Chinese Hot and Sour Soup
- 250 grams pork shoulder, with a generous amount of fat!
- 6 to 8 fresh shiitake
- ¼ cup dried black fungus, soaked in warm water for at least 20 minutes
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 two-inch knob ginger
- 2 bird’s eye chilies
- 1 carrot
- 150 grams soft tofu
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- ¼ teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
- 8 cups bone broth, divided
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- salt, if your bone broth is under-salted
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons tapioca starch, or corn starch (use more for a thicker soup)
- 2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar
- sliced scallions, to garnish
- Cut the pork into thin slices; cut each slice into slivers about ¼ inch wide.
- Pull off and discard the stems of the shiitake mushrooms. Thinly slice the caps.
- Thinly slice the black fungus.
- Peel and mince the garlic.
- Peel and grate the ginger.
- Chop the chili.
- Peel and julienne the carrot (note that bamboo shoot is the traditional vegetable for hot and sour soup, but I like carrot better).
- Cut the soft tofu into half-inch cubes.
- Heat the cooking oil in a pot.
- Saute the ginger, garlic and chili with the five-spice powder in the hot oil until lightly browned.
- Add the pork to the pot and cook until lightly browned.
- Add the shiitake to the pork.
- Pour in seven cups bone broth and the soy sauce. Stir in the sugar. Bring to the boil. Lower the heat, cover the pot and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Disperse the corn starch in the remaining broth and pour into the pot. Stir until the broth is thick and clear.
- Add the tofu cubes, black fungus and julienned carrot to the soup. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes
- Turn off the heat and stir in the black vinegar. Taste. Add more salt if necessary (adding more soy sauce will make the soup too dark).
- Garnish the hot and sour soup with scallions and serve at once.
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