Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hot and Sour Soup

Can you see the love in the bowl? I think that is one of the things that differentiates it between the restaurant and my home. While it was an arduous task collecting all the ingredients, it was well worth the effort. I don't think it was just the love that set it apart though. I think it was the taste as well. I found the recipe at Gourmet (epicurious) and changed a few things one of them was adding shitakes. I think this was a good choice as wood ear mushrooms (at least here in the States) are quite flavorless. I do love their texture. I remember when I was a teenager and experimenting with Chinese food, it was one of the first things I tried. When you soak there dehydrated masses in water, it is amazing how huge they become.

I read in someone's blog that Hot and Sour Soup is not thick in China like it is here in the States. That's okay, I like mine thick anyway. Authentic or not it was a great soup. Honestly, I went to bed thinking about it. Does anyone else do that?

Hot and Sour Soup

adapted from this recipe at Epicurious

3 ounces lean boneless pork loin, cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips
4 small Chinese dried black mushrooms
8 small dried shitake mushrooms
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
12 dried lily buds
1/2 cup canned sliced bamboo shoots, cut lengthwise into 1/8-inch-wide strips
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

2 tablespoons rice vinegar (not seasoned)
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons peanut oil
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

4 oz firm tofu (about a quarter of a block), cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips

2 large egg whites

1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground white pepper (a must as it is the only source of hot)
3 stalks of green onions, chopped diaganolly

Rehydrate mushrooms and lily buds. Place them in seperate cups and pour boiling water over them, enough to cover. Let sit for at least 15 minutes. Reserve a quarter cup of the soaking liquid and mix it with the cornstarch, set aside. Slice shitakes in long pieces, a quarter of an inch thick. Cut ends off of lily buds, slice them in half and tear them lengthwise.

Combine vinegars, soy sauce and sugar. Set aside. Prepare everything, mise en place as it will go very fast.

Boil bamboo shoots seperately to get the bitterness out of them.

Heat pan until very hot. Add oils and then pork. Cook until pink is gone. Add mushrooms, lily buds and bamboo shoots. Cook one minute. Add broth and tofu. Bring to a boil and add vinegars and cornstarch mixture. Simmer one minute more.

Stir the soup and drizzle the egg whites into the soup. Sprinkle with scallions and white pepper. Serve.

Calories: 2 large dinner sized servings: 375. Recipe total is 743.


Anonymous said...

I love Hot and Sour soup! I've been making my version of a Ming Tsai recipe that we all love and yours looks just as amazing!

Joie de vivre said...

I do see love in the bowl. :)

Shelly said...

You have no idea how much I want that soup for lunch today!
It looks fabulous ;)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

This soup looks really good! i love sour dishes...



Jescel said...

wow, this looks authentic! and yes, home-made stuff are waaayy better!

Maggie said...

I love the texture of wood ear mushrooms too but shiitakes are heavenly. I love sniffing the bag of dried shiitakes. It's one of my favorite smells.

I usually go to bed daydreaming about what to make the next day.