Szechuan Soup

Course : Chinese
Serves: 8
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1 ounce dried mushrooms
2 quarts chicken stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon Chinese chili paste or sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
5 tablespoons water -- divided
6 ounces boneless lean pork -- cut into pieces
4 ounces cooked ham cut the same way
1 small red bell pepper -- cut thin
1/2 cup water chestnut -- thin sliced
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 large egg
8 medium green onions -- fine chopped
8 ounces bean curd -- in 1/2 in cubes
8 ounces shrimp -- shelled and deveined

Preparation / Directions:

Place mushrooms in bowl and cover with hot water. Let stand 30 minutes. Drain and squeeze out excess water. Remove and discard stems. Cut caps into thin slices Combine chicken stock, wine, soy sauce and chili paste in 5 qt Dutch oven. Bring to boil over med heat. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes. Blend cornstarch and 4 T water in small bowl. Slowly stir cornstarch mixture into chicken broth. Cook and stir until soup boils. Add mushrooms, pork, ham, red pepper and water chestnuts. Simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar and sesame oil . Beat egg and remaining 1 T water with fork. Stirring constantly, gradually drizzle egg mixture slowly into soup. Add onions, bean curd and shrimp Cook until shrimp turn pink, 1-2 minutes.

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