Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hot and Sour Soup!

A while back, I made some hot and sour soup from Williams Sonoma's Soup.  It was "meh."  Kind of bland.  It seemed like it was trying to capture the flavor of hot and sour soup without authentic ingredients.  The broth was very thin, and the "hot" and "sour" aspects were very, very faint.

Then, I tried Ken Hom's recipe.  This is an entirely different animal.  The broth has the right consistency.  The flavors are punchy, the mushrooms provide a great texture, and the egg is done right.  This soup tastes like what I've eaten at my favorite Chinese restaurants.  It doesn't take very long to make.

I was so happy that this looked like the real thing!

My soups are almost always more yellow looking than the pictures in my cookbooks because I use either Wegman's brand or Kitchen Basics chicken stock.  I don't have time to make my own.  I keep telling myself that I should make a huge batch and freeze it.  But then I realize that I would rather play computer games.  :P

This recipe calls for light soy sauce, which is different from low-sodium soy sauce.  This is apparently a common mistake to make, so I didn't feel as silly when I found out.  I'd been using low-sodium as light soy sauce for a while. *hides*

Hot and Sour Soup
From Ken Hom's Complete Chinese Cookbook
Serves 2

2 oz. lean boneless pork, finely shredded
1/2 oz. dried Chinese mushrooms
1/2 oz. dried Chinese wood ear mushrooms
1 egg, beaten with a little salt
2 tsp sesame oil
2.5 cups chicken stock
Salt and white pepper
4 oz. firm tofu, drained and shredded (I should have cut my tofu into skinnier pieces)
1 Tbsp tbsp light soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
3 tbsp Chinese white rice vinegar or cider vinegar (I used cider vinegar)
1 1/2 tsp chili oil
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp cornstarch
Pinch each of salt and sugar

Dried chili for garnish (optional)

1) Put the pork in a bowl with the marinade ingredients, mix well and set aside while you do the rest of the prep work.
2) Soak the mushrooms in a bowl of warm water for about 20 minutes, or until they are soft and pliable. Squeeze out the excess water and cut off and discard the woody stems. Then finely shred the mushrooms.
3) In a small bowl, combine the egg with half the sesame oil and set aside.
4) Bring the stock to a simmer in a large saucepan and stir in 1 tsp of salt. Add the pork with its marinade and simmer for 1 minute. Then add the shredded mushrooms and tofu and continue to simmer for 2 minutes.
5)  Add the egg mixture in a very slow, thin and steady stream. Using a chopstick or a fork, pull the cooked egg slowly into strands. (Be careful, the egg is very fragile and will shred into tiny pieces quickly).
6) Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the soy sauces, vinegar and 1/2 tsp of white pepper. Stir well and add the remaining sesame oil, chili oil and cilantro and stir again. Serve in bowls garnished with dried chilies. 


Carole said...

Looks nice I did an asparagus soup recently http://caroleschatter.blogspot.co.nz/2012/01/asparagus-soup.html

Tanisha Singh said...

This is a famous kitchen cooking show and i love this because it give us too much idea about recipe and you share have to share nicely your blog thanks! restaurant in satya niketan delhi


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