This Chinese chicken corn soup is super easy to make, takes only 15 minutes, and is loaded with chicken, corn, and wispy egg drop flowers. It's a lightly seasoned, comforting soup that's naturally gluten free and similar to the classic takeout egg drop soup — perfect as a light lunch or a chili day! You can also try our hot and sour soup for a soup with a bit of tang and kick.
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What is chicken corn soup?
Chicken corn soup also goes by a few other name variations, but the most well known alternative name is chicken and corn egg drop soup. It's basically the classic egg drop soup, full of wispy egg drop flowers, with the addition of tender chicken pieces and sweet corn.
Our chicken corn soup recipe is simplified so that it's easy to make at home, takes only 15 minutes, and tastes amazing!
Please scroll down to the recipe card for the ingredient quantities!
- Chicken stock or water - Chicken stock is the best choice because it yields the most flavorful chicken corn soup but is also more nutritious. However, in a pinch, water is fine too.
- Chicken - We recommend chopping up skinless, boneless chicken breast because the flavor is cleaner. It will be marinated and velveted with water, salt, cornstarch, and oil to ensure the chicken stays tender and juicy.
- Sweet corn - Can sweet corn is our go-to because it's convenient and available all year round. But fresh or frozen sweet corn works too.
- Egg - For the egg drop flowers in the soup.
- Seasonings - The chicken corn soup is simply seasoned with salt, chicken bouillon powder to fortify the chicken flavor, and a little sugar to round out the flavor.
- Yellow food coloring or turmeric powder - Adding either are optional and only needed if you wish to get the iconic yellow color for the soup. For the yellow food coloring, we like to use the Buttercup Yellow color.
- Cornstarch slurry - This is simply a mix of cornstarch and water (cold or room temperature). It's for thickening the soup.
- Toasted sesame oil and green onion - Both are optional but highly recommended to add extra layers of flavor to the soup. Green onion also adds color and is also used as garnish.
How to make chicken corn soup
Please scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe and instructions!
1. Prepare chicken. In a bowl, mix together the chopped chicken, water, and salt until most of the water is absorbed.
Then add the cornstarch and mix until no more dry cornstarch is visible. Finish by adding oil and mixing until combined.
2. Make soup base. Into a pot or saucepan, add the stock or water, salt, chicken bouillon powder, sugar, sweet corn, and optionally yellow food coloring or turmeric powder. Bring it to a boil.
3. Cook the chicken. When the soup comes to a boil, add the marinated chicken into the soup all at once and immediately stir with a fork or chopsticks to break it up. Let the chicken cook for about 30 seconds or until cooked through.
4. Thicken soup. Once the chicken is cooked, reduce the soup to a simmer and give the cornstarch slurry a good mix. While stirring the soup, drizzle in the slurry. Allow the soup to simmer for 15 to 30 seconds or until thickened.
🌟 Pro tip: If you feel more comfortable, take the saucepan off of the heat while you stir in the slurry. Also don't pour the cornstarch slurry straight into the soup. Make sure to drizzle it into the soup while stirring. Both will ensure that the slurry properly thickens the stock and not turn into chunks of cooked cornstarch.
5. Make egg drops. To make the egg drop flowers, slowly drizzly the beaten egg into the thickened soup in a circular motion.
🌟 Pro tip: If you want thinner, wispy egg drops, stir the soup immediately after drizzling in the eggs or gently stir the soup while add the eggs. For thick ribbons of egg drop, let the soup sit for a few seconds before stirring. This gives the eggs time to cook and form ribbons.
6. Finish and enjoy. Stir in some sesame oil and sliced green onions. Garnish with more green onions and enjoy!
- Make sure to stir the slurry before use. When the slurry sits, the cornstarch tends to settle to the bottom. So make sure to stir up the slurry before using to properly thicken the soup.
- Stir the chicken vigorously after adding. It is important to break up the chicken immediately after adding it to the soup. If not, the chicken will stay clumped together. The best utensil for this are chopsticks but a fork will do too.
