Sunday, 18 November 2012

Recipe: Chinese Style Knackered Sweetcorn Soup

Rescued corn
Since we harvested the underdeveloped cobs of corn  from our sweetcorn plants nearly a month ago, they've sat in a cupboard awaiting instruction. The need to do something with them became a bit more urgent yesterday when I noticed fluffy growths of mould growing over some of the cobs. Most of the cobs were retrievable; the smallest ones were like baby corn and I chopped the whole things up. I stripped the corn off the larger ones, it came away quite easily. If you don't have any knackered old sweetcorn for this recipe, I'm sure fresh stuff would be just as good...


I ended up with 275g of usable corn. I've always had a bit of a thing for that really gloopy sweetcorn soup you get in chinese restaurants. Many an all you can eat MSG-fest has started off with a little plastic bowl full of that almost gummy muck: good times. I thought it'd be good to make a slightly fresher, less smutty version of it, but on scouring a bunch of recipes online none of them seemed to be quite what I was after so I decided to freestyle it. Here's what I went and done:

Mise en potage. Ginger and chilli not pictured, I'd forgot about them at this point.


  • 275g fresh sweetcorn. Tinned would be fine too I'm sure.
  • 2 banana shallots, finely sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 inch pice of ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 or 2 chillies, to taste, finely sliced
  • Sesame oil
  • Dark soy sauce
  • About 75 mls shaosing rice wine (dry sherry works alright as a replacement)
  • 2 tablespoons of cornflour, well mixed with 5 tablespoons of cold water
  • 2 eggs. Free range unless you're some kind of monster, in which case caged will do fine
  • 1 litre hot chicken stock, made with 1 and a half stock cubes. Fresh stock would've been better, but I didn't have a chicken carcass lying around the place, nor a spare three hours in which to boil it up.


Sweat the shallots, garlic and ginger in a large heavy bottomed pan, in a good splash of sesame oil. I know you're not meant to fry in it, but what they hell, it tastes and smells great. When everything is soft, add the rice wine and let it bubble up. Add the sweetcorn, give everything a good stir, and cook for just a minute. It'll look summat like this.

allotment blog

Pour in the stock, followed by the slaked cornflour.  Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the sweetcorn becomes suitably tender. You might want to add the cornflour a bit at a time, until you get the texture that you want in the soup. 

allotment blog
Hubble bubble... sweetcorn and trouble?
When the sweetcorn is cooked have a taste, then add a splash of soy sauce, a splash more of sesame oil and the same of rice wine, to taste. Add the chopped chillies, give everything a good stir, then turn the heat right down.

allotment blog

Beat the eggs in a jug, then pour these into the soup, stirring as you go. Turn up the heat briefly. You should end up with strands of egg which further thicken the soup as they cook.

That's it! I just had a bowl and it's bloody great. Pleasingly viscous (there's a phrase you don't hear much), but fresh tasting, with the ginger and chillies giving it a bit of a kick. I've just realised that some chopped spring onions and maybe some sesame seeds on top might have improved it further. Let's just say I did both of those, alright? Cheers.

newcastle blog
Soup. Not much of a looker, but tastes like magic. Sweetcorn flavoured magic, that is.


  1. Sounds great and 'winging it' is certainly my style of cooking.....I definitely think some greens would have been good to add, some dark green cabbage stirred though near the end of cooking would have given a lovely crunch!!

    Perfect for a cold winters day!

    1. You're right, some cabbage or maybe some kale would've been great, although would've steered it away from the all-you-can-eat style Chinese soup I was after.


All comments gratefully received. Sorry about the word verification thing, but I've started getting bombed by spam.

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