In Jakarta, almost every weekend, as the first meal of the day we used to head to a Chinese restaurant. There we would have the most delicious hand pulled noodles in a chicken broth, dumplings and hot and sour soup.
While I'm a long, long way off mastering the hand pulled noodle, I reckon I've done pretty well in the hot and sour soup department. Last night was the second time I made this. The second time was much better than the first - in fact it was pretty damn good. This recipe is put together from about six different recipes I found trawling the internet.
For the hot and sour soup you will need:
makes 4 large servings
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 block of firm tofu (cut into small squares)
- 1 dozen large shrimp
- 1 cup cooked chicken (I used the chicken left over from the stock I made, you can use whatever cooked chicken you have, or alternatively pork or skip this altogether).
- 8 dried shitake mushrooms (soaked in hot water for at least 30 minutes - reserve the liquid for later)
- 20 dried lily buds (soaked in hot water for 15 minutes) (great if you can get them but not the end of the world if you can't)
- 10 dried tree (ear) mushrooms (soaked in hot water for at least 30 minutes) (again, great if you can get these, but not necessary)
- 3/4 cup bamboo shoots (canned are fine)
- 6 tablespoons rice vinegar (you may need more to taste)
- 3 tablespoons light soy (you may need more to taste)
- Salt (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 3-4 tablespoons of corn starch
- 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper (you may need more to taste - this is the key ingredient, it's what gives the hot in the hot and sour).
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup chopped spring onions (scallions)
- 1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves
- Cut the chicken, shrimp, mushrooms (discard the stems), lily buds and bamboo shoots into little, tiny square pieces that are reasonably uniform in size.
- Bring the stock to a boil.
- Stir together around 1/2 a cup of the liquid reserved from soaking the shitake mushrooms with the corn starch. Set aside.
- Stir together the vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and salt in a bowl.
- Add the chopped chicken, mushrooms, lily buds and bamboo shoots to the stock. Bring to boil.
- Stir in vinegar mixture.
- Stir in corn starch mixture. The soup will thicken.
- Return to boil.
- Add chopped shrimp and tofu.
- Simmer for one minute.
- Beat eggs with a fork. Stir soup in one direction and add beaten eggs to soup in a thin stream.
- Stir in pepper.
- Season to taste - you may need to add additional vinegar, soy sauce and some sauce.
- Sprinkle chopped spring onions and coriander.