Sunday, March 29, 2009

Chinese Hot and Sour Soup

Serves 2 as a meal, or 4 to 6 as an appetizer

6 or 7 dried shiitake mushrooms

1/2 cup dried lily buds

1/2 cup dried wood ear (also called cloud ear or black tree fugus)

1/2 cup bamboo shoots, sliced, fresh or canned

6 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1 cup firm or extra firm tofu, sliced into strips

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 eggs, beaten

3 tablespoons vinegar dark (but white or cider vinegar also fine)

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 teaspoon white pepper

1 tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons water

Soak the mushrooms, lily buds, and wood ear in room temperature water for 20 to 30 minutes. Squeeze out excess water. Thinly slice mushrooms and wood ear. Slice rough black ends off lily buds and cut them in half. Rinse bamboo shoots and thinly slice.
Bring water to boil. Toss in mushrooms, lily buds, wood ear, and bamboo. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add tofu and soy sauce and simmer for another 5 minutes. Add vinegar, sesame oil, and pepper. Drizzle egg into the pot while stirring so that egg rivulets form. Stir in cornstarch mixture to thicken. Simmer for another 5 minutes, then reduce heat. Salt to taste. Spoon into individual bowls and serve.

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