Homemade Hot and Sour Soup
2 dry mushrooms (optional)
1” knob of ginger
2 green onion
8 oz tofu
1 teaspoon white pepper (or to taste)
3 tbsp Chinese (black) vinegar
1 tbsp cornstarch
6 cups plus 1 tbsp water, divided
3-4 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
Salt to taste
If you’re using dried mushrooms, soak them for two hours before using them.
Cut the carrot into 1” matchsticks. Soak tomato in boiling water for 2 minutes and then drain and peel the skin off. Cut into small cubes. Cut the ginger and mushrooms into matchsticks. Thinly slice green onion and cube tofu.
In a small bowl, mix vinegar and Chinese vinegar. The hot, spicy flavor of this soup comes from the white pepper so adjust the amount according to how spicy you want it. You’ll be able to add more before serving if you wish.
Mix cornstarch with water in another small bowl. Add a few drops more water if needed to create a smooth slurry. Beat eggs in a third bowl.
Bring two cups of water to a simmer on the stovetop in a large saucepan. Add dried mushrooms, fresh mushrooms and carrots. Simmer for 2 minutes and remove vegetables from the water.
Place a large saute pan or wok on the stovetop over high heat and add 3 tbsp vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add ginger and cook until fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Add tomato and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Pour 4 cups of water into the saute pan and bring to boil. Add carrots and mushrooms. Cook for 5-6 minutes or to desired softness. Gently stir in tofu and allow to heat through.
Add vinegar and white pepper then stir in cornstarch slurry and allow to thicken for 1-2 minutes. Add soy sauce and salt.
Turn heat to medium-high. Pour in eggs, slowly streaming the mixture over the surface of the soup and stir it gently to cook eggs.
Sprinkle green onion over the bottom of a large serving bowl or divide over 6 single-serving bowls. Add soup and serve immediately.
6 servings, 170 calories per serving
Hack: Pork or chicken can be used in place of tofu.
Hack: Dehydrated vegetables can be used in this recipe.
Hack: Soup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen in serving-sized containers for up to 3 months.
Hack: Matchstick carrots can be found in the packaged section of the produce department. Freeze any leftover carrots for use in cooking.
Hack: Chop leftover green onions and freeze in a sealable freezer bag or container for future use. While they won’t retain the crispness that would make them suitable for salads or garnish, they will be fine for cooking.
Hack: Look (or ask the produce clerk) for loose items such as carrots and mushrooms so you will only have to buy what you need for a particular recipe. You can also shop the salad bar if you just need a small amount of an item that you don’t think you’ll use again before it “goes over”.