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Hot & Sour Soup

This one comes to us from reader Tom K. — another perfect foil for Riesling!

Tou-Fu Swan La Tong (Bean Curd Hot & Sour Soup)

Ingredients:

6 cups chicken broth (preferably low sodium)
1/2 cup shredded chicken (or pork)
1/2 cup shredded bamboo shoots
1/2 cup diced or shredded water chestnuts
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sliced bean curd (tofu)
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup hot water
1 egg plus 2nd egg white (and 2 tablespoons hot water)
8 Chinese dried hard mushrooms - Shiitakes work (WG Note - we used wood ears)
1 green onion, chopped

Preparation:

When shredding or cutting....ideally make all the pieces the same shape and size. Usually 1/4-inch wide and 1-inch long. This applies to the chicken, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts and tofu. Also, if using pork, use a little diced ginger (good idea in all Chinese cooking).

Wash mushrooms and soak in a cup of hot water for about 30 minutes. Drain. Add the mushroom water to the chicken broth. Cut the stems off and throw away. Shred the mushrooms into 1/4-inch strips.

In separate bowl, mix cornstarch and very hot water....set aside. Also in separate bowl, hand-beat one egg plus 2nd egg white and 2 tablespoons of hot water....set aside.

Bring chicken broth and mushroom water to boil. Add chicken (separate the shredding or it will become lumpy). Cook 3 minutes, add mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and water chestnuts. Cook one more minute. Add soy sauce, salt and tofu. Bring to a boil again and add vinegar and black pepper.

With a fork or chopstick, again stir the cornstarch mixture and add it slowly to the soup.

Remove from heat. Gradually stir in beaten egg mixture. Cover the dish and let it sit 5 - 7 minutes.

Garnish each bowl with chopped green onion and droplets of sesame oil. SERVE HOT!!