Hot and Sour Soup

Ingredients: serves 4

4 dried Chinese mushrooms
2 tbsp dried black fungus (wood ears)
100g cooked lean pork shredded (leftovers or can buy in market)
1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
120g firm tofu - drained
1 litre (4 cups) chicken stock
60g fresh or tinned bamboo shoots - rinsed and drained
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar - do not use cheap vinegar
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 egg beaten
1 tsp salt
1 to 2 tsp freshly ground white pepper (must be freshly ground to get the hotness)
1 chopped spring onion


Soak the dried mushroom in boiling water for 30 minutes. Strain mushroom liquid and reserve. Remove and discard the stems and shred the caps; set aside.

Combine the pork, a pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon of the cornflour. Thinly shred the tofu and bamboo shoots to the same size as the pork and set aside.

Place the chicken stock in a large saucepan. Add the pork, the mushroom, mushroom liquid, bamboo shoots and tofu. Bring to the boil, then lower heat and simmer soup for 3 minutes. Add the salt, rice wine vinegar and soy sauce. Return to boil and slowly pour in the beaten egg, whisking to form thin threads. Combine the remaining cornflour with enough water to make a paste, add to the soup and simmer until thickened.

Put the freshly ground black pepper in a bowl, pour in soup and stir.
Garnish with chopped spring onion.
Serve hot.

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