Hot & Sour Soup (酸辣湯)

by tina

 

I was craving hot & sour soup last weekend, so I decided to try and make it myself. I gathered all the ingredients that I thought would go in the soup and managed to cook up something pretty good. Here is my 2nd time making it, where I actually wrote down the measurements.

I have to warn you that this soup does takes a while to prepare and cook. I’ve learned my lesson to not make this during a weekday work night :]
–>prep time: ~40 mins. cook time: ~20 mins. total: ~1 hr.

Ingredients:

For marinating the pork:

  • 2 pork top loin, thin cut (~0.30 lbs)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper

For all other ingredients for soup:

  • ~7 shitake mushrooms (depending on size)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ~2 bamboo shoots, large slices (canned)
  • ~5 wood ears (optional)
  • 1/2 of a large carrot
  • 1/2 tofu pack

For soup base:

  • 1 cup organic chicken broth, non fat low sodium
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 2 1/2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4-5 tablespoons rice vinegar (depends on how sour you like it)
  • 2-4 teaspoons white pepper (depends on how spicy you like it)
  • 1 egg
  • sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch (optional)
  • cilantro (optional garnish)

(yields about 5 servings)

There are two parts to making this soup.

1) Preparation of ingredients: First soak the shitake mushrooms in a bowl of lukewarm water (takes about 30 mins to soften). Then tenderize the pork. Cut into very thin slices. Place the soy sauce, rice wine, and white pepper in a bowl. Mix the sliced pork in. Let the pork marinate while preparing the other ingredients.

Slice the bamboo shoots into thin pieces. Slice the carrot into thin pieces. Slice the tofu into semi-thin and long pieces. By now the shitake mushrooms should be soft, so go ahead and wash them and squeeze the water out and slice into thin and long pieces.

(optional) If you’d like to add wood ears, it would need to be soaked (like the mushrooms) and sliced into thin pieces.

The ingredients now need to be sauteed. Turn the temperature to high. Once the pan is hot, place 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in. When the oil is hot, place the pork in and stir. When the pork is half cooked, place the shitake mushrooms in and stir. Add the 1 tablespoon soy sauce and continue stirring until the pork looks 90% cooked. Add the bamboo and carrot (do not add the tofu in) and stir for 1 more min. Turn the temperature off and move the pan off the stove.

2) Making the soup: In a pot, place the chicken broth and water in.  Temperature on high and wait for it to boil. Add the sauteed ingredients in and also the tofu and stir. While waiting for it to reach another boil, add in the vinegar and soy sauce and white pepper and stir. (Remember to taste it. The measurements that I gave for the vinegar, soy sauce, and white pepper is based on my personal taste.  You can add more or less if you like.) Turn the temperature down to medium. Beat the egg and very slowly add it into the soup to make egg flower–Add in small segments and give it 1 or 2 light stirs after every segment until all the egg has been added in.

(optional) You can make the soup more dense by thickening it with corn starch. In a small bowl, add a little water to the 2 tablespoons of corn starch. Stir until there are no more clumps and looks super milky. Add this in the soup and stir thoroughly.

Add a small splash of sesame oil.

Place the lid on and let the soup simmer for about more 5 mins on medium low.

Here’s to a bowl of hot & sour soup!

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