Crab and Sweetcorn Soup

A simple Chinese dish and always a popular favourite. By Rick Stein, this crab and sweetcorn soup recipe is flavoured with ginger, light soy and spring onions.

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This is the first oriental dish I ever ate at a Chinese restaurant, in Peterborough, England, in 1964, and it is a world classic that is so often ruined by sickly sweet tins of creamed corn, tasteless crab and gloopy cornflour. I thought it would be interesting to restore the dish to its simplicity and reliance on good, fresh ingredients.

Serves 4


1.2l (2 pints) good-quality chicken stock
2 fresh corn cobs
225g (8oz) fresh white crabmeat
5 tsp cornflour
1 tsp very finely chopped fresh root ginger
2 spring onions, cut into 2½cm (1in) pieces and finely shredded lengthways
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 egg white, lightly beaten


Bring the chicken stock to the boil in a pan. Meanwhile, stand the corn cobs up on a board and slice away the kernels with a large sharp knife. Add the corn to the stock and simmer for 5 minutes.

Check over the crabmeat for any little pieces of shell, keeping the meat in the largest pieces possible. Mix the cornflour to a smooth paste with a little cold water, stir it into the soup and simmer for 2 minutes.

Stir in the crabmeat, ginger, spring onions, soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, 1 teaspoon of salt and some pepper to taste. Simmer for 1 minute.

Now give the soup a good stir, remove the spoon and slowly trickle in the beaten egg white so that it forms long, thin strands in the soup. Simmer for about 30 seconds and then serve immediately.


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