Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Hot and Sour Soup

Chinese Hot and Sour Soup is my daughter's favorite kind of soup. I like the fact that the soup is filled with healthy tofu and mushrooms.  So I had to learn to make it myself and found out it's very easy to make at home.  My version strays from the traditional by using more easily found mushrooms and ingredients.  But it still delivers on the Ying and Yang of the traditional Hot and Sour Soup.

PS... I used my Thai Chili Garlic Sauce   here... of course you can substitute Sambal Oelek.

1 (32oz cartoon) of chicken broth (equals 4 cups)
Hot and Sour Sauce (recipe below)
1/2 slab of organic firm tofu (drain and press the extra liquid out of the tofu then cut into thin strips)
5oz of lean pork sliced into thin strips (marinate in 1tsp of soy sauce and 1tsp of cornstarch for 2 hours)
1 Tbs of grated ginger
1 Tbs of grated garlic
1 bunch of scallions divided (green tops and white bottoms separated)
1/2 cup of bamboo shoots thinly sliced into strips
1/2 cup of canned sliced button mushrooms
1 Tbs of cornstarch mixed with 4 Tbs of water
1 egg beaten
water if needed 

Note:  have all your ingredients ready to go (sliced and prepped)  This will make the whole process go by faster.

Ingredients for Hot and Sour Sauce:  
1-2 Tbs of soy sauce (adjusted if needed)
1-2 Tbs of rice wine vinegar (adjusted if needed)
1 Tbs of cider vinegar (adjusted if needed)
1 Tbs of sesame oil (use full amount here)
1-2 Tbs of my Thai Chili Garlic sauce or chili sambal-such as Sambal Oelek (adjusted if needed)
1 tsp of brown sugar

Mix all sauce ingredients and set aside until cooking time.

Note:  If a range is given for the sauce, I suggest you start with the lower quantities of each item and add more if needed The quantities used in the sauce depends on your tastes.  If you use sodium free chicken broth or like things more salty use the 2Tbs of soy sauce.  In regards to the vinegar, use the lower quantity suggested and allow the soup to simmer for 10 minutes and taste before adding more vinegar.  Remember you can always add more, but you cannot take out.  To make the soup taste authentic there must be a distinct sour (from the vinegar) and hot from the sambal to make it balance in flavor.  If you make the soup too strong, add a little water to dilute the flavor.

In a large wok or soup pot, heat on med-high heat.  Add 1 Tbs of canola oil and stir fry the sliced pork for 1-2 minutes.  Add the grated ginger and garlic and allow to stir fry for another minute.

Add the canned mushrooms, bamboo shoots and whites of the scallions and stir fry for another minute or two.

Add the sauce and stir fry for another 1 minute.

Add the cartoon of chicken broth and the sliced tofu.  Allow to simmer for 20 minutes.  Taste at the 10 minute mark to see if your flavors are how you want them.  
If not, adjust accordingly.
Increase the heat to high and once bubbling, add the cornstarch and water mixture (called a slurry).  Stir well.  
This will thicken the soup.   Then slowly add the beaten egg in a stream and stir gently.  The egg will cook in the hot soup.  Taste one more time for the balance of the hot and sour flavors.  If you are happy with them, you can turn off the soup and add the green tops of the scallions.   Serve Hot.

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  1. Another delicious looking recipe, Ramona. Wow. I was checking the ingredients so I can make this (if I get over the tofu dislike thing) and noticed that the hot and sour sauce uses a tablespoon of a sesame product. Is it oil or the seeds?

    1. You can totally leave out the tofu if you dislike it and add more veggies. It's sesame oil.. I corrected it above. Thanks for the heads up. :)

  2. I don't know whether to be excited or terrified of this soup Ramona. I love it because it looks freaking delicious but it has that terrifyingly spicy sauce in it :O But scrumptiously terrifying ;) heehee

    ~Jess @ On Sugar Mountain

  3. yum! my favorite soup to order at chinese restaurants!

  4. Ramona, this soup looks absolutely delicious!

  5. Oh how I love a good hot and sour soup! Unfortunately my local restaurants offers a goopy version that I don't care for. But now thanks to you I can make my own. Thanks for sharing Ramona -- it looks amazing!

  6. I would be jumping for joy if Gabbi would eat this.

  7. Thanks for sharing this recipe Ramona! I love hot and sour soup but have never even attempted to make it at home. You've shown me that it's definitely doable.

  8. YUM! I love looking at your step by step (but I know how time consuming it is as I do the same!). Your hot and sour soup looks delicious!

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