a friend was craving hot & sour soup…and then her craving became my craving. in the past, whenever i wanted hot & sour soup i would order it from a chinese restaurant or buy a soup mix from ranch99. this friend, who we so fortunately have staying at our place until she becomes a mrs. (which is only 5 weeks away), happens to know how to make hot & sour soup. what i thought was a complex, unattainable recipe, that can only be cooked by master chinese chefs slaving away for hours in a hot kitchen, is actually a very easy dish that can be whipped up in under an hour (if you have all the ingredients ahead of time).
and the best part about being able to make the soup myself is i can put in more of my favorite ingredients, like tofu, and less of what i like, such as mushroom.
and true to the art of chinese cooking, this recipe was given to me with vague measurements.
here’s what you’ll need:
soy sauce, rice vinegar, white pepper, extra/firm tofu, canned bamboo shoots in strips, shiitake mushroom, dried black fungus (literal chinese translation is “wood ear”), carrots, eggs, green onions, ground beef/pork, corn starch.
slicing all the ingredients into thin strips is what takes the longest time. (see picture for how thin to slice everything. tofu doesn’t need to be extremely thin.)
- soak the dried black fungus in hot water before slicing
- marinate the 1-2 cups meat in some soysauce + 2 tsp corn starch
in a big pot of boiling water (14-16 cups) throw in:
- 2 cups tofu
- 2 cans bamboo
- 1/2 cup shiitake
- 1/2 cup black fungus
- 1/2 cup carrots
- drop small balls of meat into boiling water.
- add soy sauce, rice vinegar, white pepper according to how salty, sour, and spicy you like the soup to be.
- beat 4-6 eggs and slowly pour in swirling motion into boiling water.
- 1/4 cup cold water + 4 TBS corn starch (more corn starch for thicker soup)
- garnish with chopped green onions
soup can be served with rice or thin chinese noodle (not clear rice noodle) or angel hair pasta. i was so excited about serving my first pot of hot & sour soup i forgot to take a picture until i was down to my last few bites.