first off, hot and sour soup is maybe one of my favourite foods ever. especially if it’s cold or i’m tired or sick or hungover or anything. it is delicious spicy weird mushroom filled comfort.
this was my first crack at making it, and it went pretty well. it needs some tweaking but it’s very close and definitely delicious as is. with this in mind, here is a recipe for 6 big servings of soup.
3 tbsp ginger, finely minced
1/2 head of garlic, minced
1 tsp sichuan peppercorns, smashed a bit
6 dried shitake mushrooms, sliced thin
1 dried snow fungus, cut into bite sized pieces
2 dried cloud ear mushrooms (my store had it labeled simply as black fungus), sliced thin
1/2 can bamboo shoots, cut into thin strips
a small handful of enochi mushrooms
2 carrots, julienned
1/2 block medium soft tofu, cut into strips
1/2 package fried tofu, cut into strips
2 handfuls choy sum or baby bok choy
1 bunch scallions, sliced (green and white parts separated)
cilantro for garnish
1/8 c. black vinegar
2 tsp white vinegar
1 heaped tbsp chili paste
1 tbsp chili bean paste
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
6-8 c. broth
1/8 c. cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 c. cold water
before you start anything, soak you mushrooms for an hour. soak the cloud ear and snow fungus together and the shitakes with just enough water to cover. cut off the woody stem bits from the cloud ear and snow fungus. reserve liquid from the shitakes.
once they are all soaked, it’s time to make soup. heat oil in a pot, and fry half of the garlic, all the ginger, peppercorns and white parts of the scallions until fragrant. add carrots, all mushrooms and saute. add hot broth, shitake water and bring to a boil. while you’re waiting, slice ends off of bok choy and rinse with cold water. slice fine (esp white parts). add to soup along with tofu and bamboo shoots. turn down to a high simmer and add soy, vinegars, chili and chili bean paste. taste and adjust sourness (with the black vinegar) and hotness (with chili paste) to suit your tastes. cook until heated through and all ingredients are tender (20 minutes). add cornstarch and stir. turn off heat, stir in green onion and let thicken. garnish with cilantro.