If you eat at Chinese restaurants or buffets, chances are you have probably tried hot and sour soup. The ‘hot’ comes from chili and garlic paste and pepper. The ‘sour’ comes from vinegar. Many hot and sour soup recipes call for ingredients such as wood ear fungus and lily buds… these ingredients can be hard or nearly impossible to find in many areas. This recipe calls for neither. Even if you cannot find some of the ingredients on the list, they can easily be replaced with something else. If you do not eat meat, the pork can easily be omitted. If you are using the tofu, I would suggest letting the soup marinate for at least a day to allow the flavors to develop before serving. Don’t let the slightly lengthy list of ingredients turn you away, this recipe is very easy! Enjoy.
6 cups chicken stock
¼ lb pork (julienned)
2 tablespoons garlic and chili paste
2 tablespoons soy sauce
¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
3 eggs (beaten)
5 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup shitake mushrooms (sliced)
1 can peeled straw mushrooms
1 can sliced bamboo shoots
1 can sliced water chestnuts
1 can baby sweet corn cobs
½ lb soft tofu (sliced into small cubes)
¼ cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
green onions (sliced)
Step 1: In a large pot bring chicken stock to a simmer. Add soy sauce, pork, mushrooms and garlic and chili paste. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Step 2: Add pepper, vinegar, bamboo shoots, baby corn cobs, water chestnuts and tofu. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Bring to a slow boil. Mix 5 tablespoons of cornstarch with 5 tablespoons of water and add to the soup while stirring.
Step 3: Bring the soup back to a simmer and pour beaten eggs in a thin stream into the soup. Let stand 10 seconds and gently stir in sesame oil. Garnish with green onions.
(Makes 10 servings)