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Hot and Sour Soup
Serves Four

  • 8 cups water or Chinese-style chicken or pork stock
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce, or more to taste
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar, or more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons ground white pepper, or to taste
  • 4 dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted and sliced
  • 1 small block medium or firm tofu, cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup wood ear, cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup bamboo shoot strips
  • 1/4 cup pork strips (see note)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch, mixed with 1/4 cup water to make a slurry
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • Sesame oil
  • Chopped onions, for garnish, optional
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish, optional

Hot and Sour Soup

In a large soup pot, add water or stock, soy sauce, vinegar and white pepper. Then add the mushrooms, tofu, wood ear, bamboo shoots and pork. Let mixture come to a boil.

When soup reaches a boil, turn down heat to medium. In consecutive slow pours, add the cornstarch slurry to the soup while stirring. The soup will start to thicken. When the soup returns to a boil, drizzle the egg on top. When the egg blossoms, give the soup a gentle stir to incorporate the egg. Taste the soup. Add more soy, vinegar and white pepper, if needed. Drizzle with sesame oil and serve with garnishes.

Note: Take a small piece of pork from the loin or chop. Cut into rough strips or little chunks. Saute in a skillet in 1 tablespoon of vegetable or peanut oil. Add a dash of soy sauce to help it caramelize a little. Cook for about 1 minute, then add to soup.