickened in the fridge.
Sublime soup recipes
Want to try your hand at making some more sensational soups? There's something for everyone in the list below. Which one will you make next?
- Chicken carcass soup – don't let the name put you off! This is gloriously tasty and the perfect leftovers recipe after a big Sunday roast
- Zucchini and leek soup – a vibrant vegan soup, this courgette and leek dish is perfect for a refreshing light lunch
- Wild garlic soup – a garlic lover’s dream! This soup packs in so much flavour
- Leftover turkey soup – leftover recipes don’t get much better than this. Wonderfully warming, with a deep, rich flavour
- Avocado soup – a delicious revitalising recipe that's so easy to make
- Sweet potato and red pepper soup – vegetable soup recipes just don’t get any better than this. Heavenly!