Sour-hot soup (suan la tang)

Yield: 6 servings

Measure Ingredient
5 \N Dried black mushrooms
15 \N Pieces cloud ear fungus
30 \N Pieces dried lily flower
6 cups Chicken stock
1 cup Mushroom liquid
6 tablespoons Clear rice vinegar
3 tablespoons Thin soy
1 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
¼ pounds Lean pork
1 teaspoon Dry sherry or rice wine
1 teaspoon Thin soy
½ teaspoon Sugar
\N \N Cornstarch to coat
½ cup Shredded bamboo
2 \N Cakes bean curd, shredded
2 tablespoons Peanut oil
4 tablespoons Cornstarch (mixed as paste with
5 tablespoons Cold stock or water)
2 \N Eggs, beaten
4 \N Scallions, diced
¼ cup Sesame oil

Preparation: Soak mushrooms, cloud ear, and lily flowers separately in hot water for 25 to 30 minutes or until soft. Reserve mushroom liquid in amount specified above. Next remove stems from mushrooms; discard. Pick off tough ends of cloud ear; discard ends; coarse chop cloud ear. Remove tough ends of lily flowers; cut flowers in half.

Set aside until ready to begin cooking.

Slice pork thin, then cut into fine shreds. Place in small bowl, to which also add wine, soy sauce and sugar; mix well with fingers. Add cornstarch and mix again to coat evenly. Slice bean curd in thirds, cut each slice in half, then cut each half into shreds.

Mix up cornstarch paste with cornstarch and stock or water; set aside.

Combine stock, mushroom liquid, vinegar, soy and black pepper. Bring to simmer; add shredded bean curd; mix with chopsticks to keep bean curd from sticking together. Simmer for 2 minutes.

While stock is simmering, heat wok and add peanut oil. Heat oil for 10 seconds; then add shredded pork; stir vigorously with spatulas until pork loses its brown color and turns white. At this point, add mushrooms, cloud ear, lily flower and bamboo. Stir for 15 seconds over high heat; add to stock.

Bring stock back to simmer and slowly thicken with cornstarch mixture, adding a little at a time until desired thickness is reached. Remove from heat and slowly add beaten egg, dripping and folding a little at a time. Top soup with diced scallions and sesame oil. Serve immediately.

Posted by Fred Peters.

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