"The ingredients here are healthy and simple, and each one contributes to the flavor profile and color contrast," says Chef Martin Yan. The northern Chinese soup is versatile too; omit the chicken to make it vegetarian, or add fresh water chestnuts for more texture.

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Recipe Summary

1 hr
Serves 6 (makes 3 qts.) (serving size: 2 cups)


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Soak mushrooms in a bowl with 1 1/2 cups warm water until pliable, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove mushrooms, saving liquid. Snip out stems with scissors and discard. Slice mushrooms diagonally 1 in. wide, then diamond cut.

  • Meanwhile, lay chicken flat on a work surface and slap with the side of a Chinese chef's knife to flatten to 1/4 in. Cut into lengthwise strips about 1/2 in. wide, then diamond cut. "I use 1 portion of meat for 3 or 4 portions of vegetables," Yan notes.

  • In a bowl, combine chicken with cornstarch, 1 tbsp. soy sauce, and 1/2 tsp. white pepper. Set aside.

  • Bring broth, mushroom soaking liquid, and ginger to a boil in a large covered pot over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high and add carrots and mushrooms. "Don't throw in everything together or it will be overcooked. In Chinese cooking, you want everything to have crunch."

  • Cook, covered, for 5 minutes, then add onion, celery, and zucchini. Cover, return to a low boil, and cook until onion is tender-crisp, 2 to 3 minutes.

  • Add chicken, tomato, cilantro stems, remaining 1/4 tsp. white pepper and 2 tsp. soy sauce, the salt, and oil to taste. Cook, covered, until chicken is cooked through, 3 minutes more.

  • Using chopsticks or a fork, whisk eggs in a bowl until whites are completely blended but not so much that they foam. "If they foam, they will float on top and be messy," Yan cautions.

  • Turn off heat under soup. Stirring it very slowly with a ladle, gradually pour in eggs. Garnish with cilantro sprigs.

  • *To peel tomato, cut into wedges and slide a sharp knife between peel and flesh.

Nutrition Facts

141 calories; calories from fat 26%; protein 12g; fat 4.1g; saturated fat 1g; carbohydrates 14g; fiber 2g; sodium 1201mg; cholesterol 95mg.