Suan La Tang (酸辣汤) Hot and Sour Soup has many different exciting flavor combinations; sour from the vinegar, savory from the broth and hot and spicy from the white pepper.
One of our favorite recipes from this cookbook is Suan La Tang (酸辣汤) Hot and Sour Soup. We adjusted this recipe to make it easier to assemble. Chinese hot and sour soup is usually pork based, and often contains ingredients such as day lily, dried wood ear fungus, bamboo shoots, tofu, vinegar, and white ground pepper. Many of these items can be exchanged or left out without too many changes to the taste and quality of the recipe.
However, there are 2 ingredients that make this Hot and Sour Soup special and they are...1) Chinkiang Vinegar (rice based black vinegar is a famous vinegar from the city of Zhenjiang) It is a dark complex vinegar that just cannot really be substituted. 2) ground white pepper. We feel that these 2 special ingredients cannot be substituted as they are the bones to this delicious soup.
Just as a heads up Chinkiang vinegar (black rice vinegar) is NOT gluten-free. If you are celiac, you will need to sway away from the dark vinegar and go with a gluten-free rice wine vinegar instead.
We understand that it may be difficult to obtain day lily and dried wood ear fungus, so we have left them out of this recipe but if you can get your hands on these ingredients be sure to add them as they are delicious. We like using the dried mushrooms because we use the mushroom broth created from the reconstituting of the dry mushrooms right in the soup base. Really delicious! If you want to make this recipe lower in carbohydrates exchange the cornstarch and water slurry with an additional egg streamed in and it will make it thicker and velvety.
Suan La Tang (酸辣汤) Hot and Sour Soup
- 6 dried mushrooms
dried shiitake or other dried mushrooms of choice, such as wood ear (available at asian food stores or use fresh mushroom
- ¼ pound ground pork
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- ¼ tsp white pepper ground or to taste (really needs to be "ground white pepper" as this makes the dish)
- ½ tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp Shao xing wine
or cooking sherry
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 4 cups chicken broth
(or vegetable broth)
- ½ cup bamboo shoots sliced in julienne threads (if you are in an Asian grocery store and like it spicy they have bamboo shoots in chili oil) - optional
- 8 ounces tofu (bean curd)
firm chopped into bite sized cubes or julienne slices whatever you prefer.
- salt to taste
- ½-1 white pepper or more for desired heat level
- 1 egg
- 3-4 tbsp Chingkiang Black Chinese vinegar or to taste (heads up this is NOT gluten-free)
- 3 tbsp Cornstarch
mixed with water to make cornstarch slurry
- 4 tbsp water mixed with cornstarch to make cornstarch slurry
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- chili oil
optional as desired or just increase the amount of white pepper for added heat.
- 2 green onions sliced
- Rinse the dried mushrooms and then soak the mushrooms in hot water for at least 30 minutes or until soft. (Reserve the mushroom water from the soak as it is delicious in the soup.)
- Mix pork with the next five ingredients (soy sauce, white pepper, onion powder, sherry wine (shao xing wine) and cornstarch) and set aside.
- Cut mushrooms into thin slices and prepare and chop the rest of your items.
- Place the chicken broth and the reserved mushroom broth from reconstituting the dry mushroom in a deep sauce pan or wok; cover and bring to boil.
- Add marinated pork, sliced reconstituted dry mushrooms and bamboo shoots; bring to boil.
- Add tofu (bean curd ); bring to a boil.
- Stir in 3 Tablespoons Chinkiang black vinegar and blended cornstarch; cook until sauce thickens.
- Reduce to low heat and stir in beaten egg, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, and ½ teaspoon white pepper. Adjust to the addition of white pepper to your level of heat. Feel free to add a little drizzle of chili oil if you like. (optional)
- Pour into tureen; sprinkle with the minced green onion on the soup and serve hot. Delicious with a side of cooked jasmine white rice.