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Old 09-12-2006, 11:06 PM   #1
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Hot and sour soup? Advice please.

This is the recipe I used tonight... it tasted fine but...wasn't HOT and wasn't sour. What would you do to make it better? Or better yet..what is your favorite recipe?

Thanks, Trish

Hot-and-Sour Soup with Shrimp

Ingredients
8 ounces fresh peeled and deveined shrimp ( I had a little more)
3-1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 of a 15-ounce jar whole straw mushrooms, drained, or one 6-ounce jar sliced mushrooms, drained ( I love mushrooms so used both)
1/4 cup rice vinegar or white vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 ounces firm, silken-style tofu cut into small size pieces
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup shredded carrot
3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
1 egg, beaten



In a large saucepan
mix chicken broth, mushrooms, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, carrots and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered for 2 minutes. Stir in the shrimp and the tofu. Return to boiling, reduce the heat. Simmer covered, for 1 minute more.

2. Stir together cornstarch and cold water; stir into the chicken broth mixture. Cook and stir until slightly thickened . Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Stir in peas, and green onion. Pour egg into the soup in a steady stream, stirring a few times to create shreds.

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Old 09-12-2006, 11:13 PM   #2
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When I make this, I have found that adding the vinegar early kills the flavor. Make the soup and keep out the vinegar and soy.

When the soup is ready to serve, add in the vinegar, soy and a little sesame oil and serve. The vinegar is teh source of the sour and will be much more effective if added last.
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Old 09-12-2006, 11:14 PM   #3
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Chilli oil. The vinegar portion seems ok(imo), but I personally love a lil red chili oil on top. Seems like the only "heat" in the recipe is the ginger, and if it is cooked to long, there goes all the heat.



If you want more sour, use more vinegar, or let it reduce some.
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Old 09-12-2006, 11:18 PM   #4
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Thanks Andy!
Thanks Tattrat! I do want more HOT and more SOUR. I'll make this again
and try adding the vinegar soy and ginger later in the cooking process.
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Old 09-12-2006, 11:19 PM   #5
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Hey pds, the recipe looks pretty good. Only thing I would suggest is to use white peppercorns instead of black. That's where you get the heat. It's best if you use fresh cracked (on the finest setting). And as for the sour, just up the rice wine vinegar. Probably will end up doubling the vinegar and tripling the white pepper (depending on how hot).

Hope this helps!
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Old 09-12-2006, 11:24 PM   #6
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lol.. semi HOT is really hot for me. Sommm maybe tripling the pepper might not be a good idea but doubling it could work. THANK YOU!!
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Old 09-12-2006, 11:25 PM   #7
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Try This

Trish:

This is the recipe I use without the fritter. You can make the basic soup and then adjust the soy, voingar and sesame oil to suit your tastes.

Ming Tsai's Hot and Sour Soup

It is the best HS soup I've had except for the soup from one Chinese restaurant I frequent and he won't tell me his secret.
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Old 09-12-2006, 11:28 PM   #8
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Andy, I've copied and pasted. Thank you. I love a good hot and sour soup!
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Old 09-13-2006, 01:19 AM   #9
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I add chili oil, too - and some red pepper flakes. Sometimes I get bamboo shoots packed in chili oil at the Asian market - a good addition.
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Old 09-13-2006, 03:18 AM   #10
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Pds, I use Madhur Jaffreys recipe ( which I dont have with me here) for Hot and Sour Soup. It is quite different to yours above, in that it has a Thai/Indian influence as opposed to Chinese. I haven't made it for a long time; and will rectify that.
I dont recall all the ingredients but along with the shrimp, there is kaffir lime leaves, lime juice, lemongrass, green chillies, coriander/cilantro, and straw mushrooms. Cant remember what else right now! No tofu tho'.

