The Chinese hot and sour soup is a thick soup with robust flavors that come from chili, soy sauce, ginger and black vinegar. It includes mushrooms, meat, vegetables and tofu.
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Chinese Hot and Sour Soup

This recipe supersedes the old one published in 2009. Trust me, I got it right this time.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8
Author Connie Veneracion

Ingredients

  • 250 grams pork shoulder (with a generous amount of fat!)
  • 6 to 8 large fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 wood ear mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 two-inch knob ginger
  • 1 to 2 bird's eye chilies
  • 1 small carrot
  • 150 grams soft tofu
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 8 cups bone broth divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • salt (if your bone broth is under-salted)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch (use more for a thicker soup)
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar
  • sliced scallions to garnish (optional)

Instructions

  • Cut the pork into thin slices; cut each slice into slivers about 1/4 inch wide.
  • Pull off and discard the stems of the shiitake mushrooms. Thinly slice the caps.
  • Cut off and discard the tough sections of the wood ear mushrooms. Thinly slice the wood ears.
  • Peel and mince the garlic.
  • Peel and grate the ginger.
  • Chop the chili.
  • Peel and julienne the carrot (note that bamboo shoot is the traditional vegetable for hot and sour soup, but I like carrot better).
  • Cut the soft tofu into half-inch cubes.
  • Heat the cooking oil in a pot.
  • Saute the ginger, garlic and chili with the five-spice powder in the hot oil until lightly browned.
  • Add the pork to the pot and cook until lightly browned.
  • Add the shiitake to the pork.
  • Pour in 7 cups of broth and soy sauce. Stir in the sugar. Bring to the boil. Lower the heat, cover the pot and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Disperse the corn starch in the remaining broth and pour into the pot. Stir until the broth is thick and clear.
  • Add the tofu cubes, wood ears and julienned carrot to the soup. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the black vinegar. Taste. Add more salt if necessary (adding more soy sauce will make the soup too dark).
  • Garnish the hot and sour soup with scallions and serve at once.