Developed in the Sichuan province of China, this soup is both spicy and sour. As soups go, this one is a must as it combines most of the elements you need to create a perfect mouthful: crunchy vegetables, succulent meats, a sharp twang from the vinegar and the subtle warmth of chili.
- Preparation times: 5 minutes
- Cooking times 8 minutes
- Serves: 4
- ½ tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 6 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 dried chilies, finely chopped
- 40 g (1½oz) char siu pork (see purchase from a Chinese supermarket), cut into matchsticks
- 30 g (¼ cup) cooked and peeled prawns (shrimp)
- 15 g (½oz) dried wood ear mushrooms, re-hydrated in hot water, drained and cut into matchsticks
- 30 g (1 oz) firm tofu, cut into 1 cm (½in) cubes
- 30 g (1 oz) tinned bamboo shoots, cut into matchsticks
- ½ medium carrot, cut into matchsticks
- 30 g (¼ cup) peas
- 1.8 liters (7½ cups) chicken stock
- ½ tsp white pepper
- 1½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- 4 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 1 tsp tomato purée
- 6 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch) mixed with 12 tbsp water
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ½ tbsp sesame oil
Put all of the ingredients, apart from the cornflour mixture, sesame oil and eggs, into a large wok or saucepan. Slowly bring to the boil, then lower the heat and let the soup simmer for 3 minutes.
Give the cornflour mix a good stir, turn the heat up to medium and slowly add the cornflour to the soup, stirring as you go, until you reach the desired consistency. Turn off the heat and slowly pour in the beaten eggs, stirring as you pour.
Finally, add the sesame oil and serve.
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