I will post the recipe when I am back in the kitchen if you would like.
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Old 09-13-2006, 05:51 AM   #11
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If you can, try to get hold of Chinese black vinegar and use this to adjust sourness when the soup is about done. This will give you an authentic Chinese taste and color. (Chinese black vinegar is very rich and flavorful, almost like balsamic vinegar but different.)
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Old 09-13-2006, 08:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chopstix
If you can, try to get hold of Chinese black vinegar and use this to adjust sourness when the soup is about done. This will give you an authentic Chinese taste and color. (Chinese black vinegar is very rich and flavorful, almost like balsamic vinegar but different.)

Thanks for the tip, I'll try that on the next batch.
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Old 09-13-2006, 09:38 AM   #13
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chili oil here too, for the heat...come on, break a sweat!
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Old 09-13-2006, 09:46 AM   #14
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Chile oil works but I use chile peppers for the heat and use the oil for a last minute adjustment as needed.
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Old 09-13-2006, 10:07 AM   #15
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You definitely need sesame oil in that. Plus it's not "hot" and sour soup, since it doesn't have anything in it to make it hot!

You can kill 2 birds with one stone by using hot chili oil, which is hot sesame oil. Or you can use regular sesame oil and simmer with a few dried chinese bird peppers (recommend taking out before serving) or some red chile flakes.

I'd add some white pepper, too, but that really won't make it hot. It'll give it a more traditional taste.

As will adding a bit of black vinegar (but I wouldn't sub out all the rice vinegar with balck) and tree ear mushrooms.
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Old 09-13-2006, 12:13 PM   #16
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I'd never even heard of black vinegar. I'll keep an eye out for it. Thanks bunches!!!
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Old 09-13-2006, 12:14 PM   #17
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You'll have to go to an Asian market to find it.
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Old 09-13-2006, 12:17 PM   #18
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There is a huge Asian market near Paul's office Andy. I always think about stopping and now I have a reason ( as if sushi we not enough, lol).
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Old 09-13-2006, 12:47 PM   #19
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Andy, thanks for posting Ming Tsai's recipe, I was trying to find it to send to Pds. I have used this too and like it.

Pds, I guess I get a little extreme, I like things HOT! :-)
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Old 09-13-2006, 02:10 PM   #20
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I adapted & have been making the following soup since 1975 when this cookbook by Grace Zia Chu was first published. It's still my favorite, & even though I've tried other versions, I always come back to this one as it contains so many different & authentic ingredients, yet is so easy to make. It also reheats beautifully.


PEKING SOUR AND PEPPERY SOUP
(adapted from Madame Chu’s Chinese Cooking School)

¼ -1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast (one breast piece)
½ cup dried Chinese mushrooms (or dried shitake mushrooms)
12 dried tiger-lily buds
1 tablespoon dried cloud ear mushrooms
1 cake fresh firm or extra-firm bean curd
1 egg
5 cups chicken broth
1 small can shredded bamboo shoots
½ teaspoon sugar
2 tablesoons light (Japanese) soy sauce
2-1/2 tablespoons white vinegar (or to taste)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)
2-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons of cold water
1 tablespoon sesame oil or hot (aka chili) sesame oil

Cut the chicken into matchstick-sized shreds.
Soak mushrooms, cloud ears, & tiger-lily buds in 1 cup of hot water for 20-30 minutes, changing hot water every 5 minutes or so. Drain & rinse well. Shred the mushrooms & cloud ears; tie each tiger lily bud into a knot.
Cut bean curd into shreds.
Beat the egg until thoroughly & completely mixed.

Heat broth in a large saucepan until boiling. Add chicken strips & mix a few times. Bring back to a low boil & add bean curd, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, cloud ears, & lily buds. Add sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, & black pepper. Boil for 2 minutes & then add –first stirring to recombine – cornstarch/water mixture. Stir & then pour in beaten egg. Turn off heat & stir again, then sprinkle sesame oil on top & taste for seasoning, adding in additional vinegar &/or pepper to taste if necessary. Serve.

Edited to add that if I have some Bok Choy in the house, I'll sometimes shred & add some of the leafy tops to add some "green" color to this soup.
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