Friday, December 25, 2009

Hot and Sour Soup

6 cups chicken stock
1/4 lb chicken breast, julienned
2 cups carrots, julienned
2 tablespoons garlic and red chili paste (Pereg makes a great paste I use)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3/4 teaspoon white pepper, ground
3-4 eggs beaten
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup each bamboo shoots, julienned and sliced water chestnuts (I leave this out since I can't find it)
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced and stems removed
1 cup straw mushrooms
1 (12 oz) package cake tofu, 1/4 inch dice
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 cup dried black fungus, soaked for 1 hour (I leave this out)
scallions, finely chopped for garnish

Bring stock to a simmer
Add soy sauce, chicken, carrots, mushrooms and chili paste. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Add pepper, vinegar, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, fungus and tofu.
Simmer for 5 minutes.
Mix cornstarch with 5 tablespoons water and add.
Bring back to a simmer and pour the eggs in a very thin stream over the surface. Let stand 10 seconds before stirring in the sesame oil.
Serve with a garnish of chopped scallions.

NOTE: the pepper, chili paste and vinegar can be varied for taste.
NOTE 2: I will also add either shredded cabbage (Napa or regular is fine) or shredded beet leaves to add body and flavor to the soup (since bok choy isn't readily available here and when it is, it's a fortune). I'll also add mung bean sprouts just before adding the egg.

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