Hot and Sour Soup
Chop and measure all ingredients and beat the egg before beginning this recipe. Keep everything close at hand so you can follow cooking times exactly.
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
1/2 gallon (8 cups) freshly made chicken stock
4 ounces (about 1 cup) bamboo shoots, julienne cut
4 ounces (about 1 cup) chopped water chestnuts
2 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms (about 1 cup),
julienne cut or sliced thinly
1 tablespoon white pepper
1/4 cup vinegar
Salt, to taste
Hot red pepper, to taste (use a light hand)
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 ounces tofu, cut into small cubes
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
Whisk together cornstarch and water; set aside.
In a stock pot, warm chicken stock over medium heat. When stock begins to steam, add bamboo shoots, water chestnuts and shiitake mushrooms; cook 15 minutes, adjusting heat if necessary to keep soup just below a boil.
Stir in white pepper, vinegar, salt and hot pepper to taste. Add cornstarch mixture slowly, stirring until mixture is thick and well-combined (at least 2 minutes - taste to make sure there is no lingering cornstarch aftertaste before proceeding). Add beaten egg, stirring to make swirls of cooked egg in the soup, with tofu pieces and sesame oil.