Recipe by Roberta L. Duyff, MS, RD, FADA, CFCS
Both hot and sour, this traditional Chinese soup is a unique balance and contrast of flavor: the crisp texture of vegetables and the smoothness of tofu; the umami of mushrooms and sourness of vinegar; the rich color from the mushrooms and soy sauce with the spark of green onion garnish; and served as a hot and hearty main dish soup or starter.
4 ounces lean pork, cut in thin 1-inch strips*
1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon less-sodium soy sauce, divided
4 cups (32 ounces) low sodium chicken broth
8 ounces firm or extra firm tofu, drained and diced
8 ounces thinly-sliced shiitake mushrooms **
1 8-ounce can sliced bamboo shoots, drained
1 medium carrot, shredded
2 tablespoons water
1 large egg, well beaten
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 green onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons shredded fresh gingerroot (optional)
- Combine pork with 1 teaspoon cornstarch, sugar and 1 teaspoon soy sauce in a medium bowl. Mix well; set aside for about 15 minutes while preparing other ingredients.
- Bring chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add pork, tofu, mushrooms, bamboo shoots and carrot. Cover; return to a boil.
- Meanwhile combine remaining 2 tablespoons cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Blend well to dissolve cornstarch and remove lumps. Add cornstarch mixture to broth as it boils, stirring gently until slightly thickened.
- Slowly drizzle the egg into thickened broth, allowing the egg to set into fine strands, about 30 seconds. Gently mix in remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce, vinegar and sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- To serve, ladle soup into individual bowls. Top with green onion and gingerroot, if desired.
* Shrimp and/or ham may be substituted for some or all the pork. Or, eliminate the pork to make this a meatless soup.
** If available, 3 ounces dried Chinese mushrooms, such as wood ears, may be used instead. Soak in warm water, drain and cut in strips with hard stems removed.
Serving size: 2 cups
Calories: 260; Calories from fat: 100
Total fat: 12g; Saturated fat: 2.5g; Trans fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 70mg; Sodium 300mg
Total carbohydrate: 20g; Dietary fiber: 4g; Sugars: 5g