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Sichuan Hot & Sour Soup: a Chinese Classic

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Linda Anusasananan
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This Sichuan classic tingles with a peppery bite, tempered with a mellow tang. Thin slivers of meat and vegetable contribute contrasting textures to this velvety soup. Watch this Grokker Premium video to see Hakka Chinese chef Linda Lau Anusasananan's demonstration of how to prepare Hot & Sour Soup.

Cooking Recipe

Serves: 6

Ingredients:
Pork:
8 ounces boned pork loin or tenderloin, fat-trimmed, cut in thin sticks, 2 to 3 inches long
1 tbsp Chinese rice wine (shaoxing) or dry sherry
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp vegetable oil
¼ tsp salt

Soup:
3 dried black fungus (1 inch wide) or dried shiitake mushrooms (2 inches wide)
4 cups chicken broth
½ cup sliced bamboo shoots, rinsed, and cut in thin sticks, 2-3 inches long
1 tbsp thinly slivered fresh ginger
8 ounces soft tofu, cut in ½-inch cubes (about 1½ cups)
¼ cup water
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp ground white pepper
3 tbsp Chinese black vinegar, rice vinegar, or balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Asian sesame oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ cup thinly sliced green onions

Directions:
1. In a small bowl, mix the pork with wine, cornstarch, oil, and salt.

2. Rinse the fungus or mushrooms and soak in hot water until soft, about 15 minutes for black fungus or 20-60 minutes for mushrooms. Rub fungus to remove any grit and rinse. Squeeze out the water. Pinch out and discard hard knobby center in fungus. Cut off and discard the mushroom stems. Cut the fungus or mushroom caps in thin strips.

3. In a 3-4-quart pan over high heat, bring the broth to a boil. Add the fungus or mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and ginger. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the pork mixture and stir to separate the pieces. Add the tofu and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer, covered, until tofu is hot and pork is no longer pink, 3-5 minutes.

4. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch, water, soy sauce, and pepper. Add the mixture to soup and stir until soup boils and thickens, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from heat. Add the vinegar and sesame oil. Slowly stir the egg into the soup. Sprinkle with the green onions.

Enjoy!

Sichuan Hot & Sour Soup
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