HOT AND SOUR SOUP
- Servings: 6
- 3 dried wood ear mushrooms (or 1 large
- fresh if available)
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- 4 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp chili garlic sauce (available in the
- Asian food aisle)
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 pound medium-firm tofu, drained and
- 1 can (8 oz) bamboo shoots packed in
- water, drained and julienned
- 1/2 cup corn starch mixed with ¾ cup water
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 stalk green onion, chopped (optional)
If using dried wood ear mushrooms, soak them in warm water for 15 minutes or until softened. Cut the mushrooms up into thin, short strips. In a small bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, sesame oil, sugar and white pepper; set aside. Bring the broth to a boil in a large pot. Add wood ear mushrooms, vinegar and seasoning mixture, tofu, and bamboo shoots. Stir corn starch and water mixture until smooth and add it to soup, stirring gently. Return the soup to a boil, allowing the soup to thicken. Turn the heat down to medium low and let the soup cool until just barely simmering. Pour the beaten egg into the pot while gently stirring in one direction to get long strands of egg. Remove immediately from the heat and serve. If desired, garnish with chopped green onion.
Variation: For an even more substantial soup, finely julienne ½ lb of lean pork, cook it in a skillet with a bit of oil until done, and stir into the soup along with the mushrooms, tofu, and bamboo. The corn starch thickens it quite a bit. For a thinner soup, use ¼ cup corn starch in ½ cup of water. You can use as little as 2 tbsp cornstarch in ¼ cup water.
This is a take on a classic Chinese soup. It's a conglomeration of several recipes that I found online and my own analytical tasting of soups that I liked from restaurants.