Hot and Sour Soup – 酸辣湯

Hot and Sour Soup is a regional cuisine of Beijing and Sichuan known for its complex taste with both spicy hot and sour.  This soup is usually considered a healthy option at most Chinese establishments  made with tofu, wooden ear fungus (木耳) and bamboo shoot, seasoned with spice vinegar and chili oil.  There is a vegetarian version with soft and firm tofu but also a meat version with pork or chicken.  Recently some high end Chinese restaurants are using seafood like prawns and scallops so they can demand a premium price.

For six people

Key points:

  • Use one tablespoon of spice vinegar mix with half a tablespoon of white rice vinegar per bowl of soup as measurement yardstick.
  • You can use chili oil and mix with hot bean sauce to make it spicy.
  • Use cornstarch as thickening agent.
Hot and Sour Soup 酸辣湯

Ingredients:

Lean pork                                                       1/4 lb (Julienne)

(Marinade pork with pinch of salt, sugar, light soy sauce plus 1/4 teaspoon of cornstarch mix with two teaspoons of water for 1/2 hour)

Fresh shiitake mushroom                     4x (Julienne)

semi-firm tofu                                            1/3 piece (Julienne)

Wooden ear fungus (木耳)                 4 pieces (re-hydrate and Julienne)

Bamboo shoot                                          1/4 cup (Julienne)

Egg                                                                  1 (beat)

Chicken stock                                          6 cups (unsalted)

Cornstarch                                                2 tablespoons mix with 1/8 cup of water

Kosher salt                                               1/2 teaspoon

Sugar                                                           1/2 teaspoon

Dark soy sauce                                      2 tablespoons

Light soy sauce                                     2 tablespoons

White pepper                                       1/4 teaspoon

Seasoning  

Spice vinegar                                        6 tablespoons

White rice vinegar                               3 tablespoons

Chill oil                                                     3 tablespoons

Hot bean sauce                                     1 tablespoon

Cilantro                                                      few pieces

Green onion                                           1 stock (cut to small pieces)

Place the above ingredients in a serving bowl and set aside.

Method:

Heat up a deep pan and pour two tablespoons of oil.  Place pork in pan and spread it out it can cook evenly for about two minutes.  Flip over to other side and let it cook for another two minutes before pouring the chicken stock to the pan.

Once the stock is boiling, place mushroom, and fungus in it, let it boil for one minute before putting bamboo shoot and tofu in soup.  Add dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, salt, sugar and white pepper,  Mix the cornstarch water well and slowly mix it in the soup till thicken.  Turn off heat once you see the soup is thick enough and start boiling again.  Gently add one egg on top of soup and stir slowly.

Pour the soup to the serving soup bowl with the vinegar mixture.  Serve soup while it is hot!

Pork, mushroom, bamboo shoot, egg wooden ear fungus
with tofu after cut up everything
Put seasoning vinegar, chili oil to a serving bowl with cilantro and green onion

Add pork to a deep saute pan
Pour chicken stock to pan
Bring to boil
Add the other ingredients, add bamboo shoot and tofu at the very last
Add soy sauce and salt etc. and thicken soup with the prepared cornstarch water. Add one egg after turning heat off.
Hot and Sour Soup 酸辣湯
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