When the weather is cold and damp – something we don’t have often in the desert – the urge is to have something hot and steamy for our insides and to be able to get our hands around (like a coffee mug) to warm up the outside.
There are 2 Chinese soups that fit this bill … and both are so full of good stuff that they can, and often are, a meal in themselves! They are the Hot and Sour Soup and the War Won Ton Soup.
Today we’ll make the Hot and Sour Soup – without the tofu which you can add if you like (I’m not a big fan of it but it is a good source of vegetable protein).
It cooks quickly, so have everything ready before you begin … and enjoy; get some won ton chips or fry some up (or the crunchy noodles that you nibble on in the restaurants while waiting for the food to come out….) and serve that along side the soup. Enjoy!
Hot and Sour Soup
- 2 Tbsp. peanut oil *
- 4 oz. extra lean pork, julienned
- 4 oz. chicken, julienned
- 4 oz. pork sausage
- 4 medium shitake mushrooms, julienned
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 medium scallions, sliced diagonally
- 2 tsp. fresh ginger, ground (or finely minced)
- 1/2 c bamboo shoots, julienned
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 8 c chicken stock or broth
- 3 Tbsp. dry sherry, divided
- 2 Tbsp. dark soy sauce
- 2 tsp. hot Chinese chili paste (or to taste)
- 1/4 c apple cider vinegar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 Tbsp. water
- 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 1/2 Tbsp. sesame chili oil
- 2 Tbsp. scallion tops, sliced diagonally, for garnish
* If anyone has a peanut allergy, you may substitute corn oil or canola oil. Peanut oil has a much higher smoking point than other cooking oils and is usually used in Asian cooking due to the quick stir frying and hot heat used.
Add peanut oil to very hot wok or deep soup pot. Add pork and stir fry 15 seconds; add chicken and stir fry 15 seconds; add sausage, stir fry 30 seconds. Add mushrooms, garlic, ginger, scallions, bamboo and pepper. Stir fry 2 minutes.
Add broth, 1 Tbsp. sherry, soy and vinegar. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Raise heat to high and bring soup to just before boiling point. Do not let it boil. Mix egg with water until blended and pour into soup in a slow stream, stirring soup constantly.
Combine remaining 2 Tbsp. sherry with cornstarch and stir into soup until thickened slightly. Stir in sesame oil, garnish with scallion tops and serve.
Makes 8 servings