Jay’s favorite type of food is anything Mexican, and mine Asian. Especially Sushi. Lets just say Mexican restaurants are abundant in Texas and Asian ones aren’t. My favorite thing from the best Sushi restaurant in Columbus, Blue Ginger (& its sister, Royal Ginger), is Hot & Sour Soup. The hot comes from white pepper and red pepper flakes and the sour from rice vinegar. This version Jay and I made has a few substitutions, but it is just as delicious as restaurant-quality Hot & Sour Soup.
Hot & Sour Soup
For this recipe you will need:
- 4dried Chinese fungi, such as wood ears or cloud ears (we used shiitake)
- 2T oil
- 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated (we chopped it really small)
- 1T red chile paste, such as sambal oelek (our Texas Twist is crushed chipotles in adobo)
- 1/2cup canned bamboo shoots, sliced
- 1/4cup soy sauce
- 1/4cup rice vinegar
- 1tsp salt
- 1tsp ground white pepper (we used black and a little extra)
- Pinch sugar
- 2quarts Chicken stock (we used a combo of chicken & vegetable broth)
- 3T cornstarch mixed with 4T water
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Chopped green onions and cilantro leaves, for garnish
- (You can also add pork or tofu to this recipe if you want. If using pork sauté it with the veggies. If tofu, add with sauce and cook for 3minutes)
Prep – Soak dried mushrooms in boiling water for 30mintues. The recipe calls for wood or clour ear mushrooms but the only kind we found we shiitake and it tasted great. We opted for more than 4mushrooms because I love them, but you can do as many as you like. Also, this is kind of a stinky process, don’t be afraid of the stink, you will discard most of the mushroom liquid anyways. In the meantime you can move on to prepping the sauce mixture and the other veggies.
I added more like 2 pinches of sugar and a little extra pepper because black pepper is not quite as strong as white . It had a really good flavor, didn’t miss the white pepper at all.
Jay was the best prep cook ever and chopped up ginger (the recipe called for grated ginger– Jay just chopped it really, really small. We also added sliced garlic to the recipe (why not?) and then jay cut the sliced bambo shoots (from a can) into skinnier pieces. Yum-o!
Cook – After slicing the mushrooms, you add 2T of oil to a hot pan, and add the ginger, garlic, bamboo shoots, mushrooms and 1T of red chili paste. Now here is how this recipe becomes Texas Hot & Sour Soup. We probably stood in the aisle of the grocery store that contains Asian food items for 25 minutes (and trust me, this is a small section) with no luck on the chili paste.
We thought about just using sweet chili sauce, but it might be too sweet. So we opted for an abundant item in Texas, a can of crushed chipotle peppers packed in adobo sauce. It did ad a deeper, smokey flavor, and just the right punch of heat we needed. (We also used some of this in a pot of chili earlier in the week).
Once you soften the veggies enough, add in the bowl of sauce, it will smell very strongly of vinegar (so don’t stand right over the pot) but don’t worry! Let that mixture heat through and then you can incorporate the broth. The recipe calls for a homemade Chinese Chicken Stock, but we didn’t feel like making the stock. We used a combination of 1quart Low Sodium Chicken Stock (soy sauce is already salty enough!) and 1quart Vegetable Broth. Bring to a boil and boil for 10mintues.
Now you can prep your last two items. Mix a slurry of 3T cornstarch with 4T water, set aside. Beat one egg, set aside.
Once you’ve boiled the soup for 10 minutes, slowly wisk in the slurry and cook until it thickens. You will know when it is ready because it will get a velvety texture like egg drop soup. You can also leave the thickness up to you. Now, turn off the heat, stir the soup in a circle and slowly pour in the egg. It will cook instantly and make swirly egg ribbons.
Let the soup cool for a few minutes and top with cilantro and chopped green onions. You can also adjust the heat by adding hot sauce, or more chilis and add a little more sour at this point if you like. Ours turned out with a really good balance of flavor, can’t wait for leftovers already!
The base for this recipe comes from Tyler Florence’s Hot & Sour Soup recipe.