Find out what egg drop soup is, what it’s made of, and if this soup is gluten-free. Plus recipes to make your own gluten-free egg drop soup.
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If you enjoy going to Chinese restaurants and getting a warm bowl of egg drop soup the moment you sit down, you’re not alone. This ritual of starting with this light first course is almost a guarantee at most Chinese restaurants you find yourself in in the U.S.
If you’ve just started with a gluten-free diet or you’ve been at it for a while and are looking for some of those lurking places in your diet that gluten might still be, you may have wondered about egg drop soup.
While it can be tricky to find some gluten-free Chinese food options at restaurants, learning which dishes are gluten-free and which aren’t can help you make easy decisions next time you’re looking at a menu.
In this post, we’re going to talk all about egg drop soup and how it fits in with a gluten-free diet. Find out what egg drop soup is, what it’s made of, and if this popular soup is gluten-free. Plus get a few recipes for you to make your own gluten-free version of egg drop soup at home.
Read on: Gluten-free Chinese food
What is egg drop soup?
Egg drop soup is a type of soup that is commonly served at Chinese restaurants in the U.S. It has a base of chicken broth and seasonings, with eggs whisked or beaten into the soup to create thin strips of egg that float in the soup. Sometimes tofu is added to egg drop soup as well.
Egg drop soup is often a first course at many Chinese restaurants or can be ordered separately as a side dish or starter.
Read on: Is chicken broth gluten-free?
Read on: Gluten-free chicken broth
What is egg drop soup made of?
The main ingredients in egg drop soup are most commonly chicken stock or broth, soy sauce, sesame oil, eggs, fresh chives or scallions, salt, sugar, pepper, yellow food coloring or turmeric for coloring, and cornstarch to thicken the soup.
The yellow food coloring or turmeric is optional, as is the cornstarch and I’ve seen recipes calling for these ingredients saying you can make it both with and without these ingredients.
While egg drop soup can be made with just these ingredients, sometimes tofu is also added for extra texture and protein.
Read on: Is chicken stock gluten-free?
Read on: Is tofu gluten-free?
Read on: Are eggs gluten-free?
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in most wheat products, and acts as the “glue” that helps to hold wheat, barley, kamut, spelt, farro, durum, bulgur, rye, and semolina together to maintain their shape.
Gluten is naturally occurring, and therefore is impossible to strip away from the grain. If a grain naturally has gluten in it, there’s no way to make that food gluten-free.
Especially in processed foods, gluten can be added as a stabilizer or thickening agent.
Is egg drop soup gluten-free?
Egg drop soup can be gluten-free, but it often isn’t. Due to the soy sauce used in this soup as a main ingredient, there’s often gluten when you order egg drop soup from a restaurant.
Traditional Chinese soy sauce contains gluten, so if the soup you are ordering has soy sauce, you’ll want to steer clear of this option on a menu at a Chinese restaurant. If you chat with a server and are told there is no soy sauce in the soup, this may be a safe option for you. Or if the soup is made with gluten-free tamari soy sauce, which is soy based but doesn’t have the added wheat ingredient.
Read on: Is soy sauce gluten-free?
Read on: Top 5 gluten-free soy sauce brands
Can I make my own gluten-free egg drop soup at home?
If you love egg drop soup and are sad to see that most restaurants that serve it use soy sauce which contains gluten, you can still enjoy this soup at home. If you make your own at home, you can choose to use gluten-free tamari soy sauce or coconut aminos instead of traditional Chinese soy sauce.
This will keep your egg drop soup entirely gluten-free and safe to enjoy on a gluten-free diet.
Try one of these recipes to make your own gluten-free egg drop soup:
- Homemade Egg Drop Soup from Veggie Balance
- Low Carb Egg Drop Soup from Whole Lotta Yum
- Gluten-free Egg Drop Soup from Carla’s Gluten-free Recipe Box
- Egg Drop Soup from One Lovely Life
- Gluten-free Healthier Egg Drop Soup from Simply Gluten Free
If you’ve been wondering if egg drop soup from your favorite Chinese takeout restaurant is gluten-free, I hope this information has been helpful for you. While most egg drop soup contains gluten from the soy sauce used, you can make your own at home quickly and easily.