Is Egg Drop Soup Vegetarian? (Or Vegan?)

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When you follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, you learn the different foods that you can or cannot consume.

Sometimes, you also learn how to make foods that you love in a manner that you can eat. It’s important to know and understand different foods and the ingredients that might be used in them. 

It can sometimes be challenging to know whether a food is acceptable or not.

This is because there are so many restaurant foods that we just are not familiar with what is in them. Take egg drop soup for example. The name sounds like eggs are used so it makes you question whether or not you can eat that food. 

Is egg drop soup vegetarian or vegan? Whether or not it is suitable for you will really depend on the exact diet that you follow. For example, a vegetarian that follows ovo or lacto-ovo methods could eat egg drop soup. However, the normal way that it is made will not work for a vegan or a vegetarian that does not eat eggs. 

In this guide, we will talk about whether or not egg drop soup is vegan or vegetarian in more detail. We will discuss whether or not you have options to make the soup-friendly for your lifestyle as well. 

Keep reading to learn more about whether egg drop soup is vegetarian or vegan! 

What Is In Egg Drop Soup? 

The best way to really figure out whether or not egg drop soup will work for you is to check out the ingredients that are in the soup. Some vegetarians are ok with eating eggs, depending on the type of vegetarian style they follow. 

Of course, it’s also a good idea to know for sure what type of broth is used in egg drop soup as it could potentially contain meat broth, in which case it would not be vegan or vegetarian-friendly. 

So, let’s talk about what is usually in egg drop soup. Keep in mind that different people make it in different ways.

It does contain eggs so that is certainly something to be aware of. When it is made in the traditional manner, all of the ingredients apart from the egg are both vegan and vegetarian-friendly

Here are the usual ingredients. 

  • Vegetable stock or broth
  • Sesame oil
  • Salt
  • Sugar (optional)
  • Pepper
  • Turmeric
  • Cornstarch
  • Scallion
  • Eggs

You can see that there simply isn’t a lot in this recipe. It’s a simple soup that is primarily made up of veggie broth with some added seasoning. Cornstarch is used mostly just as a thickening agent in the soup. 

The eggs are dropped in slowly, which is what makes the egg into small pieces inside of the soup. A large stockpot of egg drop soup will only have about 3 eggs total in it

Now, the thing that you have to be careful about is that sometimes, egg drop soup is made with chicken stock instead of vegetable stock so you have to be aware of that.

This is where vegans and vegetarians alike have to be very careful because a meat broth would violate their eating lifestyles. 

How Can Egg Drop Soup Be Vegetarian? 

There is more than one style of vegetarian eating out there. There are certain forms of vegetarian eating that do allow eggs or dairy products. 

Ovo-vegetarian diets allow people to eat eggs. In this lifestyle, they don’t eat any meat at all but they do allow eggs.

They also do not consume any dairy products here but egg and egg products are totally acceptable. If you are ovo-vegetarian or considering this lifestyle, egg drop soup is fine for you. 

Lacto-ovo vegetarians will eat both eggs and dairy but exclude all other meat and meat products.

In this case, they can consume egg drop soup because of the allowance for eggs in their lifestyle. For a lacto-ovo vegetarian, this means egg drop soup would be acceptable. 

Of course, this is assuming that no meat stock or meat broth is used. If you are uncertain about the type of broth used, it might be better to avoid the soup rather than take the risk. That part is totally up to you. 

The statistics show that lacto-ovo vegetarians are actually the most common form of this lifestyle. However, that is not always the case. 

Why Isn’t Egg Drop Soup Vegan? 

It can be confusing if you don’t understand the different concepts behind these different lifestyles. It certainly seems unusual that egg drop soup might be suitable for vegetarians but not vegans. 

The big difference here is that people following a vegan lifestyle do not consume any type of animal by-product. This means that they cannot eat traditional egg drop soup because it has eggs

Simply put, there really are eggs in egg drop soup and this is where the problem comes in for both vegans and vegetarians (aside from ovo or lacto-ovo vegetarians). 

Can You Make Egg Drop Soup Vegan? 

The good news is that if you know the suitable adjustments to make, you can always re-create egg drop soup in a form that is perfectly acceptable for both vegan and vegetarian lifestyles.

You might just need to swap out one or two ingredients to make it work. 

It’s super easy! 

Egg drop soup only has a few basic ingredients and the majority of that is the broth. It is almost wholly just seasoned broth but the eggs do play a vital role in the finished product of the soup.

You can use substitutes here. While your soup may not come out exactly the same, you should be able to get something fairly close. 

When you check the recipe out, there are just two ingredients that you need to potentially adjust. 


The broth is the basis of this soup. It’s what makes up the majority of the soup. In traditional form, egg drop soup is made with vegetable broth or vegetable stock.

However, you will also find that there are a lot of recipes out there that actually use chicken stock or broth instead. 

If you are making your own and want to make it vegan or vegetarian-friendly, then just be sure that you use vegetable stock or broth instead


The other ingredient that you might have to adjust is the eggs. The eggs are another important part of the soup because of how they are added in.

However, you can substitute other items as an egg alternative. You have more than one option here. 

Since the soup is made with a whisked version of an egg, you want something that is going to create the same silky effect when you are dropping the egg into the hot broth. 

One great option is to use an egg replacer. These are becoming more and more popular. There are egg replacers out there that don’t have any eggs.

Just Egg is a fairly new option out there. It resembles liquid eggs but it’s actually all plant-based ingredients. There are several other similar products to this one

If you’re unsure about using an egg replacer like this, you could also just use something like tofu for a similar substitute. With tofu, silken tofu will probably work the best to replace the egg texture and addition to the soup.

Some people also use hard tofu. This won’t work exactly the same way as tofu does but it should produce something similar to give you a replica for egg drop soup. 

There is one more egg alternative that you might also want to check out. It’s chickpea flour. A lot of vegans use chickpea flour for things like omelet replacements so it makes sense that you might be able to use it here as well. 

Now, it doesn’t work alone. You will have to use some sort of starch to help bind the flour to create your desired effect. It’s not perfect but it gives you another option. 

Related Questions

We hope that you find this guide to egg drop soup being vegan or vegetarian to be a helpful resource. There are several things to know and some options for enjoying the soup if you don’t eat eggs. 

We invite you to review the following question and answer section for some additional information that might be useful. 

What makes egg drop soup yellow? 

The broth used might add some color for egg drop soup but really, it’s turmeric that gives it the yellow color that we all are familiar with

Which Chinese soups are vegetarian or vegan? 

Hot and sour is sometimes vegetarian or vegan-friendly but it’s hard to know for sure. Most of the ingredients in it are vegetable base but there are times that the soup might contain remnants of pork. 

How is egg drop soup thick?

The ingredient that makes egg drop soup thick is the cornstarch that is added to it. The egg dropped into the soup also thickens it up some but cornstarch does most of that. 

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