America's Test Kitchen LogoCook's Country LogoCook's Illustrated Logo
Cooking Tips

How to Make Egg Ribbons in Soup

Avoid a bowl full of scrambled mush by using a cornstarch slurry. 

Published June 21, 2023.

Chinese soups such as egg drop, hot and sour, and chicken and corn all have one luxurious thing in common.

Egg ribbons.

When done right, they’re a mouthful of silky, delicate goodness.

But they can be done wrong. Quickly dump in a whisked egg and all youre left with is a pile of scrambled egg mush.

The key is to take your time . . .

. . . and make a cornstarch slurry.

Sign up for the Notes from the Test Kitchen newsletter

Our favorite tips and recipes, enjoyed by 2 million+ subscribers!

Kevin Pang and his dad Jeffrey, from our popular YouTube series Hunger Pangs, explain it best. Combine ½ teaspoon of cornstarch with 1 teaspoon of water and whisk in one whole egg.

The cornstarch slurry acts as a thickener, providing more structure to the egg. That way your ribbons stay intact once added to the soup.

New Release!

A Very Chinese Cookbook

Equally happy cooking American Chinese takeout or Sichuan banquet fare, James Beard Award- winning writer Kevin Pang and his father Jeffrey offer a wide-ranging and affectionately irreverent look at Chinese cooking.

Once you’ve made your egg mixture, just follow these steps.

  1. Turn off the heat.
  2. Slowly drizzle in your egg mixture with a soup spoon in a circular motion.
  3. Let it sit for one minute.
  4. Stir to break up your glorious egg ribbons.

Watch this video from Hunger Pangs to see just how it’s done.

This is a members' feature.