Both hot and sour, this traditional Chinese soup has a unique balance and contrast of flavor. Served as a hot and hearty main dish soup or starter, it has the crisp texture of vegetables and the smoothness of tofu, the umami of mushrooms and sourness of vinegar — along with the rich color from the mushrooms and soy sauce with the spark of green onion garnish.
4 ounces lean pork chop, cut in thin 1-inch strips
1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce, divided
4 cups 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 ginger root (optional)
Before you begin: Wash your hands.
- Combine pork with 1 teaspoon cornstarch, sugar and 1 teaspoon soy sauce in a medium bowl. Stir to combine 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 ginger root, if desired.
- Shrimp or ham may be substituted for some or all of 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 of shiitake. 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; Protein: 24g