Hot and Sour Soup
- 4 dried Chinese black mushrooms
- 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1/4 cup dried Chinese lily buds (flowers optional)
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces fresh firm tofu, cut into thin strips or small cubes
- 2 baby bok choy thinly sliced
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 pound lean pork, cut into thin strips or 1 (4-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into thin strips
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup stock to form paste
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon chili paste or cracked black pepper
- 2 thinly slivered scallions (green and white parts)
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
Soak mushrooms and lily flowers in boiling hot water for 20 minutes. Drain and reserve soaking liquid.
In a large pot, combine soaking liquid and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and season with salt. Simmer 5 minutes, add tofu, exotic mushrooms and bok choy. Slowly add egg to soup, stirring gently. Then add pork or chicken. Cover and cook about 5 minutes.
Stir a little of the hot stock into cornstarch paste and add this mixture to the soup. Cook another 2 minutes.
Stir in sesame oil, vinegar, and chili paste or black pepper. Sprinkle with scallions and cilantro, serve immediately