Traditional Szechuan-Style Hot and Sour Soup with Tofu Fritter

  • Total: 1 hr 15 min
  • Prep: 40 min
  • Cook: 35 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Hot and Sour Soup:

1/2 pound pork shoulder, julienned

1 teaspoon sesame oil, plus 1 teaspoon

1 teaspoon thin soy sauce, plus 2 tablespoons

1 teaspoon cornstarch

Peanut oil, to cook

4 dried chiles, chopped

1 tablespoon minced ginger

8 cups chicken stock

1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup bamboo shoots, julienne (buy whole shoots and soak in water for 30 minutes, then cut)

1/2 cup dried wood ear, re-hydrated and julienned (definitely fresh if available)

2 eggs lightly beaten

2 tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with cold water to form a paste

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup chopped scallions

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Salt and white pepper

Tofu Fritter, recipe follows

Tofu Fritter:

1 pound silken tofu

3 eggs, separated, whites beaten to stiff peaks

2 tablespoons sliced scallions

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1/2 tablespoon minced ginger

2 tablespoons minced lap chong (Chinese sausage)

Salt and white pepper

Rice flour, to coat


Hot and Sour Soup:

Combine the pork with the sesame oil, soy, and cornstarch. Let stand for 30 minutes. In a hot stockpot, add oil and sear the pork, stirring quickly then set aside. Add the chiles and ginger, and stir. Add the stock, sugar, bamboo and wood ear and bring to a boil. Season. While boiling, drizzle in the egg to form ribbons. Add the cornstarch and stir constantly to thicken. Add vinegar, soy, sesame oil, scallions and cilantro including the pork and check for seasoning. I love my soup tart and spicy so more vinegar and white pepper can be added. Add Tofu Fritters to each bowl of soup and serve.

Tofu Fritter:

Preheat a fryer to 400 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the tofu, yolks, scallions, sesame oil, ginger, and sausage. Season and fold into egg whites. Using 2 spoons, make quenelles and gently place in a dish of rice flour and coat using your hands. Place in deep fryer and fry to golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season, place in soup, and immediately serve.

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