Hot and Sour Soup

HOT AND SOUR SOUP Suan La Tong SERVES 4 TO 6

Hot and sour soups are popular throughout Asia—from the “sour soups” (canh chua) of Vietnam to the tom yum of Thailand. However, thanks to Chinese restaurants, you can find a Westernized version of this soup (and an egg roll!) almost everywhere, best enjoyed with a cheap-and-cheerful takeout box of Beef with Broccoli.

This is a home-style hot and sour soup, closer to the way it is served in China. Although most versions use a simple chicken broth, this recipe creates an indulgent version with the luxurious use of Long Life “Supreme” Broth.

INGREDIENTS:

2 ounces (½ cup) dried wood ear mushrooms

2 ounces (½ cup) dried daylilies

Boiling water


½ pound boneless pork loin, cut horizontally into long, 2-inch- thick pieces and then vertically into slivers (freeze briefly for easier cutting)

1 tablespoon cornstarch


¼ cup soy sauce


4 cups Long Life “Supreme” Broth (page 79) or other chicken broth

2 tablespoons vegetable oil


½ pound firm tofu, cut into 2-inch-long slivers


8 fresh shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced


1 6-ounce can sliced bamboo shoots, drained


3 large eggs, beaten together


1 teaspoon finely ground white pepper, or to taste


¼ cup Chinkiang black vinegar, or to taste


2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil

Thinly sliced scallions (green and white parts), for garnish

Chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems, for garnish

Place the dried mushrooms and daylilies in separate bowls, and cover both with boiling water. Soak for 30 minutes to rehydrate.

In a small bowl, toss the pork loin pieces with the cornstarch and soy sauce. Let sit for at least 15 minutes to tenderize the pork. (The cornstarch on the pork will also help to thicken the soup when the pork is added.) Drain the mushrooms and daylilies; thinly slice them both and set aside.

Pour the “Supreme” Broth into a large pot and bring it to a boil.

In a wok, heat the vegetable oil over high heat until sizzling. Add the pork loin and stir-fry for about 2 minutes, until it is lightly browned. Add the wood ear mushrooms, daylilies, tofu, shiitake mushrooms, and bamboo shoots and stir-fry for 2 minutes.

Add the wok ingredients to the broth, return it to a boil over medium heat, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and slowly drizzle in the beaten eggs, stirring constantly. Stir in the white pepper, vinegar, and sesame oil. Serve at once, with sliced scallions and chopped cilantro.