Oooh…. what’s better for a head cold in the wintertime, eh? The toasted sesame aroma giving way to the vinegar and pepper as what can only be described as tasty Hunan lava flows over your insides while you pick out the mushrooms, noodles and salty pork…
This is sounding like porno! Team me up with Ron Jeremy & we’ll pitch it to Food TV!
Any bets on Ron eating them into bankruptcy?
I’ve tried different recipes for Hot & Sour Soup over the years. Mostly the variations occur in the “heat” source for the pepper flavor. I’ve seen chili paste, hot oil, various cayenne-based hot sauces, and hot bean paste used, all with slightly different results, but I keep coming back to the first recipe I ever tried, which uses white pepper.
And here it is!
First I cut up 4-5 black chinese mushrooms (or soften up some dried shittakes by soaking them and then slicing them up), and add that to 1/2 cup of bamboo shoots, maybe 1/4 pound of pork loin cut into very thin slivers, a tablespoon of dark soy sauce, a teaspoon of salt – all of which goes into 4 cups of chicken broth.
Bring it to a boil, and then simmer for 3 minutes. (Kosher? Vegetarian? Feel free to skip the pork, or substitute some pre-boiled or leftover cold chicken or precooked baby shrimp or even drained canned clams – anything a little salty works here, and you can use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.)
Add one cup of tofu cut into 1/4″ cubes (medium or firm works best), an ounce or so of bean thread noodles (presoaked in hot water for 5 minutes, and then cut into short pieces), a teaspoon of white pepper, and three tablespoons of red wine vinegar. Bring it back up to a boil. Now mix in a pre-mixed slurry of 3 tablespoons of cornstarch mixed into 3 tablespoons of water, and this will thicken the soup. Slowly pour in a beaten egg for little egg drops throughout.
You can freeze or refrigerate the soup at this stage, and it’ll keep frozen for weeks. To serve while hot, pour into bowls and garnish with sesame oil & chopped green onion. The ratios above should yield 4-6 servings as a soup course, or in MY case, two big cold-curing dosages of this magic elixir.
Or as Ron Jeremy might say – “This’ll put hair on your back!”
Come to think of it, that might not be the best advertisement for this stuff. But trust me, it’s damn good!