To start things off, I have a recipe. I used my cell phone for the picture because as I was making the soup I got a phone call asking me to sub in an hour so I need to hurry! I also have a warning.
The local Korean vegetable market sells these tiny hot peppers. I assumed they weren’t too hot cause they sell them in bags of about 50. Wrong. That’s my public service announcement for the day. I actually burned my fingers from touching them after they were cut open! And my mouth is on FIRE!
On to the recipe. I love hot and sour soup as it is prepared in American Chinese restaurants. I haven’t found a duplicate of it here, so I decided to make it myself. Also, my inlaws are visiting soon and they like to eat vegetarian so I am trying to build up my vegetarian cooking.
I used Emeril’s recipe as a base. I edited it a ton.
Hot & Sour Soup
- 2 ounces dried shiitake mushrooms
- 10 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I didn’t use any)
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh ginger (I didn’t use any, I hate ginger)
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (I used 12 of the small peppers- two would have been plenty)
- 1/2 pound chicken or tofu, cut into small bite-size strips or chunks
- 1/4 cup lime juice (I used Japanese wine vinegar)
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons mushroom flavored soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- Hot chile oil, for drizzling
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions
I boiled the broth/mushrooms and then pulled out the mushrooms and chopped them up, added everything else and simmered 20 minutes.
In retrospect, it is so cheap to buy every single variety of Asian mushroom here that I should have used fresh shiitake mushrooms. I also added some rice noodles at the end and a whisked egg cause I like that.
The flavor was amazing and the soup is delicious! We have packets of “hot and sour soup mix” at the grocery stores here but the ingredients scare me. MSG, salt, a little more MSG, some more salt, etc… No thank you!
Since moving to our new apartment complex, we often feel we don’t live in China anymore. All of the stores and restaurants we walk to speak both Korean and Chinese and in the elevator our elevator-mates tend to be either Chinese people delivering things or Koreans coming/going from home.
But we do have an awesomely local Chinese grocery store. I go there because they sell spaghetti sauce and spaghetti noodles. It is the most random little store. You’ll have cans of pickled tofu, fermented flour paste, and then- I kid you not- Hershey’s caramel sauce for ice cream??? How does that possibly belong in this grocery store?
I have a few cell phone poor-quality pics to explain this phenomenon.
Here we have several pickled Chinese products (which are not and taste nothing like pickles in America) and then a jar of imported German pickles which are so amazingly good and absolutely do not fit in with the other products. You can see the price jump too- 10 kuai, 29 kuai, 13 kuai…
This one is probably my favorite because these things are so very hard to find. We have our normal peanut butter, kewpie mayonnaise, jelly, and honey display…. and at the top, loads of imported Hershey’s products (at steep prices! about $7 for the sundae syrup)
Mixed in with all of the baijiu grain alcohol (super strong liquor at cheap prices) we have what?? Bacardi Breezers! Of course we do!! The bottle next to the Breezers is about $1.20 US and is 40%+ alcohol… the Breezer is $1.50. But I’m thinking the Breezer tastes better!
And if you’ve ever wondered what mango-passion-fruit gum the NBA players prefer…
One of our favorite milk brands also features the NBA logo. It is sold in little papery packets. I’m pretty sure the real NBA players don’t drink it. I could be wrong.
Have a great day!