Monday, October 25, 2010

Hot and Sour Soup with Golden Chantrelle

We Bay Area people are all about fusions. Most of time, I try to make ethnic dishes as authentic as I possibly can, but there are times availability wins. I have always loved hot and sour soup. It's spicy and sour, two of my favorite flavors next to sweet. I have been making hot and sour soup since I was a teenager, so a recipe has become obsolete long ago.

I cut up a piece of soft tofu, opened up a can of bamboo shoots, and chopped up some fresh green onion from the farm. I thought it would be really nice to have some mushrooms. Normally, wood ear mushrooms are what you put in hot and sour soup. Shiitake mushrooms are good substitutes since they are Asian mushrooms. Well, I don't have any wood ear or Shiitake. I looked into my pantry - I have a jar of dried candy cap mushrooms and a jar of dried golden chantrelle. I dried all of them earlier this year so I could have some during off season. Considering rain season has started, I didn't have to hang on to the dried mushrooms for special occasions. I opened up the jar of chantrelle and took a deep breath. good. I grabbed a handful and dumped them into the hot soup.

Golden Chantrelle I picked earlier this year
I can really taste the chantrelle in the soup. At the same time, it is still very much hot and sour soup. I can eat that entire pot tonight. Below is the "rough" recipe for your reference, but you should always tweak it to your liking and according to availability of ingredients.


1 piece of tofu (Soft or firm, it doesn't matter. Whatever you like works) cut in strips
1 small can of bamboo shoots (add more if you like them)
1 egg
1 green onion (chop to small pieces)
Some mushrooms
optional: Meat
optional: A piece of chicken bouillon
Some soy sauce or salt (omit if you are using chicken bouillon)
Some white vinegar
Some chili flakes
Some fresh ground black pepper
Some sesame oil
2 table spoons of corn starch or tapioca starch

Boil 4-5 cups of water (or chicken stock) and put the tofu in it. Put in the chicken bouillon if you are using one. Put in the bamboo shoots, mushrooms, chili flakes, vinegar (2 table spoons to start and add more if you like it more sour). Add soy sauce or salt if you are not using chicken bouillon. Bring it to boil. In the meantime, beat the egg in a bowl and add a couple drops of sesame oil while beating it. Dissolve the corn starch in some water. As soon as the soup is boiling, pour the corn starch solution in it, stir, and lower the heat. The soup should thicken. If you like it thicker, make more corn starch solution to add. Once it reaches the consistency you like, turn off the heat and pour in the egg. The beaten egg should float to the top as it cooks in the hot soup. Sprinkle the green onion on top and add a few drops of sesame oil.

Simple, isn't it?

Fresh mushroom section in Eataly Market

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