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Sunday, 8 December 2013


When we go out for Chinese food, we always order Hot and Sour Soup, so the girls learned to LOVE it while they were still little. 

So when my family thought my latest version was very good, I knew I had created a recipe to share .  J


7 cups pork or chicken stock
8 dried Chinese mushrooms
454 g medium tofu
1 tsp grated ginger root
1 can bamboo shoots (227 ml)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 cup frozen peas
Salt to taste:  soup should be well-seasoned with salt: 
Keep adding and tasting until it tastes right.

¼ tsp pepper
2 tbsp Vietnamese Chili Garlic Sauce
2 tsp Hot Pepper Paste: (I used Gochujang , product of S. Korea): if unavailable use
            more Chili Garlic Sauce to taste:  keep adding until the soup is spicy-hot enough for you

½ cup preserved bamboo shoots, if available: (product of Taiwan) contains chili oil and sesame oil
50 g (2 oz) uncooked chicken breast
 4-5 tbsp rice vinegar
3 tbsp corn starch

1.     Soak the dried mushrooms in boiling water for 30 minutes.  Drain.  Remove and discard stems.   Slice 4 of the mushrooms.  Quarter the remaining four.
2.     Cut tofu into small cubes.
3.     Open tin of bamboo shoots.  Cut the shoots in half (to make bite-size).
4.     Grate the ginger root.
5.     Put cold stock in pot with the mushrooms, bamboo shoots, tofu, and peas.
6.     Taste for salt.  Keep adding salt until the soup is well-seasoned and tastes just a teeny-bit salty.
7.     Now add the pepper and Chili Garlic Sauce and Hot Pepper Paste.  Taste as you add the hot sauce as you may prefer milder heat, but a good Hot and Sour Soup should NOT be too mild.   If you find the Hot Pepper Paste, put it in a small dish and blend it with some of the soup stock before adding it into the pot.
8.     Add the preserved bamboo shoots now, if you find them.  (I found them in a Chinese grocery – the only English on the jar was in small print on the back label).
9.     Slice the chicken breast very finely and set aside in the fridge.
10.                          In a small bowl, take out and reserve 6 tbsp of the stock from the big pot.
11.                          Put corn starch into another small bowl and set aside.

The soup can wait now until you’re ready to serve dinner.   

·         Bring the soup to the boil and stir in the chicken.
·        Add the vinegar and taste.  Add more, if desired.
·        Add the reserved, cold stock to the corn starch and stir to blend.
·        Pour this into the soup to thicken it.  This will take just a few minutes.
And Serve!  (enough for 8)

I don’t know yet if it freezes well, but I’ve given that a try, too!