- The size of the chicken pieces will affect how long it takes to cook. Try to keep the chopped chicken pieces around ¼ inch diced pieces. If the pieces are too large, it will take longer than the recommended time to cook.
Leftover chicken corn soup can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Just make sure to cool the soup completely before storing.
This chicken corn soup can be easily reheated on the stovetop or microwave.
Stovetop method: Place the soup into a saucepan and bring to a high simmer over medium to medium high heat, stirring occasionally. If the soup is too thin at this point, take the soup off the heat and stir in some cornstarch slurry while stirring the soup. Bring it back to a boil until thickened.
Microwave method: Heat the leftover soup in a microwave safe container until bubbling and hot. If the soup is too thin at this point, drizzle in some cornstarch slurry and mix well. Microwave until the soup is hot, bubbling, and thickened.
📝 Note: Slurry thickened soup can sometimes become thin after sitting. To re-thicken, simply add more slurry as instructed above. The amount of slurry needed depends on how much soup there is and how thin the soup is. We recommend starting with 1 tablespoon of slurry, which is a mix of ½ tablespoon cornstarch and ½ tablespoon water.
This Chinese chicken corn soup is made of chicken stock, velveted chicken breast, sweet corn, seasonings, egg, sesame oil, and green onions.
Yes! Chicken corn soup, similar to its simpler counterpart — classic egg drop soup, is known for its wispy egg drop flowers, which are made with eggs.
The ideal thickener for chicken corn soup is cornstarch. A slurry made by combining cornstarch and water is added to the soup to thicken it. If you prefer not using cornstarch, potato starch is a good substitute.
No — toasted sesame oil is an optional but highly recommended ingredient that adds a nice toasted, nutty flavor the soup.
Chicken Corn Soup
For the egg drop soup:
- 4 cups unsalted chicken stock or water
- ½ cup can sweet corn drained
- 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
- 3-5 drops yellow food coloring optional for coloring (you can also use gel food coloring or ground turmeric)* see notes
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch mix every 3TBSP with 2TBSP water to make slurry
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil optional
- 1 stalk green onion sliced (plus more for garnish)
For the chicken:
- 6 ounces skinless boneless chicken breast chopped into small diced pieces
- 1 tablespoon water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon oil any neutral oil
- Prepare the chicken:In a bowl, mix together the chopped chicken, water, and salt until well combined and most of the water is absorbed.
- Add the cornstarch and mix until no more dry cornstarch is visible. Finish by adding the oil and mixing until combined. Set aside to marinate until needed.
- Make the chicken corn soup:In a medium saucepan, add the chicken stock or water, sweet corn, chicken bouillon powder, salt, sugar, food coloring or turmeric powder. Bring to a boil.
- Once the soup is boiling, add the prepared chicken all at one time and immediately stir vigorously with a fork or chopsticks to break up the chicken. Allow the chicken to cook for about 30 seconds or until cooked.
- When the chicken is cooked, reduce the heat so that the soup is at a simmer and give the cornstarch slurry a good stir. While stirring the soup, drizzle in the slurry. Then, let the soup simmer until thickened, about 15 to 30 seconds.
- Once the soup has thickened, slowly drizzle in the beaten eggs around the saucepan in a circular motion. Stir up the soup and add sesame oil and sliced green onions.For thin egg drops: Stir the soup while pouring in the eggs or wait for a second or two before stirring the soup. The sooner and more you stir the soup, the thinner and wispier the egg drops will be.For thick egg drops: After drizzling in the egg, let the soup sit for a few seconds before stirring. The longer you wait, the thicker the egg ribbons will be.
- Top the soup with more sliced green onions if you wish and serve! The soup will be super hot, so be careful and wait a few moments before enjoying.
- Food coloring - The iconic yellow color can be achieved by either using food coloring or some turmeric powder. Both liquid or gel food color are great. If you're using turmeric powder, use about ¼ teaspoon per recipe.