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Hot & Sour Mandarin Soup

-oz dried black Chinese mushrooms (shiitake)
-cup boiling water
4-cups chicken stock
-cup bamboo shoots
-cup white distilled vinegar
2-tbsp reduced tamari soy sauce
1-tbsp finely chopped gingerroot
1-tsp sugar
1-tbsp cornstarch
3-tbsp water
1 -cups extra firm tofu, cubed
Salt, pepper and cayenne to taste
1-egg, lightly beaten
1-tsp dark sesame oil
Sliced green onions as a garnish
Hot chili sesame oil or Szechwan chili sauce
Sour Sauce

Combine mushrooms and boiling water in a small bowl
Let stand until mushrooms are softened, about 15-20 minutes
Drain and reserve liquid
Slice mushrooms, discarding stems
Combine broth, mushrooms and reserved liquid, bamboo shoots, vinegar, soy sauce, gingerroot and sugar in a large saucepan; heat to a boil
Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes
Mix cornstarch with 3-tbsp water
Return soup to a boil and stir in cornstarch mixture
Boil until thickened, about 1 minute, stirring constantly
Stir tofu into soup, simmer, covered for 5 minutes
Season to taste with salt, pepper and cayenne
Just before serving, stir egg into soup slowly
Stir in sesame oil
Pour into bowls, and sprinkle with green onion
Serve with hot chili sesame oil or Szechwan chili sauce and Sour Sauce as condiment

Sour Sauce

3-tbsp white distilled vinegar
1-tbsp tamari soy sauce
2-tbsp sugar

Mix all ingredients
Refrigerate until serving