Hot and sour soup was originated in Sichuan over 1000 years ago. Nowadays, it has becomes so popular that you can even find it throughout Chinese restaurants in the US. Today we are going to make hot and sour soup. It’s a perfect soup for any seasons. And if you ever feel like you have no appetite and don’t want to eat anything. Hot and sour soup will be sure to bring your appetite back. No wonder it’s so popular!
Serve: 6 people
Rest time: 2 hours to overnight
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
For the pork:
3 ounces pork loin, julienned
Pinch of salt
Pinch of white pepper
1 teaspoon of soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
For the soup:
6 dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated in water from 2 hours to overnight
1 tablespoon of dried wood ear mushrooms, rehydrated in water for 1 hour, finely sliced
1/4 carrot, julienned
1/3 cup of canned bamboo shoots
1/2 teaspoon ginger, julienned
6 cups of chicken stock
3 tablespoons cornstarch slurry (3 tablespoons cornstarch and 3 tablespoons water)
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 block soft tofu, julienned
Scallions, finely chopped, for garnish
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons Chinkiang vinegar
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Rehydrate the dried shiitake mushrooms in ½ cup of water from 2 hours to overnight. Reserve the water for the soup.
Rehydrate the dried wood ear mushrooms for 1 hour. (I used to rehydrate wood ear mushrooms for overnight. Then I learned that we should not soak it in water for longer than 2 hours. Because otherwise, the wood ear mushrooms would develop harmful bacteria. )
To prepare the pork, first, julienne the pork loin. (You could also replace the pork with chicken or seafood.) Then, in a bowl, add the salt, white pepper, soy sauce, cornstarch (this will help to soften the pork), and water. Mix well. Transfer in the pork and thoroughly combine. Marinate for 10 minutes.
Julienne the ingredients: shiitake mushrooms (This is going to give the soup a load of umami flavor.), wood ear mushrooms (Lots of Chinese women consider wood ear mushrooms as beauty food because it helps with blood circulation and nourishes skin), carrots, ginger, and tofu.
Finely chop the scallions.
Crack 2 eggs in a bowl, then beaten.
Mix together sauce one, soy sauce, salt, and sugar.
Then mix together sauce two, Chinkiang vinegar, white pepper, dark soy sauce, and sesame oil.
Cooking the soup:
In a pot, add the chicken stock and reserved mushroom water, and bring to a boil. Add sauce one. Mix well.
Transfer in the pork. Quickly break them up with your chopsticks. Cook over high heat for about 5 minutes. Skim off the form.
Then add the shiitake mushrooms, wood ear mushrooms, carrots, bamboo shoots, and ginger. Cook over high heat for about 3 minutes until they are softened. Add the tofu and carefully stir. Cook over high heat for another 2 minutes.
Pour in half of the cornstarch slurry. Then quickly stir. Add a little more and stir again. Then a little more until it becomes the right consistency.
Put in the sauce two. (We add this sauce last because of two reasons. First, we don’t want them to evaporate throughout the cooking process, especially with the vinegar, white pepper, and sesame oil. Second, we don’t want the color of cornstarch to cover up the color of dark soy sauce. — Imagine when you paint, if you want the color to be more vibrant, you want the darker color to be on top of the white color, not the other way around.)
Bring to a boil, slowly pour in the eggs in a circular motion, and slowly stir.
Lastly, add the scallions. Serve.