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Hot and Sour Soup

Hot and Sour Soup is reputed to be good for colds. To increase the health benefits, feel free to add 2 or 3 teaspoons of finely chopped ginger.

For a vegetarian version, replace the pork with tofu (fresh if possible).

Serves 4


  • 6 ounces pork tenderloin, julienned
  • Marinade:
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon tapioca starch (or cornstarch)
  • Other:
  • 1/2 cup bamboo shoots
  • 2 tablespoons black fungus (Wood Ear) or Cloud Ear fungus
  • (or 3 - 4 Chinese dried black mushrooms or fresh mushrooms)
  • 1 small handful dried lily buds
  • 6 cups water (or 6 cups water and 1 cup Campbell's chicken broth)*
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons red rice vinegar, white rice vinegar, or red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • White pepper to taste (no more than 1 tablespoon)
  • Hot chili oil, to taste, optional
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil


Cut the pork into very thin strips. Mix marinade ingredients and marinate pork for 20 minutes.

Cut bamboo shoots into thin strips. To reconstitute the wood ears or wood ears, soak in warm water for 20 minutes.

Rinse, and cut into thin pieces. (If substituting Chinese dried mushrooms, soak, then cut off the stems and cut into thin strips. If using fresh mushrooms, wipe clean with a damp cloth and slice.)

Bring the water to a boil. When it is boiling, add the pork and the vegetables. Stir in the salt, sugar, soy sauce and vinegar.

Test the broth and adjust the taste if desired. (If using chicken broth, you may want to add a bit more rice vinegar).

Mix the cornstarch and water. Slowly pour the cornstarch mixture into the soup, stirring while it is being added. Let the broth come back to a boil. As soon as it is boiling, remove the broth from the stove.

Slowly drop in the beaten egg, stirring in one direction at the same time. Add the green onion and white pepper to taste. Drizzle with chili oil if desired. Remove from the heat and stir in the sesame oil. Serve hot.

(This dish can be prepared ahead of time and frozen. When ready to serve, thaw, add the tofu and bring to boiling. When the soup is boiling, add the egg.)

*Adjust the ratio of water to chicken stock as desired.

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