Hot and Sour Soup
One of the dishes I crave the most is a good hot and sour soup. For some reason I thought it would be too difficult to make. So wrong!
That is not to say that it’s not time consuming. It kind of is. However, so worth every bit of chopping and prep. Once it’s done, it’s a breeze.
Hot and Sour soup is healthy, low calorie and great if you have a cold. It’s filled with great fungi, tofu and lean meat. What’s not to love about that?
After perusing the internet and finding a few recipes I put a few together and made my own with the ingredients I most love in the soups that I’ve had over the years. Since we live in a pretty rural area and do not have a decent Asian market sadly, finding the mushrooms that most of the recipes require was impossible. So I opted to just use the fresh that I did have at my local grocery store. For authenticity I’ve included in the ones that I see in most recipes and have given instructions as to how to prepare it… that being said, I found that following the general directions for the broth and using fresh mushrooms was just as tasty.
I even went so far as to fry up a batch of crab rangoon (recipe to follow later) and made some extra fried wonton strips to top the soup off with. Yes, it was a good night at our house! I’m pretty sure I ate myself silly that night, between my favorite soup and those cheesy, crab pockets of love!
- 1 ounce dried wood ear mushrooms
- 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 12 dried tiger lily buds
- 1 lb. pork tenderloin – sliced into thin strips
- 1 sm. can bamboo shoots- sliced into thin strips
- 2 cups hot water (omit if using fresh mushrooms)
- 1/3 ounce bamboo fungus
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 5 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch (reduce to 1 tablespoon if using fresh mushrooms and not dried)
- 1 (8 ounce) container firm tofu, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
- 1 quart vegetable broth (I’ve used chicken broth too, it will come out more of a creamy golden color instead of light brown)
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 1/2 tablespoon chili oil (extra if you like your soup HOT, HOT)
- 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 green onion, sliced
- In a small bowl, place wood mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, and lily buds in 1 1/2 cups hot water. Soak 20 minutes, until re-hydrated. Drain, reserving liquid. Trim stems from the mushrooms, and cut into thin strips. Cut the lily buds in half.
- In a separate small bowl, soak bamboo fungus in 1/4 cup lightly salted hot water. Soak about 20 minutes, until re-hydrated. Drain, and mince. Or if these are unavailable to you, try to find some exotic mushrooms at your grocer. I used shiitake and some other Asian mushrooms (fresh) and they tasted lovely. Remember when using mushrooms how much they shrink after cooking. Buy extra, you won’t regret it!
- In a third small bowl, blend soy sauce, rice vinegar, and 1 tablespoon cornstarch.
- In a medium saucepan, mix the reserved mushroom and lily bud liquid with the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, and stir in the wood mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, lily buds and bamboo shoots. Reduce heat, and simmer 3 to 5 minutes. Season with red pepper, black pepper, and white pepper.
- In a small bowl, mix remaining cornstarch and remaining water (again, this is only used if you have used dried mushrooms and not fresh). Stir into the broth mixture until thickened. Add more cornstarch blended with water if you want your soup to be thicker.
- Mix soy sauce mixture and tofu cubes into the saucepan. Return to boil, and stir in the bamboo fungus, add pork and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the broth comes to a boil again. Add chili oil, and sesame oil. Just before serving, turn off the heat. Stir the egg in gradually. Garnish with green onion to serve.
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