Hot and Sour Soup
Hot and sour soup is a dish from the Sichuan cuisine made out of strips of chicken or pork cooked in a thick broth with vegetables like mushrooms, day lily buds, wood ear fungus, bamboo shoots and tofu. Evident on its name the flavour profile of this dish is hot and sour, it is typically made hot by using red peppers and/or white pepper while the sour notes comes from vinegar. The soup texture is also quite unique as its thick due the use of cornstarch and raw eggs which is added just before serving while the soup is still boiling hot.
Hot and sour may be associated with the Chinese cuisine but since the name is quite broad it encompasses nearly all Asian soups with the same flavour profile and that includes the Vietnamese Canh chua, Thai Tom Yam and the Cambodian Samlor machu pkong to name some. A really healthy and hearty dish, one of the best dishes you can serve during a cold winter night as the sour notes gives that comforting feeling while the spiciness keeps the warmth.
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 300 g pork shoulder chops, sliced
- 400 g can straw mushrooms, sliced
- 200 g can sliced bamboo shoots
- 400 g can baby corn
- 200 g firm tofu, sliced
- 1 cup sliced shiitake mushroom, thinly sliced
- 1 cup rehydrated dried wood ear fungus, thinly sliced
- 4 tbsp garlic and red chili paste
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp white ground pepper
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 6 tbsp cornstarch diluted in ½ cup water
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- spring onions, to garnish
- In a large pot bring chicken stock, soy sauce and chili paste to a boil.
- Add pork, shiitake mushroom, straw mushrooms and cayenne pepper then simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the pepper, vinegar, bamboo shoots, baby corn, wood ear fungus and tofu then simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the diluted cornstarch, bring back to a boil then simmer until soup is thick. Season with salt.
- Turn heat off then pour beaten eggs in a thin stream while mixing.
- Add sesame oil and garnish with chopped spring onions, serve.