Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ground Hog Day ...I saw my shadow!!!

I woke up this morning and saw my shadow ...which means 6 more weeks of soups and stews. To help you get through these next few weeks here is a great recipe for Hot and Sour Soup ...enjoy!

Hot and Sour Soup

· 1 oz. dried Chinese black mushrooms or dried shiitake mushrooms
· 3 cups boiling water
· 2 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. white wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar
· 1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. soy sauce
· 1/2 tsp. Asian sesame oil
· 1 1/4 tsp. Hot Asian chili oil
· 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
· 5 cups chicken stock
· 1/2 cup canned thinly sliced bamboo shoots, rinsed and drained
· 1 boneless, skinless whole chicken breast, about 1/2 lb., cut crosswise into thin bite-size slices
· 1/4 lb. firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2- inch cubes
· 2 Tbs. cornstarch
· 1/4 cup water
· 1 egg, well beaten

To rehydrate dried whole mushrooms, place them in a bowl, add boiling water to cover and let soak for 30 minutes, until soft. For dried mushroom slices, reduce the soaking time to 15 to 20 minutes. Drain well. For extra mushroom flavor, reserve the soaking liquid and add it to the dish. Before using, strain the liquid through a sieve lined with cheesecloth or a coffee filter to remove any grit.

Soak the dried mushrooms in the boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain the mushrooms and slice them thinly. Set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together the vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, chili oil and the 1/2 tsp. pepper. Set aside. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the stock to a simmer. Add the mushrooms and bamboo shoots and cook until the stock is aromatic, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the chicken and tofu. Cook until the chicken is just opaque throughout and the tofu is heated through, about 2 minutes. Add the reserved vinegar-soy mixture and bring to a simmer.

In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water and stir until the cornstarch is dissolved. Add to the soup and stir until the soup begins to thicken. Remove from the heat. Add the egg, whisking with a fork until little shreds of cooked egg form. Taste and adjust the seasonings with vinegar, pepper or soy sauce. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and serve immediately.

Accompany the soup with a shredded cabbage salad dressed with rice wine vinegar, sugar and a little oil.

Serves 4.

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