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What makes egg drop soup so popular?


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The "Hong Kong" volume in the Lonely Planet World Food Guides series, by Richard Sterling and Elizabeth Chong, has a page (page 55), including a recipe, devoted to egg-drop soup. It begins:
Daan Fa Tong (Egg Flower Soup)

Also called egg drop soup, this soup is very popular in Hong Kong . . .

Of the 21 days I spent in Hong Kong and looking at menus in every Chinese restaurant I ate at, I did not find egg drop soup offered on their menus. Perhaps time has changed and the taste of the society has changed. Perhaps it is an evolution happened outside of China. I don't know how one can describe something as "very popular" when it cannot be found or had. Or at least change the verb from "is" to a past-tense.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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A bit of casual googling for "蛋花湯" seems to point me to an awful lot of Taiwanese websites. I wonder if it's now "popular" there (as a thing on its own) and no longer in HK. I maintain my claim that the complementary soup popular in HK is a close relative of what we'd call "egg drop soup," though.

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I do remember seeing the crab and corn soup quite often in Hong Kong....is that a variant on egg drop? I certainly enjoy eating that stuff. I don't recall seeing anything any vaguely like egg drop in mainland China, but then again, I wasn't looking.

I've never liked Egg Drop here in the states (can't even remember eating it before, actually,) though I do love hot and sour if done right. But a lot of places really butcher the hell out of hot and sour, so you have to be careful.

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Egg drop soup always remind me of a poor man's bird's nest soup. Same look, same texture and taste. Maybe these 2 soups are related?

I'm sitting here watching another snowfall and thinking about "dan fah tong". (and repeating what all's been said before... :rolleyes: )

In China, there are soups that have egg swirled in at the last minute - more for presentation and as a thickener than as a star ingredient.

So, the "famous" Egg Drop Soup" found here in N.A. just grew out of that. The more exotic ingredients such as shark fin, crab, were not available to many who cooked Chinese food for the masses, so local ingredients such as mushrooms, other vegetables were added(much cheaper). The soup can't be called anything BUT egg drop soup, so the name stuck, and everyone became familiar with it.

The simple name is not very threatening to anyone trying out Chinese food. When we try something new, liked it, it stays in our memory - often as comfort food.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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