Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hot and Sour Soup alla Jessica

This is a Tyler Florence recipe that I modified to be a bit easier and less time consuming. I'm posting it here at the special request of my hot-and-sour-addicted friend, Jessica! Hope you enjoy it, girly. I haven't had a chance to make it yet, but I trust Tyler Florence--the guy can just flat out cook. I haven't made any changes that will compromise the overall integrity of his recipe. He used wood-ear mushrooms and I replaced them with shitake. I love the flavor of shitake mushrooms and it's not always easy to find mushroom varieties other than white, portobello, cremini, and shitake. If you know where to get some nice wood-ears, by all means use them for this recipe. Also, he has a recipe for "Chinese Chicken broth," which is basically your regular chicken broth with scallions added and carrots, celery and tomato taken out. In the end it may taste better in the recipe, but I am certain that regular chicken broth isn't going to be the end of the hot and sour universe. However, for his recipe and the recipe for Chinese Chicken Broth, go here:

A little piece of info about hot and sour soup: when I was pregnant, I ate it as much as I could. For some reason it tasted so wonderful to me and I'd have to think of other things to order so I could get them to deliver me a pint of the soup! Well, this baby turned out so well I may just eat it constantly the next time I get pregnant as well! Buon appetito, friends.

First of all, maybe a day in advance, you’ll want to put about a ½ lb pork roast into the crock pot with some salt and pepper to season. Let it cook till it’s tender, remove it from the juices and shred it up like you’re doing barbeque.


-1 cup sliced shitake mushrooms (our grocery store sells them fresh, but if you have to buy the dried kind, put them in a bowl, cover them with boiling water and let them sit for 30 minutes to reconstitute)
-2 tablespoons canola oil
-1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
-1 tablespoon red chile paste, 2 if you like some extra spice in your life ;)
-1/2 cup canned bamboo shoots, sliced into straws
-1/4 lb shredded pork
-1/4 cup soy sauce
¼ cup rice vinegar
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp pepper
-pinch of sugar
-2 quarts chicken broth
-1 square firm tofu, drained and sliced into ¼ inch strips
-3 tbs cornstarch mixed with ¼ cup water
-1 large egg, beaten
-chopped scallions and cilantro leaves, for serving

Heat the 2 tablespoons canola/vegetable oil in a soup pot. Add the ginger, chile paste, bamboo shoots, and shredded pork and cook for about a minute. Mix together the soy sauce, vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar then pour into the pot and stir to coat. Pour in the chicken broth, bring to a boil, then add the tofu. Put the cornstarch into a small bowl and, using a whisk, drizzle cold water from the tap into the cornstarch, stirring constantly to dissolve any lumps. Pour this mixture into the broth and continue to simmer it until it thickens a little bit. Once the mixture has thickened, remove it from the heat and stir it quickly in one direction (clockwise) to get the motion going. While the broth is still swirling, drizzle in the beaten egg and watch it spread throughout the soup. It will be cooked almost instantly. Serve with slices of raw scallion and a generous handful of cilantro.

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