Szechwan Hot and Sour Soup

>> Thursday, December 19, 2013


Szechwan Hot and Sour Soup


Joe's test of a good Asian restaurant is the quality of their Sichuan hot and sour soup, so I gave him a kitchen challenge: impress me with your version of hot and sour soup. Oh, and I've been craving Thai shrimp spring rolls, can you do anything to help?

He exceeded my expectations.

I hear that this soup is one of those concoctions that can cure a cold, or just make you feel a whole lot better while you're eating it. Maybe we should start a new category for medicinal recipes.

Ingredients

1/3 lb pork
1 tbsp dried wood ear mushrooms
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms
1/4 cup bamboo shoots
1 small carrot
3 oz. tofu
1 green onion
2 tsp grated ginger
2 tbsp (30ml) Sichuan preserved vegetables, or 2 tbsp chili-garlic paste
5 cups pork broth
2 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 eggs


Garnish:
Red pepper flakes
Sesame oil
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup sliced green onions

Instructions

Place the pork, salt, and woodear mushrooms into a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until cooked, about 30 minutes. Reserve the cooking liquid, adding more if necessary to make the 5 cups of broth you'll need at the end.

Cut the pork, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, tofu, scallion, carrot, and Sichuan preserved vegetables into matchstick slices. Add to the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer.

Whisk together the cornstarch, soy sauce, and vinegar, then slowly stir into the broth. Whisk the eggs.
Pour them in a thin stream into the soup while stirring the broth, so that it forms flaky threads as it swirls into the soup.

Serve in single bowls with the garnishes on the side for the diners to add as they choose.

Serves 4-6.

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