Chinese Hot & Sour Soup
The original recipe for this was from GourmetGal, but I have made some changes to suit our tastes.
1/2 cup dried mo-er fungus (tree ear mushroom)
1/2 cup lean pork, cut into matchstick strips (easier to do if partially frozen)
1/2 cup bamboo shoots, cut in matchstick pieces
2 Tablespoons oil
6 cups chicken broth
2 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
6-8 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 c. water
1/2 pound firm tofu, cut into 1/4 x 1/4 x 1" strips
1 large egg, beaten
3-4 Tablespoons dark sesame oil, divided (1-2 Tablespoons for stir-frying pork, remainder for adding to soup)
Pour boiling water over dried mushrooms in a bowl and let stand at least 30 minutes.
Rinse thoroughly, drain and remove stems and woody parts from mushrooms.
Slice into matchstick pieces if whole.
Heat wok or frying pan (I use an iron pan) with a tablespoon or so of sesame oil.
Stir fry pork until color changes.
Bring chicken stock to boil in stockpot.
Add mushrooms, pork, pepper, red pepper flakes, vinegar and bamboo shoots, stirring constantly over moderate heat.
Use a soup ladle to remove some broth from the soup and deglaze the wok or frying pan, and scrape up all the pan drippings from the pork; add back into soup for additional flavor and color.
Bring to a fast simmer.
Dissolve cornstarch in water and drizzle into soup, stirring constantly.
(If it isn't as thick as you want it, dissolve more cornstarch in water and add until it gets to the consistency you desire.)
Turn off heat, add beaten egg and swirl slowly into soup.
Stir in tofu and sesame oil.
Posted/adjusted by Cathyntx.
The basis for the soup is the chicken stock, tofu, pork, mushrooms, and bamboo shoots.
The flavor will come from the vinegar, pepper flakes, and sesame oil.
Please adjust these to suit your own taste.
If making a batch to freeze, omit the egg and tofu until thawed and reheated for serving.
Frozen tofu becomes tough and spongy when frozen.