Dough Drop Knot Egg and Tomato Soup – Chinese Gnocchi

When you think of Chinese food, rice usually comes to mind, but actually flour-based recipes are just as common in the north. This dough drop soup is a home-cooked staple from the north of China as it looks more filling than it is, and it’s really easy to make, so became popular in the Sixties, when food was scarce. You don’t have to worry about making the dough drops even or pretty, because the whole point is that they are supposed to look lumpy and uneven – part of the handmade charm.

You can add meat into the mix, and I’ve added meatballs here, but traditionally, the two most important ingredients are eggs and tomatoes.

1 cup of plain flour
Pinch of salt
3 small tomatoes
2 slices of ginger

2 spring onions
2 eggs
12 meatballs (optional)

You’ll also need any additional salt and soy sauce to taste.

Step 1 – Place the flour in a bowl and mix in a pinch of salt. Add drops of water to the flour mix slowly, using the back of a spoon to slow down the flow if preferred, and swirl the bowl around to all ‘lumps’ to form. Carry on until there is no dried flour left.

Step 2 – Chop the tomatoes, ginger and spring onions, and break the eggs into a bowl.

Step 3 – Beat the eggs with a tiny splash of water mixed in. Now we’re done with prep work.

Step 4 – Add a little oil into a pan, and as the oil heats, add the ginger to the pan, then the meatballs. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the outside of the meatballs turn brown.

Step 5 – Add in the tomatoes, then add salt to taste. After another 2-3 minutes, add boiling water to the pan until the meat and tomatoes are more or less covered.

Step 6 – Pour the flour into the pan and stir. Add soy sauce to taste. Once the pan comes to a boil, switch to low heat and cook for 2-3 more minutes.

Step 7 – Pour the egg into the pan and start to stir as quickly as possible. Make sure you keep stirring, as you want the eggs to form into thin strands. Add the spring onions once the egg has solidified into strands, and it’s ready to serve!


You can also use wholemeal flour for a healthier alternative! Did you find this soup convenient and easy to cook as well?


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