Hot And Sour Garlic Chive Soup With Tofu

Course : Chinese
Serves: 4
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2 medium carrots -- sliced
1/4 cup fresh garlic chives -- minced
3 medium fresh lovage or celery leaves
3 medium romaine lettuce or Swiss chard leaves -- torn into pieces
4 package dried cloud ear or shiitake mushrooms
1 medium dried arame -- dulse, or tombu seaweed 6 inch piece
1 small fresh or dried hot red pepper
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 quart water
1 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/2 pound firm tofu -- cut into 1/2-inch
2 tablespoons rice or barley miso sauce
1 package garlic chive leaves -- for garnish
1 package garlic chive flowers -- for garnish

Preparation / Directions:

In a large heavy pot, combine all the ingredients above the line. Bring to a boil, then cover, lower the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the mushrooms and slice thinly, discarding the tough portions. Strain the broth and return it to the pan. Add the tofu and mushrooms and simmer for 5 minutes. Dissolve the miso in a small amount of the broth, stir it into the soup, then immediately remove the pot from the heat. Garnish with minced garlic chive leaves and serve at once. Substitution for the Chinese garlic chives: 1 clove garlic and twice as much volume of fresh chives.

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