Sometimes it’s really nice to create something in your own kitchen that you can honestly say that you prefer to its restaurant equivalent. I feel that way about the recipe for “Mama Chang’s Hot and Sour Soup” from Flour Too by Jeanne Chang. I’ve adapted the recipe somewhat, but it’s pretty faithful to the original.
If you do any Chinese cooking at all, you probably have fresh ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil and Sriracha on hand. If not, they are readily available in any grocery store. And definitely worth having for quick stir fry meals.
Adhering to the classic French mise en place (put in place) is especially important for Chinese cooking. Cooking is much easier if you have everything you’ll need out, chopped, and measured before you begin.
2 TBS vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 TBS fresh ginger, minced
4 scallions (white and green parts) minced
1/2 lb. ground pork
4 C chicken stock
1 lb block of firm tofu, cut into 1/2” cubes
5 thinly sliced white mushrooms
1 tsp. sugar
2/3 C rice vinegar
3 TBS soy sauce
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 TBS sesame oil
1 TBS Sriracha sauce
1 large egg, whisked
1. Heat the vegetable oil in a soup pan. Add the garlic, ginger, and ground pork. Stir until the pork is no longer pink.
2. Add the chicken stock. Bring to a strong simmer.
3. In a measuring cup, combine the rice vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, black pepper, sesame oil, and Sriracha.
4. Add the tofu, mushrooms and the vinegar mixture (#3) to the pot. Keep at a strong simmer for a couple of minutes.
5. While the soup is bubbling, slowly add the egg, whisking it around with a fork to form strands.
6. Serve sprinkled with chopped scallions and an extra drizzle of sesame oil.
The ingredients list might look long, but for something this authentic, this soup is really surprisingly simple to make.