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Hot and Sour Soup

 

Chef: Tyler Florence

 

Total Time: 2 hr 20 min (Prep 30 min; Inactive 30 min; Cook 1 hr 20 min)

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Level: Intermediate

 

Ingredients

 

4 dried Chinese fungi (about 1 ounce), such as wood ears or cloud ears

2 tablespoons canola oil

1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1 tablespoon red chile paste, such as sambal oelek

1/2 cup canned bamboo shoots, sliced

1/4 pound barbecued pork, shredded

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground white pepper

Pinch sugar

2 quarts Chinese Chicken Stock, recipe follows

1 square firm tofu, drained and sliced in 1/4-inch strips

3 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup water

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Chopped green onions and cilantro leaves, for garnish

 

Directions

Hot and Sour Soup

 

Put the wood ears in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand for 30 minutes to reconstitute. Drain and rinse the wood ears; discard any hard clusters in the centers.

 

Heat the oil in a wok or large pot over medium-high flame. Add the ginger, chili paste, wood ears, bamboo shoots, and pork; cook and stir for 1 minute to infuse the flavor. Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar in a small bowl, pour it into the wok and toss everything together - it should smell really fragrant. Pour in the Chinese Chicken Stock, bring the soup to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the tofu and cook for 3 minutes.

 

Dissolve the cornstarch in the water and stir until smooth. Mix the slurry into the soup and continue to simmer until the soup thickens. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in 1 direction to get a current going, then stop stirring. Slowly pour in the beaten eggs in a steady stream and watch it spin around and feather in the broth (it should be cooked almost immediately.) Garnish the hot and sour soup with chopped green onions and cilantro before serving.