Trail RecipesBy Akira Suzuki
Simple Soup—Part 2
Chinese-style Tomato and Egg Soup
Chicken stock (granulated) or consommé
Staying with the same theme as last issue, we’re introducing another soup that's easy to make in the outdoors. After a long day on the trail, I often crave a simple meal of bread and soup. The power of a steaming bowl of hot soup warms up your body and spirit from the core. If you know somebody who can whip up a repertoire of quick soups outdoors, well, that's someone with whom you want to be friends.
This issue we are making a Chinese-style soup with a tomato base. Recently many nabe dishes use a tomato base which seems quite similar to a bouillabaisse, and even oden sometimes uses tomato as an ingredient. Yet, there are still many tomato dishes hard to find in Japan, such as a rich soup stock made from tomatoes.
The flavor of the tomato can be enhanced, depending on how you heat it up. Ketchup is a good example of this quality. And once you've eaten a dish using hot tomatoes, you'll regret you hadn't done so sooner. Another good example is fried green tomatoes—sliced, breaded and fried. Oh, yeah, and it was a title of a movie, too.
A soup made of tomato and beaten eggs is not only a traditional Chinese-style soup, but one that's easy and quick to make, no matter where you are.
Most stores in Japan carry beautiful red tomatoes, and fresh eggs can usually be found around a camping area. Our soup combines the two to make a simple, rich dish you’ll enjoy. But, if this isn't satisfying enough, you can always add some jobanjan (spicy miso often served at yakiniku restaurants) and vinegar, or some diced tofu to the soup to make it more filling. Do that, and you have what is known as Sanradan.
One more thing; there are lots of really handy containers sold for camp use, one of which is an egg case. The packaging you get when you buy eggs isn't nearly strong enough for the trail. If you don't want broken eggs in your pack, be sure to buy an egg case.
Bring water to a boil on your cooker and dip in the tomatoes. People who don't like the sensation of tomato peel on their tongue can then peel the tomato (I personally don't); crush the tomato once it has become soft.
Add the boiled egg bit by bit to the tomato (be careful; if you add it all at once, it will become hard). Add the chicken stock granules (or consommé), salt and pepper to taste, and you're done.