Classic Hot and Sour Soup 🥣
This is a very popular soup from Northern China where my parents are from, especially during the long cold winter. It is served very hotly and the spices will warm your heart, clean your sinuses, and make you sneeze. Traditionally the soup is made with tree ear mushroom, dried lily buds, winter bamboo shoots, fresh pork blood, and white pepper.
- 6 oz pork tenderloin, finely julienned
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 14-16 oz box soft or silken tofu
- 2 quarts chicken stock
- ½ cup cornstarch mixed with ½ cup water
- 2 teaspoon white pepper powder
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ½ cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbs very finely julienned ginger
- 5 Thai chili peppers, finely minced
- 6 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms stemmed and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
- 2 large eggs, whisked
- 3 green onion white part only, thinly sliced
- Marinate pork tenderloin with 2 tsp cornstarch, 1 tsp soy sauce, and 1 tsp vegetable oil.
- Drain the liquid from the tofu box and gently remove the tofu.
- Cut the tofu into ¼ inch strips.
- Bring water in a medium pot to a boil and gently add the tofu strips.
- Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Strain and gently set the tofu aside in a large bowl
- Add the chicken broth, cornstarch, white pepper, soy sauce, vinegar, chili pepper, and ginger to a large stockpot and stir to combine.
- Heat over medium to high heat until the soup reaches a simmer.
- Carefully add the poached tofu, followed by the julienned pork tenderloin and shiitake mushrooms to the soup.
- Continue to simmer and stir the soup for another 20 minutes until the soup has thickened.
- Slowly pour the eggs to the top of the soup in a slow circular motion to form thin streams of egg ribbons.
- Do not stir the soup until the egg ribbons set and float to the surface.
- Turn off the heat and add scallions.
- Stir and serve immediately. This soup should be served piping hot.
It is very important to only use soft or silken tofu to get a velvety texture. Poaching the tofu first will cook off the extra water from the tofu and ensure the finished soup and a silky texture. Cornstarch should add at the beginning of the cooking process to ensure that it is well incorporated and give the soup its pearly silky texture. I like to use the freshest ingredients to enrich the flavor of the broth.
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