Polar Vortex Hot and Sour Soup

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4

Description: The many layers of flavor and the variety of textures in this soup are intoxicating; no alcohol required. When I am sick or sad, I find myself craving this curative elixir. Believe it or not, it is quite easy to make at home!
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Serves: 4
Time: 35 minutes (10 m prep, 25 m cook)
Ingredients:
(Ingredients and measurements subject to availability)

  1. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil*
  2. 1 garlic clove, smashed and minced
  3. 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  4. 4 scallions, white and green parts, minced
  5. 1/3 cup carrots, thinly julienned
  6. 4 cups store-bought or homemade chicken stock
  7. 1 cup chicken, pre-cooked and cut into ½ cubes
  8. 1 lb. firm tofu, cut into ½-inch cubes
  9. ½ cup button mushrooms, sliced
  10. 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  11. 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  12. 3 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste
  13. 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  14. 1 tablespoon sesame oil, plus more for garnish
  15. 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  16. 2 large eggs
  17. Black pepper for garnish*

*Not provided:
Vegetable oil
Pepper

Equipment:
Stock pot or large Sauce pan

Instructions
:

  1. In the saucepan, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the garlic, ginger, scallion, carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1 minute. Do not scorch the garlic or it will turn bitter. Wipe mushrooms clean with a moist paper towel and slice thinly.
  2. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Add tofu to the broth. I used firm tofu, but not extra firm. Add the chicken, mushrooms, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, black pepper, sesame oil, and hot sauce and bring the soup back to a simmer over medium-high heat. Taste the soup. If you want it hotter, add more hot sauce; if you like your soup to be sourer, add a little extra vinegar (which I did.) I ended adding what I would approximate to be 2/3 cup vinegar in total and 1 ½ teaspoons of black pepper in total.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until blended. With the soup at a steady simmer, slowly whisk in the eggs so they form strands. Bring the soup back to a simmer. Divide the soup among 4 to 6 bowls and garnish each with a little sesame oil, scallion, and white or black pepper. Serve immediately.

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