Hot and Sour Soup is Sichuan in origin. Situated in the southwestern part of China, the province of Sichuan is famed for its fiery hot cuisine. This Hot and Sour Soup is, therefore, piquant, peppery (from the white pepper), and sharp (from the tartness of the Chinese vinegar). I love to zest up my Hot and Sour Soup with some homemade Chili Oil, which not only adds a nice red sheen to the soup, but also makes it even more appetizing.
Serves 6 as part of a multi-course meal
- 4 oz (100 g) pork, cut into thin strips
- 1/2 teaspoon Chinese rice wine or sherry
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 large wood ear mushroom
- 13/4 cups (425 ml) homemade Chicken Stock or 1 can (14 oz/400 g) store-bought chicken broth
- 11/2 cups (375 ml) water
- 1/2 small carrot, cut into thin matchstick strips
- 4 oz (100 g) soft or medium tofu, rinsed and cut into strips
- 2 oz (50 g) canned bamboo shoots, rinsed and cut into thin matchstick strips
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 green onion (scallion), trimmed and cut into small rounds, to garnish
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar or to taste
- 11/2 teaspoons Chinese rice vinegar or to taste
- 1/2 heaping teaspoon white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1/2 tablespoon Chili oil or to taste
- Marinate the pork with the rice wine and cornstarch, about 15 minutes.
- Soak the wood ear mushroom in warm water, about 15 minutes. Cut into thin strips.
- Mix all the ingredients for the Seasonings in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Bring to boil the chicken broth and water in a pot. Add the pork, wood ear mushroom, carrot, tofu, and bamboo shoots. Continue to boil, about 5 minutes.
- Skim off the foam. Add the Seasonings into the soup, stir with a ladle and turn off the heat.
- Swirl the beaten egg into the soup and immediately stir three times with a pair of chopsticks. Cover the pot with its lid for 2 minutes. The egg should be cooked and will form into silken threads.
- Dish out into individual serving bowls and garnish with the green onion. Serve immediately.
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