How to Cook Chicken And Sweetcorn Soup

Chinese sweetcorn and chicken soup in a bowl macro on the table. horizontal view from above
Copyright: lenyvavsha

The highly popular chinese-style chicken and sweetcorn soup is a classic winter warmer and thoroughly enjoyed in China. It originates from the south-western part of the country. This soup is also often served up as a starter as well as being one of the top take away dishes from Chinese restaurants. It takes about 20 minutes to put together and is ideal for busy days and nights. Extra flavour comes from slithers of ginger and some pungent spring onions along with soy sauce and naturally sesame oil.

The Chicken Stock

It is perfectly reasonable to use buy in stock for dishes where it’s needed and even a chicken stock cube in the absence of anything else but a homemade stock is just brilliant. See our recipe for the best  chicken stock.

Purchase your chicken stock here

The Chicken

Chicken is often shredded using raw breast meat but some chefs like to also just marinade it with a small amount, about a teaspoon each of pepper, salt, sugar and cornflower. Try roasted breasts as well because that also contributes another layer of flavour. Remove skins and shred the chicken. An alternative is to marinade small pieces of chicken as described above.

Use Of Ginger And Other Ingredients

A number of simpler recipes dispense with ginger but this removes it from its origins. It is not meant to be like a European/USA chicken soup which would be made in a slow cooker say. The presence of egg is important and adds to the protein content of the soup along with the chicken.

Use as light a soy sauce as possible as dark soy sauce will make it darker and will not look the same as those in restaurants. Not every one uses soy sauce anyway.

Ideal for as part of a gluten-free diet! 

Serves 2

Preparation time: 10-15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes at most.

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  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 100g boneless, skinless chicken breast – must be cooked beforehand. 
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced or chopped
  • 1 cm piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped but in China no-one ever peels ginger in truth.
  • 1 – 1½ tbsp cornflour
  • 700ml hot chicken stock – should be prepared before hand. 
  • 150g sweetcorn – ideally cut from a corn cob with a wide bladed knife and leave as much of the husk as possible but when out of season or simply unavailable, use frozen sweetcorn kernels or tinned sweetcorn. The tinned sweetcorn should be thoroughly drained.
  • 1 egg – lightly beaten
  • a good sized bunch of shredded and chopped spring onions, as garnish
  • ½ – 1 tbsp light soy sauce or a reduced soy sauce version
  • toasted sesame seeds or a tsp of sesame seed oil, to garnish (optional)
  • 15g coriander leaves finely chopped (optional) or a 1/2 tsp of lemon juice for acidity


  1. Heat the oil in a deep saucepan on a low heat level.
  2. Add the garlic, about 3/4 spring onions and ginger and fry for a minute just to soften.
  3. Take half the sweetcorn and blitz in a suitable bowl with a stick blender to make a smooth paste.
  4. Blend the cornflour and soy sauce with some of the chicken stock and add to the soup pan.
  5. Add the cooked chicken.
  6. Add the whole sweetcorn along with the paste.
  7. Bring to the boil, stirring continuously but then drop the heat and simmer gently for 6 to 8 minutes.
  8. Beat together the egg and lemon juice and slowly pour into the soup pan, stirring with a fork to form egg strands.
  9. Season with black pepper and add some sesame seeds along with a teaspoon of sesame seed oil, especially the chopped spring onions and the coriander.

Serve this chicken and sweetcorn soup as a starter for a chinese meal or banquet. The chicken can also be famously replaced with crabmeat which we describe in another recipe.

Nutritional Content

Please note that these values are approximate and can vary based on the specific brands of ingredients used and variations in portion sizes:

Nutritional Values per 100 grams (Approximate):

Calories: Approximately 50 – 60 calories
Protein: Approximately 3 – 4 grams
Total Fat: Approximately 2 – 3 grams
Saturated Fat: Approximately 0.3 – 0.5 grams
Cholesterol: Approximately 20 – 25 milligrams (from the chicken breast)
Sodium: Approximately 150 – 200 milligrams (mainly from the chicken stock and soy sauce)
Carbohydrates: Approximately 6 – 7 grams
Fiber: Approximately 1 – 2 grams
Sugar: Approximately 1 – 2 grams
Please note that the nutritional content can vary based on the specific brands and types of ingredients used, as well as variations in portion sizes. Additionally, the nutritional values for the entire recipe would need to be divided by the total weight of the prepared dish to get accurate per-100-grams values.

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