Hot and Sour Soup from Lucky Peach’s 101 Easy Asian Recipes: I made the soup; I almost cured a cold; I bought the book
Michael had been struggling to fend off a cold for the last few days that we were in Paris and then, the instant we touched down in America, presto-whammo it was a full-blown doozy! He sneezed, coughed and sniffled his way home and this afternoon, doing my best imitation of Florence Nightingale, I made him a pot of soup and declared him almost cured. Another bowl of this stuff and for sure he’ll be great – it’s a pretty powerful brew.
After being away for a month, you can imagine the pile of mail that was waiting for us. Instead of sorting it last night, I made tea and flipped through the December issue of Food & Wine and there it was – the only thing better than grandma’s chicken soup: a recipe for Hot and Sour Soup excerpted from the new book from Lucky Peach: 101 Asian Recipes.
I made the soup — which tasted so, so much better than it looks in my picture — and I immediately ordered the book (which I’d been meaning to do, but I didn’t want another thing stuffed into my mailbox before my return).
Just a couple of notes on the recipe. Because I live in the country, and because I went shopping at 6 am (I was up at 4:30 – jetlag – but waited), I couldn’t get wood ear mushrooms (why didn’t I stock up when I was in Asia???), so I used dried shiitakes. And because the butcher wouldn’t cut me a small piece of pork shoulder and I didn’t have plans for using the cut this week, I substituted a piece of tenderloin. I put it in the freezer for a couple of hours, which made it really easy to cut into thin slices and then slivers.
Here’s the recipe with thanks to Food & Wine and the talented crew at Lucky Peach:
HOT AND SOUR SOUP
- 1 oz. dried wood ear mushrooms (1/2 cup) (see above)
- 2 Tbsp. canola oil
- 1/2 lb. lean pork shoulder, sliced 1/8 inch thick and cut into 1-by-1/4-inch strips (see above)
- 1 Tbsp. finely chopped garlic
- 1 Tbsp. finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
- 1/2 cup chopped scallions
- 4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- 1/2 lb. soft tofu, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar, plus more for serving
- 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp. Sriracha, plus more for serving
- Kosher salt
- 2 large eggs, beaten
1. In a small bowl, cover the mushrooms with boiling water and let stand until softened, about 30 minutes. Drain and coarsely chop the mushrooms; discard the soaking water.
2. In a large saucepan, heat the canola oil. Add the pork, garlic, ginger and scallions and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the pork is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in the stock and add the tofu, 1/3 cup of vinegar, the soy sauce, sugar, pepper, sesame oil, mushrooms and 1 tablespoon Sriracha. Bring the soup to a simmer and season with salt. While stirring constantly, drizzle in the eggs and cook until strands form, about 1 minute. Serve hot, passing rice vinegar and Sriracha at the table.
(Note from moi: You might want to pass a box of tissues too.)