Hot And Sour Soup - 1

Course : Chinese
Serves: 4
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6 medium dried Chinese black -- mushrooms
36 medium dried lily buds
3 large dried wood ears
1 pieces boneless chicken breast -- half *
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 piece ginger, peeled
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons Shao Hsing wine **
4 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons water chestnut flour mixed -- with 4 tb water ---
1 large egg -- lightly beaten with
2 tablespoons oil
1/4 pound firm tofu -- (optional) ---*
1 medium green onion -- trimmed and
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon dry vermouth
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon white pepper
2 teaspoons hot chili oil -- or to taste
1 tablespoon sesame oil

Preparation / Directions:

* Skinned and, cut into matchstick strips ** or dry sherry. *** Use cornstarch if unavailable. **** Cut into strips 1/4 inch thick and 1 1/2 inches long There are distinct steps to take in a certain order instead of just tossing everything into the stock. Like other Hot and Sour soups, it can be made with whatever you have on hand. Ms. Jue does suggest, however that the black mushrooms and wood ears are pretty important to the taste and should be used if at all possible. If necessary, she says, substitute julienne carrot for the lily buds for color and texture. Shredded bamboo shoots, green beans and bean sprouts are suggested as additions or sub- situations. Pork or shrimp can be used instead of chicken with out guilt. Toss in a handful of noodles if you like too... In 3 separate bowls, cover black mushrooms, lily buds and wood ears with water until soft and pliable, about 30 minutes. Squeeze dry. Remove and discard stems from black mushrooms; julienne. Remove and discard hard ends of lily buds. Remove and discard any hard clusters in centers of wood ears. Roll each wood ear into a tight curl, cut cross-wise into thin strips. Set aside. Mix marinade ingredients. Toss with the chicken strips and set aside. Heat wok over medium-high heat. When hot, add oil and tilt wok to coat sides. Add salt, ginger and chicken. Stir-fry for 1 minute or until chicken turns white. Remove chicken and set aside. Increase to high heat. Add black mushrooms, lily buds and wood ears to hot oil. Stir-fry until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add soy sauce and Shao Hsing wine; stir-fry 5 seconds. Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. Then bring back to a boil. Add water chestnut flour mixture. Stir continuously until thickened (about 30 seconds). Remove from heat. Slowly pour egg into soup in a circular motion while stir- rings slowly with chopsticks to from silk like ribbons. Add tofu and chicken. Put ingredients for Hot and Sour Seasoning in a small bowl. Stir once or twice; do not over mix. Pour half into a shallow soup tureen. Ladle soup over sauce. Scatter green onions on top. Float remaining Hot and Sour Seasoning on top of soup. Stir gently. Serves 4 as a meal in itself. Joyce Jue, San Francisco Chronicle, 1/2/91.

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