A recipe for Chinese chicken corn soup, Pakistani style. Chicken corn soup is an Indo-Chinese restaurant classic. Make this recipe at home in under 30 minutes and with only a few ingredients! Serve it with soy sauce, vinegar, red chili paste and prawn crackers.
Indo-Chinese food is a fusion of Indian and Chinese flavours and ingredients. Many Indo-Chinese restaurants can be found in Pakistan, India and around the world. The soup I am featuring today is an Indo-Chinese restaurant classic – chicken corn soup. Serve it with dishes such as chicken Manchurian, sweet and sour chicken, and fried rice.
Make this popular Chinese restaurant recipe easily at home. It’s a comforting weeknight meal, particularly in the fall and winter season. Requires just a few ingredients and is ready in less than 30 minutes.
- Stock / Broth – Make your own chicken yakhni (Pakistani style chicken broth) otherwise use store-bought stock or bouillon cube / chicken cube dissolved in water. Vegetable stock can also be used. Keep an eye on the sodium content as certain store-bought brands can be on the saltier side.
- Creamed corn – In case creamed corn isn’t available you can make your own. Take either fresh, canned or frozen corn kernels (thaw before using). Blend half the corn kernels in a blender with a small amount of water or milk till they are pureed, and place in a bowl. Coarsely blend the remaining corn kernels (there should be some chunky pieces still there) and then mix them through the pureed ones. Use in the recipe as directed.
- Soy sauce and vinegar – Adding soy sauce during the cooking process gives a light tinge to the soup. If you prefer a whiter chicken corn soup, add the soy sauce separately in the end.
- Ginger - Ginger adds a spicy, earthy flavor to the soup.
- Corn flour / cornstarch – a cornflour / cornstarch slurry is necessary to thicken the soup. Dissolve the cornflour (or cornstarch) in water, and then add it to the hot soup. It till thicken up in a few seconds.
- Egg – traditionally egg whites are used to thicken up the chicken corn soup, but I prefer using a full egg. Can’t deal with leftover egg yolks.
It takes less than 30 minutes to make this restaurant style chicken corn soup at home.
- Bring the soup to a boil: Add stock, creamed corn, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger and chicken to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, and cook for a few minutes.
- Add cornflour / cornstarch slurry: Dissolve the cornflour / cornstarch slurry in cold water, and then add it to the soup. The soup will start thickening. If the soup hasn’t thickened enough, add a little more slurry.
- Add whisked eggs: Turn off the heat. Whisk the egg in a small bowl, and then add it to hot soup. As the egg cooks, ribbons will form and the soup will also thicken.
- Serve: Serve the soup hot with your choice of condiments and prawn crackers / fish crackers.
Prepare the Chicken
There are many different ways that you can prepare the chicken used in this soup. Season a chicken fillet with garlic paste, salt and black pepper. Then saute it in a pan.
Otherwise you can also boil or poach the chicken. The benefit of poaching the chicken is that the poaching liquid can be used as a stock. Leftover chicken pieces from making chicken yakhni (or chicken broth) can also be used in this recipe.
I usually prepare shredded chicken in bulk, and then store it in packets in the freezer. Anytime I need to make soup, I can just add a packet of the frozen chicken directly to the soup. It thaws in a few minutes easily.
In Pakistan, chicken corn soup is served with its trio of condiments and prawn crackers (or fish crackers). Soy sauce, green chilies in vinegar and red chili paste, which you can add as per personal preference.
For the Pakistani roadside (dhaba) version of chicken corn soup, you can add Slims chips or boiled and chopped up eggs as a garnish. Slims are a super spicy thin matchstick shaped potato chip / potato crisp and add a spicy crunch to the soup.
Chicken corn soup is a delicious starter for an Indo-Chinese themed dinner. As part of the meal, you can serve chicken Manchurian with fried rice, or sweet & sour chicken, chicken chili dry and chili garlic fried rice.
Creamed corn (or cream style corn) is a type of creamed food product made by combining sweetcorn kernels with the pulp of corn kernels. The corn is half pureed and half chunky and is the perfect consistency for chicken corn soup.
Take either fresh, canned or frozen corn kernels (thaw before using). Blend half the corn kernels in a blender with a small amount of water or milk till they are pureed, and place in a bowl. Coarsely blend the remaining corn kernels (there should be some chunky pieces still there) and then mix them through the pureed ones. Use in the recipe as directed.
To make the green chilies in vinegar, cut up 3 – 4 green chilies, and let them sit in about ½ - 1 cup vinegar for about 30 minutes. The infused vinegar can be used in other recipes as well.
There are many versions of chili paste available in the supermarket. For instance, Sambel olek, crushed red chili paste, Sriracha sauce, or crushed chilies in garlic. These are all good options to add in the restaurant style chicken corn soup.
Looking for more soup recipes - check out the following below:
Would love it if you could try out and rate the recipe, and let me know how it was in the comments below!
Chinese Chicken Corn Soup
- 2 ½ cups / 600 ml chicken or vegetable stock / broth (can use store-bought or homemade)
- 1 can (16oz/420g) creamed corn (see note 1)
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce see note 2
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 1 teaspoon ginger minced finely chopped
- 1 cup shredded cooked chicken see note 3
- 1 teaspoon cornflour / cornstarch
- 1 egg whisked
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- Spring onions sliced
- Soy sauce
- Green chilies in vinegar
- Red chili paste
- Boiled eggs optional
- Prawn crackers / fish crackers
- Place the chicken or vegetable stock / broth in a saucepan. Add a can of creamed corn, soy sauce (if using), vinegar, ginger, and chicken. Reserve a tablespoon of the chicken to use as garnish in the end. Bring to a boil, and then cook for about 2 minutes.
- Dissolve the cornflour / cornstarch in cold water to make a slurry, and add this to the soup. Cook the soup for a few minutes, until it thickens. In case desired consistency isn’t reached, another teaspoon of cornflour / cornstarch can be used.
- Add salt and white pepper, and mix through.
- Whisk the egg in a small bowl. Turn the heat off, and then slowly add the egg in the soup. As it cooks, egg ribbons will be created throughout the soup. This step will also thicken the soup.
- Pour the soup into a medium sized bowl, and garnish with sliced spring onions, and the reserved chicken.
- Serve with additional soy sauce, vinegar and red chili paste.
- In case creamed corn isn’t available you can make your own. Take either fresh, canned or frozen corn kernels (thaw before using). Blend half the corn kernels in a blender with a small amount of water or milk till they are pureed, and place in a bowl. Coarsely blend the remaining corn kernels (there should be some chunky pieces still there) and then mix them through the pureed ones. Use in the recipe as directed.
- Adding soy sauce in the cooking process gives a light tinge to the soup, so if you prefer a whiter chicken corn soup skip the soy sauce while the soup is cooking, and serve it separately in the end.
- Basic chicken cooked with salt and black pepper can be used in this recipe. The chicken can be sautéed in a pan, or boiled, or poached. The benefit of poaching the chicken is that the poaching liquid can be used as a stock. Leftover chicken pieces from making chicken yakhni (or chicken broth) can also be used in this recipe.