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Chinese Hot and Sour Soup

by Dorothy Huang

Serves 6 to 8

¼ pound boneless lean pork, (pork loin or butterfly pork chops)

Marinade for pork:

1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry

4 Chinese dried mushrooms
¼ cup dried black cloud ears or wood ears
¼ pound (1 square) firm tofu
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 quart chicken broth
1 cup shredded bamboo shoots
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons chili oil
3 tablespoons chopped green onions

To Prepare Ahead:

1. Shred pork by slicing it thinly across the grain, then cutting the slices into tiny strips. (1/8 X 1/8 x 2 inches). Add marinade ingredients to the meat and mix thoroughly. Let stand for 15 minutes.

2. Soak mushrooms and cloud ears in 2 separate bowls with 3 cups of hot water for 20 minutes. Remove mushrooms from water. Cut off stems. Cut the caps into thin strips. Rinse cloud ears 2 or 3 times until water is clear. Pinch off any hard bits and shred into thin strips.

3. Drain tofu and cut into 1/4-inch by 1/4 inch by 3-inch strips.

4. Mix 3 tablespoons cornstarch with 3 tablespoons vinegar, 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon white pepper in a small bowl.

To Cook:

1. Bring chicken broth to a boil over high heat in a 4-quart saucepan. Add pork, mushrooms, black cloud ears, and bamboo shoots. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 3 minutes.

2. Return heat to high. Add tofu and cornstarch mixture; stir gently until it boils.

3. Add beaten egg slowly, stirring while pouring. Remove from heat. Add sesame oil, chili oil and green onions. Serve hot. Add more white pepper and vinegar, if needed.

© Dorothy Huang, 2005

As Houston, Texas’ renowned Chinese cooking teacher, Dorothy Huang (chinesecuisinedh@aol.com) has taught thousands of people to embrace Chinese cooking in their homes. Her second cookbook, Chinese Cuisine, Made Simple, includes 160 mouth-watering recipes and beautiful color photographs.

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