The past few years, I’ve really gotten into soups. I tend to run cold, and soups really warm me up and make me feel good on a cold day. I learned how to make one of my favorites – Hot & Sour Soup – from my dad “Chef Kenny.” I learned from one of the best – he owned two Chinese restaurants, has taught Chinese cooking classes, and published a Chinese cookbook. This is my adaptation of his recipe.
To go with the soup, I like to fry up some scallion pancakes (cong you bing) – gotta have my carbs!
A scallion pancake is a Chinese, savory, unleavened flatbread folded with oil and minced scallions (green onions). Unlike Western pancakes, it is made from dough instead of batter and is pan-fried to give it both chew and crisp. YUM!
I usually buy the pre-made, frozen ones at the Asian market. They’re pretty legit! When we are lucky, we get homemade ones from my dad or auntie to pan fry and enjoy with our soup.
HOT & SOUR SOUP
Servings: 4 – 6 bowls
Prep Time: 15 – 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
- 1/2 lb boneless pork loin, cut into thin strips.
- Note: You can substitute chicken breast.
- 6 cups (48 oz) of chicken stock
- 1 box of extra firm tofu, cut into strips, similar size of the pork strips
- 4 oz bamboo shoots, cut into strips
- 1/2 cup wood ear mushrooms (mu er) – rehydrated and cut into strips
- To rehydrate mushrooms, soak in hot water for ~20 minutes, until tender. Drain, cut (if not already pre-cut), and set aside.
- Notes: You can purchase wood ear mushrooms pre-cut into strips at an Asian market. If you don’t have or can’t find wood ear mushrooms at your local market, you can omit or substitute with another brown mushroom like shiitake.
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1 TBS chili paste
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 1 TBS cornstarch
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 egg, beaten
- 4 drops of sesame oil
- Optional toppings:
- Chopped green onions
- White pepper
- Place pork loin strips in a medium soup pot and cover with water.
- Boil and cook until pork is white and cooked. Drain and set pork aside.
- Bring chicken stock (6 cups) to a boil.
- Add tofu, bamboo shoots, and pork to chicken stock. Boil 5 minutes.
- Add wood ear mushroom. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in vinegar, soy sauce, chili, white pepper. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Dissolve cornstarch in cup of warm water. Slowly stir in dissolved cornstarch until soup thickens. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add beaten egg. Stir until cloudy.
- Add sesame oil.
- Taste and adjust seasoning to taste.
- Add more vinegar if you want it more sour.
- Add more more chili paste if you want it spicier.
- Top with green onions and white pepper. Enjoy!