Sweet Corn and Chicken Soup
- 1 leek, green parts too if you have 'em, sliced in half and thoroughly washed
- 1 carrot, chopped in half
- 3 -inch hunk fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 2 chicken breasts on the bone, with skin
- 3 (14-ounce) cans creamed-style corn
- 2 chicken bouillon cubes, crumbled
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
- 4 scallions, chopped finely, white and green parts (reserve some green for final garnish)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 2 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon unseasoned rice vinegar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Soy sauce, for serving
- Special equipment: cheesecloth
Pour 10 cups water into a big stock pot and bring to a boil over high heat. While it's coming to temp, throw in the leek, carrot, and hunk of ginger. Place the coriander and peppercorns into a small square of cheesecloth. Tie with kitchen string and add to the pot.
Skin the chicken breasts, remove any excess fat, and throw the chicken breasts into the pot. Allow the whole lot to come to a boil, and then turn it down and simmer, covered, until the chicken is cooked and tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
Return the stock to medium heat. Add the creamed corn, bouillon cubes, Ginger-Garlic Paste, scallions, and sesame oil. Keep the soup at a gentle simmer while you remove the chicken from the bone and shred finely using a fork. (Or you can just slice it really thinly.)
Turn up the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix the cornstarch with the water until smooth. Add half to the soup whilst stirring. Allow to boil until it's thickened to the soup consistency of your liking. (If it doesn't thicken, add the remaining slurry.)
Turn the heat back down to medium. In another small bowl, beat the egg whites with a little water. Stir the soup in circles as you add the egg whites in a steady stream; it should form pretty white wisps on the surface of the soup.