Tuesday, 19 April 2011

A Hot & Sour Soup

Not the prettiest of dishes, I'll give you that. But it was definitely tasty, spicy as hell and it felt nourishing. That extra soft tofu made a reappearance (I confess, I'm quite addicted to it) and its wibbly chunks, bobbing around in the fiery soup packed with vegetables slid down easily.

It's not the most traditional recipe, given I used random things I found in the fridge, but as long as you get that sour-spicy balance, I think that's fine. An egg, cracked into the soup and left for a few minutes to set enriched it and was a riff on whisked egg, usually drizzled slowly while the soup is cooking.

Hot & Sour Soup

Serves 2

100gr extra soft tofu
4 dried shiitake mushrooms
A handful of dried woodear mushrooms
1 small tin of bamboo shoots
Some form of greenery - I used courgette batons
1.5 tbsp chilli bean paste
300ml pork stock
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp cornflour
3 tbsp Chinese black vinegar
1 garlic clove
1" of ginger
1 red chilli
A pinch of sugar
2 spring onions
A handful of coriander
A drizzle of sesame oil

2 eggs

To start, boil some water and soak the mushrooms in it. Slice the bamboo stalks into thin matchsticks and set aside. Prepare your greenery. Heat a little oil and fry the garlic and ginger until fragrant. Add the chilli bean paste, fry for a few minutes and then add the pork stock. Set on a very light simmer.

Meanwhile, mince the coriander and slice the spring onions diagonally. Drain the mushrooms and shred the woodear. Cut the stalk out of the shiitake mushrooms and chop roughly. Add to the pork stock. Put the tofu carefully into the pork stock in chunks. Add the greens whenever so that they cook properly, then add the Chinese black vinegar and sugar. Taste and add more vinegar if necessary. In a bowl, mix up the soy sauce with the cornflour. Add this last and simmer till thickened slightly, then take off the heat.

To serve, ladle the soup carefully into each bowl and garnish with coriander, chopped red chilli, spring onion and finally crack an egg into the broth. Cover with a plate for a few minutes until the egg is set, then eat.


Pavel said...

Ohhh! Love the idea of cooking the egg in the soup. That just set white and gooey yolk would be lush with the other flavours of the dish. You are right tho, not the prettiest but I bet it's damn tasty ;^)

Mark said...

Sounds like ideal hang over food!


Miss Cay said...

Love the idea of popping an egg into the soup. My boyfriend always laughs and pulls a face when I do that, but I think it adds a nice richness to the soup. And sometimes you can't beat a nice egg.

sauerkrauttosushi said...

There's nothing better than a dish that's delicious and that you can adapt to whatever you happen to have in the fridge when craving it....

The Grubworm said...

Hey, beauty isn't skin (or indeed stock) deep. It's what's underneath that counts. In this case some fine soft tofu and a just-cooked egg. Texture nirvana. Like Pavel, I love the idea of cooking egg in broth, although last time I tried it I broke the yolk. Boo. Lovely sounding soup.

Gourmet Chick said...

Love an egg in soup, adds a great richness and dense quality to it. Looks great as always Lizzie.

tori said...

Eggs cooked in soup. One less pot, and an extra slap of protein. It's perfect.

London Lady said...

I actually find the first image to be quite pretty, but then again, I find the messy things in life to be the most stunning.

CosIlickmyplate said...

This recipe sounds delicious - cant wait to try it out. Where is the best place to find chilli bean paste?

German said...

adding Sesame oil always give you an extra flavour in your soups,


Paula/Tim said...

Forget chicken soup this is the stuff that is good for the soul. Looking forward to making your version - might try cracking in a quail egg...

georges said...

I made a post on 21/5 and it still is not visible. Why? Your silence is deafening! You have my email, so you could at least give a polite refusal

Lizzie said...

Hi georges

It's not visible because it is spam. You've posted this comment on several of my posts promoting your website / book and I'm afraid that as I work a full time job I don't have time to email people individually and tell them why I reject their self-promotional comments.