Ready in 45 minutes
The secret of a good hot and sour soup is to use the freshest ingredients to en-
rich the flavor of the broth. My version is subtle - spicy yet sour at the same time.
The addition of taro root gives body to the soup. Diced marinated raw chicken,
beef or lamb can be substituted for the pork. You can use almost any fish or shell-
fish, but add them later, with the tofu and the taro root.
This soup can be served as a first course or for lunch along with Scallion Pan-
cakes or French bread.
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To marinate the pork: Mix the soy sauce, brandy and corn starch: add the pork and mix well. Set aside at room temperature for 15 minutes until ready to use.
To make the soup: Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl.
In a large stock pot, add the stock, soy souce, vinegar, white and cayenne pepper and salt. Blend the corn starch mixture.
Bring to a boil
Add the pork and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. The soup should be thick.
Add the taro, mushrooms and tofu. Continue cooking until the taro is tender, about 15 minutes.
The soup may be prepared to this point up to one day in advance.
Using a spoon, slowly spread a fine layer of the beaten egg onto the top of the simmering soup in a smooth, thin sheet. Repeat untill all the egg is used: do not stir or pour the egg into the soup, or large lumps will form.
When the strands of egg float to the surface, stir in the sesame oil.
Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with cilantro or basil
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