Egg Noodle Soup with Mushrooms

MAKES: 4 servings

TIME: About 45 minutes

The noodles in this soup are made entirely of beaten eggs, which are cooked in a thin layer just until set (you can do this ahead of time or while the soup is simmering). Once the sheet of egg cools down a bit and becomes pliable, you simply roll it up and slice it crosswise into coils of egg “noodles. It may be surprising that these tender ribbons hold up so well in soups, but they do, adding both texture and substance. This recipe features them prominently rather than as a garnish.

This is an easy way to add eggs to all sorts of dishes, from salads and sandwiches to rice and pasta, especially since the noodles can be made ahead and refrigerated.

2 tablespoons neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn

8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced, stems discarded or reserved for stock (optional)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon minced garlic

4 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons dark sesame oil

6 cups vegetable stock or water

1 recipe Egg “Noodles”

4 thick slices firm tofu, cut into small cubes (optional)

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

01 Put the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the mushrooms, a large pinch of salt, and plenty of black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms start to release their liquid, about 10 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned, about 10 minutes more.

02 Stir in the garlic and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the scallions and sesame seeds, stirring constantly until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the soy sauce, sesame oil, and stock, scraping with a wooden spoon to loosen any bits that might have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Raise the heat to high, bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the soup bubbles gently.

03 Gently stir in the egg “noodles” and the tofu if you are re using it. Serve immediately, garnished with cilantro if you like.

Variations

Egg “Noodle” Soup with Rice Cake. More substantial: Slice one (8-inch) rice cake or presliced rice cake crosswise on the diagonal into ovals about 1/8 inch thick. Increase the oil to 1/4 cup and fry the rice cakes, turning once, until browned and crisp on both sides, about 10 minutes total. (Work in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding.) When finished, pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the oil, proceed through Step 2, then return the rice cakes to the bubbling soup. Cook until the cakes are tender, about 15 minutes, before adding the egg to noodles, along with the tofu and cilantro if youв are using them.

Egg and Noodles Soup with Bean Thread. Two unusual noodles combined: Before starting the soup, soak 2 bundles (about 4 ounces) of bean thread noodles in warm tap water until transparent and pliable (see Bean Threads). Keep in the water until ready to use, then drain and cut with scissors into manageable pieces. Stir into soup just before adding the egg and noodles.