Seaweed Soup

Zicai Tang

Preparation info

    Appears in

    Mrs. Chiang’s Szechwan Cookbook

    By Ellen Schrecker

    Published 1976

    • About

    Dinner: Menu

    Seaweed was an expensive luxury food in Szechwan. Mrs. Chiang’s mother used it mainly in mild, delicately seasoned soups that would accentuate its unusual qualities — its salty, sea-like flavor and strange, slippery texture.

    It is no more expensive here than any comparable imported ingredient, and its faintly pungent flavor can become addictive. Our kids like to munch on it between meals; we prefer it in this subtle, easily prepared soup.

    Method

    Preparation

    2 eggs Beat the eggs and set them aside.
    3 scallions Clean the scallions, then chop them, both white part and green, into tiny pieces, about the size of a match head.
    5 sheets seaweed Tear the sheets of seaweed into pieces roughly 2 inches square.

    Cooking

    3 cups water

    ¾ cup chicken broth, canned or fresh

    Bring the water and the chicken broth to a boil in a regular saucepan.

    1 to 2 teaspoons salt, approximately

    (scallions)

    (seaweed)

    Add the salt and the chopped scallions to the boiling soup, then add the seaweed and let it boil for 15 seconds.
    (eggs) Pour in the beaten eggs, making sure, as you do, that you stir the soup vigorously so the eggs will form delicate shreds while they cook and not coagulate into a solid mass.
    ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper As soon as the eggs have cooked, which should be almost immediately, add the pepper and serve the soup at once.