Chinese Hot and Sour Soup
with shiitake mushrooms / tofu / simple fried rice
This Chinese take-out favorite has a tangy kick and slightly thick texture that tastes restorative and is great in cold weather.
Smarts: The unique wisps in hot and sour soup are made when whisked eggs are stirred in at the end of cooking. You want them to cook for just a minute - long enough to be fully cooked but still soft.
- Tofu, extra firm - 12 oz , cut into 1/2” / 1.3cm cubes (vaccum packed preferable)
- Mushrooms, shiitake - 4 oz , sliced (look for pre-sliced to save time)
- Bamboo shoots, canned - 3 oz , sliced into thin strips
- Eggs - 2 , whisked
- Cilantro - 2 Tbsp , leaves torn
- Oil, toasted sesame - 1 Tbsp
- Stock, any type - 5 cups
- Soy sauce - 3 Tbsp
- Vinegar, rice - 2 Tbsp
- Sugar - 1/2 tsp
- Ground white pepper (opt) - 1/4 tsp (sub black peper)
- Red pepper flakes - 1/2 tsp
- Cornstarch - 2 Tbsp
- Water - 3 Tbsp
- Lemon juice - 2 tsp
- Frozen vegetables, any mix - 1 cup (look for stir-fry mixes or frozen peas and carrots)
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Cooked rice (leftover from Monday) - ~1 1/2 cups
- Soy sauce, low-sodium - 1 Tbsp
- Vinegar, rice - 2 tsp
- Hot sauce (opt) - for serving
Tofu - If tofu is packaged in water, press out liquid first. Then slice into 0.5” / 1.25 cm cubes. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
Mushrooms - Slice, if not pre-sliced. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
Bamboo shoots - Drain and rinse. Most come pre-sliced, but slice them down further into small strips. (They will be easier to eat in the soup that way.)
Frozen vegetables - Defrost in the microwave and drain off any water.
Eggs - Whisk eggs.
Cilantro - Chop cilantro leaves.
Pour stock over mushrooms and bring to a simmer. Add soy sauce (portion for soup), vinegar (portion for soup), sugar, white pepper, red pepper flakes, tofu and bamboo shoots to soup. Whisk together cornstarch and water and add to soup while stirring. Simmer for 5 minutes to let soup thicken and flavors develop.
While soup simmers, heat a wok with cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add frozen vegetables and saute until liquid is cooked off and vegetables are starting to brown and sizzle in the bottom of the pan. Stir in rice, soy sauce (portion for rice) and rice vinegar (portion for rice) and cook for 1 minute more. Taste and season with a pinch of salt or some more vinegar. Set aside.
Return to soup. While stirring soup in one direction, slowly pour in whisked eggs. Stir in lemon juice. Season with some salt and pepper.
Divide soup between serving bowls. Top with cilantro leaves. Enjoy fried rice (with some hot sauce if you’d like) on the side.