Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Chinese Hot and Sour Soup

When I asked Otousan (my father-in-law) what his favorite food was in the whole world... without hesitation he answered "Chinese hot and sour soup." I was surprised that he would choose such a simple dish out of all the wonderful things he must have eaten in his life time since Otousan is quite the gourmet.
Hot and sour soup is up there on my list of food I love, but the #1 spot? really? Well, ever since Otousan told me that, I promised that I would cook him some hot and sour soup. It's been quite a while since I made that promise so I decided to perfect the soup before I see him again at our next family gathering.
For my first attempt, I think the soup turned out pretty awesome (if I may say so myself). Something about hot and sour soup is so addicting that I just keep going back for seconds and thirds.


4 cups chicken stock or broth
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup thinly sliced pork
1 /2 cup water chestnuts
1/2 cup mushrooms (shitake, shimeji) sliced
1 tablespoon Chinese chili sauce (tobanjan)
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup canned bamboo shoots, julienned
3 oz block of tofu, julienned
2 tablespoons cornstarch and 2 tablespoons cold water
2 eggs, beaten
2 green onion stalks, chopped
1/2 teaspoon sesame seed oil

1. In a big soup pot, saute the pork in hot sesame oil.
2. Add chicken broth and simmer.
3. Add soy sauce, mushrooms and tobanjan chili paste.
4. Simmer for five minutes.
5. Add white pepper, white vinegar, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, tofu and simmer.
6. Combine two tablespoons of cornstarch with two tablespoons of cold water in a cup. Stir until mixture is smooth. Add cornstarch mixture to soup and stir well.
7. Simmer for five minutes until soup is thickened.
8. Beat egg in a cup until yolk and white are combined. Pour beaten egg slowly, in a fine stream into soup. Stir soup several times.
10. Add green onions to soup. Stir well. Remove from heat.
11. Serve hot.
The secret ingredient is this, tobanjan. Tobanjan is a fermented soy bean paste that is REALLY spicy but very good. It is available at most Asian grocery stores. It's used in most spicy Chinese food to add kick to the flavor. Love it.


Clumbsy Cookie said...

Hot and sour soup? Never heard of it! But I'm allways interested in other people's favourite dishes.

VeggieGirl said...

Looks comforting!!

Grace said...

tobanjan, eh? i'll keep my eyes peeled, because any ingredient that makes a dish spicy is a winner in my book. :)

That Girl said...

I'm with you. I like hot and sour soup, but its not my favorite thing in the world.

gaga said...

Restaurant hot and sour soup is never hot or sour enough for me. I love that you shared your recipe becuz now I can make it the way I like it =)


Kevin said...

That soup looks really tasty! Hot and sour soup is one of my favorite things to order when eating out. I am gong to have to try making it at home,

Cynthia said...

This is one of my favourite soups.

::Christine:: said...

Looks tasty!

Dawn said...

if made right this is my favorite soup as well. some places make it good some bad. I need to do this myself eventually. this does have a lot of good ingredients in it.

Mochachocolata Rita said...

perrrrffffect for winter! it's so easy to get outside i am too lazy to get it done at home (i say this a lot and i'll end up trying at home and fail miserably haha)

Sophie said...

That was sweet of you to make him the soup! Oh, this looks like savory comfort food! The photo looks sooo good! Have a great Thanksgiving :D.

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