Monday, May 02, 2005

Hot'n Sour Soup

Topic: Recipe
Cuisine: Chinese

Modified from a Ming Tsai recipe. Where the heck IS that guy?
*He just kicked Bobby Flay's ass in Iron Chef America :) Booya

1/2 lb julienned pork chop or other lean pork meat.
1 teaspoon sesame oil, + 1 teaspoon
1 teaspoon soy sauce, + 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Vege oil (1 tablespoon?)
3 dried chilies
1 tablespoon minced ginger
10 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup julienned bamboo shoots
2 eggs beaten (or more if you like egg)
1/2 cup wood ear
1/2 cup lily flowers
2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with cold water to make a paste
3/4 cup chinese Black vinegar (If using something stronger like cider vinegar use 1/4 cup)
1 pack of silken tofu (uh... 3*4*2 block?) cut into cubes
chopped scallions
salt, White pepper, black pepper

Most of these ingredients are decently easy to find. The not-so-easy ones would be the wood ear and the lily flowers. These may be available at the local Asian grocery store in the dried form. Of course, fresh is best. You can easily find bamboo shoots canned and already julienned.

Notes about rehydrating wood ears and lily flowers: Rehydrate in wood ears in warm water and lily flowers in boiling hot water. Every so often (20 minutes or so) change water (no need for boiling hot in the lilies the second+ time). Rehydrate for at least one hour.

Combine pork with teaspoon sesame oil, teaspoon soy and 2 tablespoons cornstarch and let sit for 30 minutes. In a pot on medium-high heat coat the bottom with oil and sear the pork. Set aside. Add chilies and ginger, stir. Add stock, sugar, bamboo, wood ear, and lilies. Bring to boil. While boiling, stir in the cornstarch paste to thicken. If you like your soup even more goopy add more paste :P While boiling again, drizzle in egg in a circular motion to make ribbons. Add vinegar, soy, sesame oil, pork, and tofu. Check for seasoning with any of the sauces.

When serving add cilantro, scallions, and pepper. Those fried chinese noodle things at Americanized chinese restaurants are awesome too, or you could just fry up some wonton skins.

This recipe can be easily modified to suit your tastes and you can add practically anything you want to it. The most important flavoring in this soup (aside from the vinegar and chiles) would have to be the pork. It just doesn't taste any good without it. Of course this recipe could be veganized but who would want that.