hot & sour soup

This is a recipe from the Martha Stewart magazine, Living. I did not add eggs or the scallions–still very good. Overdid the sesame oil a little. Do not do this. You will taste it in every slurp. I used very dark sesame oil.

serves 8

? 8 cups chicken stock
? 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, about 10 oz.
? 2 tsps. toasted sesame oil
? 2 cloves garlic, minced
? 1 small onion, sliced
? 4 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
? 2 carrots, cut
? 1 1/2 tsps. grated ginger
? 1 tsp. ground black pepper
? a pinch of cayenne pepper
? 1/2 tsp. salt
? 3 tbsps. cornstarch
? 3 tbsps. soy sauce
? 6 tbsps. rice wine vinegar
? 1 egg + 1 egg white only, beaten together
? 3 large scallions, trimmed and cut
? 6 oz. firm or extra firm tofu, cut into cubes

1. In a small saucepan, bring 3 cups chicken stock to a boil. Add chicken breast; poach until cooked through, about 12 mins. Slice chicken into 1/4-inch thick strips and set aside. Pass stock through a sieve into a bowl and set aside.

2. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic and onion. Saute until transluscent, about 7 mins. Add mushrooms and saute until tender, about 5 mins. Add reserve and remaining chicken stock, carrots, ginger, black pepper, cayenne, and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender, about 3 mins.

3. Place the cornstarch in a small bowl and slowly whisk in soy sauce until cornstarch had dissolved. Whisk in vinegar. Slowly add the cornstarch mixture into the soup. Simmer until the soup is clear, 5 to 7 mins. Add the reserved chicken and continue simmering until chicken is heated through, about 2 mins. Turn off heat.

4. Slowly pour the beaten eggs through a slotted spoon into the soup. Cover soup and let stand for a minute. Remove cover and gently stir. Add the scallions and the tofu. Serve.

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