Hot & Sour Soup
The original recipe for this soup came from a Saveur magazine. We've added a few things over the years to make it our own...
For some reason Hot & Sour Soup has always held somewhat of a mystery to me. I used to work at a Chinese restaurant called 456 when I was a kid and it always amazed me when they made the soup. It was one of the few things that was made in somewhat of a secretive fashion. Until I read the recipe in the magazine I had never tried to make it myself (actually I have never made it myself, Tina always makes it). I do the prep work and always fuss to make sure the potato is cooked enough (she would put them in at the last second and have the half raw if she could)... Anyway, this is a very simple recipe and it's better than anything I've ever tried in any restaurant.
For the Pork:
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp brandy (won't be missed if you don't use it)
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 Lb lean pork, cut into 1/4" dice
For the Soup:
3 Tbsp cornstarch
8 Cups chicken stock (can use pork but chicken is better)
3 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Tsp freshly ground pepper (or more if you're a pepperholic like me)
1/2 Tsp cayenne
1 Tsp coarse salt
1/4 Cup cubed peeled potato
1/4 Cup or so shitake or wood ear mushrooms, trimmed, and cut into a 1/4" dice
12 oz. Firm tofu, drained and diced to your liking
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1 Tsp Asian sesame oil (not a necessaty we don't use it and the soup is great)
1/4 Cup chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
For the pork: Combine the soy suace, brandy (or some water if you're not using brandy), and cornstarch in a small bowl, add the pork and mix well. Let stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes.
For the soup: Combine the cornstarch and 1/4 cup water in a small bowl. Put sotck, soy sauce, vinegar, pepper, cayenne, and salt into a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Add the pork, cornstarch mixture and reduce the heat to a medium low, and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until the soup has thickened, about 30 minutes. Add the potato, mushrooms, and tofu and gently simmer until the potato is tender, 15-20 minutes.
Slowly drizzle the egg into the simmering soup in a thin, steady stream (do not stir as your pour, or the egg will form lumps). When the egg strands float to the surface, stir in the oil (if wanted).
Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the cilantro. Eat & Enjoy!
Part 1 of 2
Part 2 of 2
This soup goes well with Potstickers! That's another show...